PipeChat Digest #675 - Tuesday, January 26, 1999
 
RE: Music Directors
  by "Charles Brown" <clmoney@cybernex.net>
music directors
  by "VEAGUE" <dutchorgan@svs.net>
Brouton Parish, Williamsburg VA organ spec.
  by "J. VANDERSTAD" <dcob@nac.net>
Re: Music Directors
  by "JeffWinSTL" <Reedstop@worldnet.att.net>
Re: Brouton Parish, Williamsburg VA organ spec.
  by "David Scribner" <david@blackiris.com>
The Ideal Church Position (Re: I need support...)
  by <ScottFop@aol.com>
Re: Brouton Parish, Williamsburg VA organ spec.
  by <WRansomeJr@aol.com>
RE: The Ideal Church Position (Re: I need support...)
  by "Charles Brown" <clmoney@cybernex.net>
to Scott Bilot/ Wangerin Organ
  by "Dominic Joseph Radanovich" <rpob@aero.net>
 


(back) Subject: RE: Music Directors From: "Charles Brown" <clmoney@cybernex.net> Date: Tue, 26 Jan 1999 06:34:30 -0500   Dear Chris:   Despite what many people may tell you, this is a great profession. You are entering at a time that is ripe for creativity and new opportunities. Sadly, many of the practitioners of this profession are complaining and narrow-minded people for whom the concept of creativity is the work of the devil.   As a music director please remember that you must be an artist first, a musician second, and a music director third. As an artist, you must make a statement of the vision that God has given you.   I use the analogy of a painter that stands before a blank canvas. Before that painter can paint the first color or make the first brush stroke, they must see the finished work on that canvas as if the finished painting was already there. All the artist is doing is bringing to realization what they already see.   A church music position is the same way. Don't just go through the mechanics of Sunday morning. It will be a struggle at times and people may not always be as cooperative as you may want. But, stay true to your vision and always maintain a positive enthusiasm at all times. If you do, people will come around. I have seen some pretty remarkable things done if you follow this simple philosophy.   And most of all, stay clear of the negativism many of the professions practitioners spews forth. Most of them were not very good to begin with and their negativity is just a cover for their lack of abilities and creativity.   Good Luck!!!!!   Dr. Charles Brown    
(back) Subject: music directors From: "VEAGUE" <dutchorgan@svs.net> Date: Tue, 26 Jan 1999 07:48:41 -0500   Dear List... Having just read thru 30-something responses to Chris Mullins's origional letter on pursuing a church music career, remindes me of a PBS program I saw recently on the LACK of church organists. Those who have been in the service since the book of Genesis are passing away, and very few replacements are coming up through the ranks (no pun, please). Many churches are going to folk gospel with- OMG- guitars twanging and pots and pans banging, recorded orchestral back-up with someone "singing", and many organs are MIDI- equipped to play so the organist can lead the choir. I realize new trends to bring in the younger people into the church are necessary (sometimes), but the organ, music directors, and good old-fashioned worship have worked before, and still work now. Like they say, if the "music is in ya, baby", go for it - for God and for the church. If you want to become ' rich and famous '---be a politician-- but doing the Lord's work is a more honorable profession-- and He WILL provide.   Peace. Rick      
(back) Subject: Brouton Parish, Williamsburg VA organ spec. From: "J. VANDERSTAD" <dcob@nac.net> Date: Tue, 26 Jan 1999 09:19:06 -0500   Hello list--- Does any one have the specification and details floating around for the organ in the Brouton Parish Church in Williamsburg, VA? I was there some years ago. A fine example for an active music program....It is said that out of 365 days in a year, they have around 300 organ / choir performances. that translates into around 5 PER WEEK! Of course many of them are by guest performers, such as a choir from England, etc... If anyone has the specifications of the organ it would be very much appreciated. All I know is that it had 3 manuals- could that be?  
(back) Subject: Re: Music Directors From: "JeffWinSTL" <Reedstop@worldnet.att.net> Date: Tue, 26 Jan 1999 08:22:35 -0600   As in any profession, there are those who don't like what they do. I am not a full time director of music, but let me tell you....I LOVE IT. I am a full time worker at an insurance company with whom I've been employed for almost 10 years. And in all 10 of those years, I'd LEAP at the chance to do the church work full time. But, I'm happy with what I have, and the job I have is a good one. So, I'm content to be part time.   I play the organ every Sunday (almost literally), direct the adult choir and the handbell choir. I look forward to (almost) each and every rehearsal and service I play. So, my advice to our two young friends is don't lose hope or get discouraged. There are negative things that happen in every job, but they are often outweighed HEAVILY by the rewards. You are using your talents for the glory of God, and in a field where young organists are becoming rare, it's very encouraging that Chris and Travis are chosing this profession! God bless your efforts!!!!   In Christ, Jeff White Holy Cross Lutheran Church St. Louis, MO http://www.inlink.com/~hcstlou      
(back) Subject: Re: Brouton Parish, Williamsburg VA organ spec. From: David Scribner <david@blackiris.com> Date: Tue, 26 Jan 1999 09:23:56 -0600   At 9:19 AM -0500 1/26/99, J. VANDERSTAD wrote: >Hello list--- >Does any one have the specification and details floating around for the >organ in the Brouton Parish Church in Williamsburg, VA? I was there some >years ago. A fine example for an active music program....It is said that >out of 365 days in a year, they have around 300 organ / choir >performances. that translates into around 5 PER WEEK! Of course many of >them are by guest performers, such as a choir from England, etc... >If anyone has the specifications of the organ it would be very much >appreciated. All I know is that it had 3 manuals- could that be?   The AIO visited Bruton Church during the conference in Williamsburg in 1997. The organ is a Aeolian-Skinner ( 1955) Rebuid of the old E.M. Skinner and it was rebuilt by Orgues Letourneau, Limitee in 1994. I don't remember how many manuals it has - I thought it had 4 but I do know that it has 8 divisions with about 95 ranks and 85 stops. Most of it is buried in the attic of the church with the Antiphonal back in the Tower - the door at the back of the Balcony needs to be open so that the Antiphonal can be heard in the church. The Brustwerk is in the Samuel Green (?) case in the Front Gallery of the church.   I will try to get some time in the next couple of days to enter it unless someone else has a copy of it already. It doesn't appear in the Osiris Archive and I haven't been able to find a copy of it in the PIPORG-L Archives although I think it may have appeared there at one time.   David  
(back) Subject: The Ideal Church Position (Re: I need support...) From: ScottFop@aol.com Date: Tue, 26 Jan 1999 10:58:32 EST   <abridged from original post:>   I read almost every day but seldom ever post. I resigned my position as organist in my medium-sized Christian (Disciples of Christ) Church tonight. To make a long story short, this church celebrates its 125th anniversary this year and has a rich musical tradition that has waned somewhat in recent years. We have a husband/wife pastoral team who firmly believe thata...oh, I hate to use the word..."contemporary" worship service is the only way to go for church growth and a complete spiritual experience. Our choir director and I are both graduate students in a Master of Church Music Program closeby. He also resigned last week.   My question is...and I hope to stir up a little discussion with this...am I wrong to be so solidly convicted that quality, well-written anthems and hymnody leads to a more authentic worship experience? Am I completely blind to the needs of current congregations? I want only to return to the God who gave us such an incredible gift as music the very best fruits of that gift.   <end of original post>       Well,   I read every day too and seldom respond to much anymore either- just as Mark quoted in his own post regarding this subject. But since I knew Mark well in college and we were (are) friends I will respond in an effort to try and help him out and state my own feelings (as if they are not already known).   As many of you who have been long time subscribers on Piporl-L know- I am adamantly opposed to contemporary Christian, "poppish," non-traditional repertoire in church. I have run the gamit of church positions and denominations in an effort to fine the "perfect" job for me.   I have played and directed in every major denomination since I was a young child and these include Roman Catholic (my own faith), United Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, United Church of Christ/Congregational, Friends (Quaker) and Synagogues. It always seemed that wherever I went I was fighting a battle with clergy and some of the congregation over what music is appropriate and suitable for worship- and it almost always seemed as though the traditional side of the coin lost.   My first real, full time position was at a suburban Presbyterian Church, formerly PCUSA but God only know what it considers itself now, at least in regards to what I have heard happening over there since I left. They had a very nice new Moller pipe organ, I built the choir up to 50+ members and we were doing some pretty distinguished repertoire. That started to wain my third year there and talk of a "contemporary service" arose. And you guessed it- they now have a contemporary service with a "contemporary ensemble" singing and a Kurzweil next to the Moller. The Chancel Choir (what's left of it) does not sing repertoire that is in any way a shadow of what we used to do over there. In fact I have some of those choir members singing with me again now at my current position who left there when I moved back to the Detroit area.   Well, after 5 years at that church I ended up moving to the east and where I was left alone to do whatever I wanted to do with the choirs- the clergy always felt that they knew more about music than I and had final say on everything else- INCLUDING organ voluntaries and hymns. I have ALWAYS believed that it is the MUSICIAN'S job to select all hymns and service music and that that music must fit with the Lectionary and rest of the service for a given week. I will not back down from this thinking so let's not even go there.   But to finish this thought- I worked for one pastor who had the gall to try to tell me how to register the instrument according to the sounds HIS ears liked. Another example- I worked with another pastor (who wore hearing aids) who forbid me to use mixtures, any mixtures at all in a 1200 seat church. The organ was a Phelps Casavant (get the picture?) and 16 of the 34 ranks were mixtures. I worked with yet another clergyPERSON who tried changing all hymn texts and service music texts to "inclusive" (feminist) language. Also- we composed an anniversary hymn for this congregation which caused great grief towards the Pastoress and she went off the deep end because the text was composed by myeslf (at the direction of the Music Committee) and the chorale was composed by none other than Dr. Gerre Hancock- complete with an elaborate introduction, descant and alternate harmony on the final stanza. This pastor (who wanted everything in feminist language and loved guitars in lieu of the Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ) hit the ceiling because she hadn't been included in the writing of the text. (Gerre thought it quite elegant!) Needless to say- my text proclaimed God the FATHER, SON and HOLY GHOST instead of her ideas regarding the CREATOR, CHRIST and COMFORTER. Well- they now have two part time musicians and the choir, which is now made up of church council members because the "former real choir" and professional quartet all walked out is singing unison ditties out of the original "Gather" book by GIA.   After moving several times to different locations I had landed in a very large parish in Pittsburgh and was quite happy. I strongly disliked the instrument (mentioned above) but had built up the choirs and was enjoying myself quite a bit. I was making a little money and for the first time had, in addition to full medical coverage- a tenured pension plan through the diocese. AND I had gotten back, after many long years- into my own denomonation.   I heard rumblings from friends in Detroit that the Shrine of the Little Flower was opening up. I knew that church as a run down old barn with a totally inoperable and buried old Kilgen organ. But I inquired and they inquired back.   So- here I am. I am in a hugh parish with a 5000 family membership, I have a dream instrument to play every day. By the way- it was NOT buried as we found out that the wind pressures throughout had been substantially lowered at some point. Bringing them up absolutely brought this organ back to life tonally! And upon entering the building for the first time in many years- I discovered an immaculately clean and well maintained structure that was in total contrast to the dark old barn I had remembered from bringing my parents to attend Mass there years before. There is still much to do with the instrument as far as restoration but we are getting it done!   Now- as far as the program and clergy- well- one of the main reasons I am here is the Pastor. The first time I met him I was impressed with his demeanor and attitude and his desires for the future music program. My predecessor had given them a steady diet of Glory and Praise and electronic music. At my first choir rehearsal in September we had 21 people- we now have over 50. They wanted a return to "traditional" music and for their musician to build a "premier music program" and that is a direct quote from him as well as the selection committee.   Since I have been here I have gotten nothing but support and encouragement and have been given the trust and respect of the clergy in running the church's music- the job for which I was hired in the first place. The congregation members have been coming up and saying "I love the way that organ sounds again" and "I love the traditional hymns we are singing again." The choir now has a professional quartet- to become an octet in the future- and is doing REAL repertoire again. I am in the process of building the foundations for a concert and recital series and have a full time Music Associate working under me. In October we purchased a new 6' Boston grand piano for the rehearsal studio and the Pastor had the music offices totally computerized. Lastly- the church was recently designated a National Shrine (an OFFICIAL National Shrine designated by the Conference of American Catholic Bishops)- one of only five National Shrines in the United States.   How did all this happen? I think by the questions I asked of them from the very first communication. I was not looking to leave the Pittsburgh church- but this position is literally a dream come true. In my interview when I met privately with the Pastor- one of the questions he asked was "how long do you see yourself being here?" I replied with "How long do you see YOURSELF here as Pastor?" I explained that the job sounded good and that he obviously wanted a fine program and that we had the same ideas and goals in mind but that if he got transferred 6 months after my arrival that could cause grave damage to the program I wanted to build if his successor didn't feel the same way he did about traditional and time-tested music.   My position here and my official title is "Director of Music and Liturgical Coordination." I oversee the entire music program for the Parish- anything musical that happens within the walls of the church goes accross my desk. I direct the Parish Choir and Professional Schola Cantorum, the Man's Schola and the Adult Handbell Choir as well as playing the majority of weddings and all of the major liturgies. My associate directs the Children's Choir and the Youth Handbell, plays most of the funerals and some of the weddings. But I take my responsibility for anything musical in the church very seriously. And things seem to be on a real upswing.   To conclude, when one finds a job- one must get the support of the clergy and a commitment to build whatever kind of music program is agreed upon in the initial interviews. Also- a complete and detailed SIGNED CONTRACT is critical. Lastly- the clergy must be secure enough and trusting of the musician they have hired. I think that is it in a nutshell. I will probably never work for a committee-structured church again because of my past experiences with that type of organization and I prefer Liturgical settings anyway. I was raised in them, know the value and absolute beauty of well done Liturgy and and prefer not having to gain committee approval every time I have to go to the bathroom. I also have a Pastor whom I respect a great deal and think very highly of. He is a wonderful administrator, knows good music and knows how to organize and run the church without seeming dictatorial or demeaning to his staff. That's important too. He trusts his department heads and does not micromanage. If he wants something done or wishes for something to be done differently- believe me- we hear about it, but in a positive manner that is for the good of the church and congregation.   I had seriously considered dropping the church profession and going into organ sales or God knows what else. Now there are some organ builders out therethat I would still very much like to represent, but- I get the real "rush" accompanying some huge English anthem in front of 2000 people every Sunday morning.   Success of church positions comes from a clear and defined understanding at the hiring point and at the signing of the contracts. I also honestly believe that there must be a good chemistry between the clergy and music staff AND the congregation. The direction of the program must be clearly spelled out and agreed upon and SIGNED in the contract. I have taken church jobs for the instrument or for the location- but I was never happy as I am now. One must look towards the future of the program and what can be done and what is desired on both the parts of the musician AND on the parts of the congregation and clergy. Nothing is perfect and it never will be. As a friend and former teacher once told me: "the problems never change, ONLY the address." This is very true to some extent wherever we go. BUT- there IS an ideal position out there for all of us SOMEWHERE.   Another thing to be considered is the age of the musician. In my teens and 20's I wasn't taken that seriously no matter how good the repertoire was. I was seen as "the kid." I honestly think that age is, to some extent, a success factor as well. Experience, and this goes without saying- plays a major roll as well. We all have to "pay our dues" I guess. I have several recordings to my credit and have played recitals on some very prestigious instruments around the world. Not that this is criteria for a good position but I honestly believe that it shows one's style and what one is all about, where one ha been and where one wants to go.   So, as far as my Pastor asking me in my interview how long I saw myself there- I hope to retire from this one!   Scott F. Foppiano, Director of Music and Liturgical Coordination National Shrine of the Little Flower, Royal Oak, MI  
(back) Subject: Re: Brouton Parish, Williamsburg VA organ spec. From: WRansomeJr@aol.com Date: Tue, 26 Jan 1999 11:22:17 EST   In a message dated 1/26/99 6:21:05 AM Pacific Standard Time, dcob@nac.net writes:   > Does any one have the specification and details floating around for the > organ in the Brouton Parish Church in Williamsburg, VA? I was there some > years ago. A fine example for an active music program....It is said that > out of 365 days in a year, they have around 300 organ / choir > performances. that translates into around 5 PER WEEK! Of course many of > them are by guest performers, such as a choir from England, etc... > If anyone has the specifications of the organ it would be very much > appreciated. All I know is that it had 3 manuals- could that be? > Didn't Louterneu (?) rebuild it. now over 100 ranks?  
(back) Subject: RE: The Ideal Church Position (Re: I need support...) From: "Charles Brown" <clmoney@cybernex.net> Date: Tue, 26 Jan 1999 11:25:28 -0500   With regard to the subject of "contemporary worship"; will somebody please define for me what is meant by "contemporary worship or music"!!!!   Based on the criteria of the discussion perhaps we should throw out the music of John Rutter or, for that matter, anything written past a certain date (whatever that date might be)   This is silly!!!!!   In point of fact every period of music as well as every style of music has good and bad in it. In addition, there is good music that gets treated very badly which, I suspect, is what makes a lot of it get called bad.   In fact I have heard a lot of contemporary music, even...gasp...folk-style music....performed beautifully and with a great deal of inspiration.   At one time even our most tried and true old-fashioned worship was "contemporary worship." At one time even our biggest war-horse pieces were "contemporary music." At one time even dear old JS himself was contemporary!!!!!!!!!   Lest we forget, even Christ, the person who putitively this whole thing is about, was new, contriversial, and challenging to contemporary thinking.   I am tired of people in this profession standing on the podiums declaring what is acceptable. If they are not for the challenge maybe they should quit and find other means of making a living.   GROW-UP!!!!! Music evolves!!!! Worship evolves!!!!!! Art evolves!!!!   Do you have to like all of it??? NO!!!!! but...that does not mean that as soon as a new idea comes forth..or someone like a minister wants to try something, we run for the hills and quit in protest!!!!!   I can't wait for the flames I am going to get on this one!!!!!!! Expected....and usual!!!!!   Dr. Charles E. Brown    
(back) Subject: to Scott Bilot/ Wangerin Organ From: "Dominic Joseph Radanovich" <rpob@aero.net> Date: Tue, 26 Jan 1999 10:39:36 -0600   This is a multi-part message in MIME format.   ------=_NextPart_000_0008_01BE4918.2B151FC0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1" Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable   Scott, The best thing to do would be to call me. The inventory is large and it = would be easier to discuss your particular needs. I have many consoles, = rectifiers, blowers, reservoirs, trems, offset and main chests, pedal = ranks, dozens of manual ranks, swell shades, etc. Most of it is = Wangerin, although there is also Schaeffer, Moller, some Schantz and = Wicks. Please give a call (answering machine on if we're not in), = Radanovich Pipe Organs, 414 931 1981.=20 Thank you. Joe Radanovich   ------=_NextPart_000_0008_01BE4918.2B151FC0 Content-Type: text/html; charset="iso-8859-1" Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable   <!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD W3 HTML//EN"> <HTML> <HEAD>   <META content=3Dtext/html;charset=3Diso-8859-1 = http-equiv=3DContent-Type> <META content=3D'"MSHTML 4.72.3110.7"' name=3DGENERATOR> </HEAD> <BODY bgColor=3D#ffffff> <DIV><STRONG><FONT color=3D#000000 size=3D2>Scott,</FONT></STRONG></DIV> <DIV><STRONG><FONT color=3D#000000 size=3D2>The best thing to do would = be to call=20 me.&nbsp; The inventory is large and it would be easier to discuss your=20 particular needs.&nbsp; I have many consoles, rectifiers, blowers, = reservoirs,=20 trems, offset and main chests, pedal ranks, dozens of manual ranks, = swell=20 shades, etc.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Most of it is Wangerin, although there is = also=20 Schaeffer, Moller, some Schantz and Wicks.&nbsp; Please give a call = (answering=20 machine on if we're not in), Radanovich Pipe Organs, 414 931 1981.=20 </FONT></STRONG></DIV> <DIV><STRONG><FONT color=3D#000000 size=3D2>Thank = you.</FONT></STRONG></DIV> <DIV><STRONG><FONT color=3D#000000 size=3D2>Joe=20 Radanovich</FONT></STRONG></DIV></BODY></HTML>   ------=_NextPart_000_0008_01BE4918.2B151FC0--