PipeChat Digest #1009 - Friday, July 30, 1999
 
Re: input please
  by "Preston Wilson" <p.wilson2@juno.com>
Re: input please
  by "Adrianne Schutt" <maybe@pipcom.com>
Re: input please
  by "bruce cornely" <rohrschok8@webtv.net>
Re: input please
  by "antoni scott" <ascott@epix.net>
Re: input please
  by <DudelK@aol.com>
Re: input please
  by "John Vanderlee" <jovanderlee@vassar.edu>
Re: Whew! Was "Standards" and more
  by "Ruth" <theraven@sympatico.ca>
Re: input please
  by "Tom Jones" <tomj@netpath.net>
Last night I lay a-sleeping...
  by "Tom Jones" <tomj@netpath.net>
Re: Last night I lay a-sleeping...
  by <DudelK@aol.com>
MIDI and the organist
  by "Frank W. Breazeale" <fbreazeale@carol.net>
Re: MIDI and the organist
  by "Bud/burgie" <budchris@earthlink.net>
Re: input please
  by "Jason D. Comet" <bombarde8@juno.com>
Re: input please
  by "bruce cornely" <rohrschok8@webtv.net>
Ray Ahrens: ``organist'' letter
  by "Bonnie Beth Derby" <orge@dreamscape.com>
Biggs LPs for sale (cross-post)
  by "Bonnie Beth Derby" <orge@dreamscape.com>
Re: MIDI and the organist
  by <DudelK@aol.com>
Re: Last night I lay a-sleeping...
  by "ray ahrens" <ray_ahrens@hotmail.com>
Re: input please
  by "N Brown" <Innkawgneeto@webtv.net>
Re: input please
  by <OrganMD@aol.com>
 


(back) Subject: Re: input please From: Preston Wilson <p.wilson2@juno.com> Date: Thu, 29 Jul 1999 02:03:03 -0700       On Wed, 28 Jul 1999 23:30:08 PDT "ray ahrens" <ray_ahrens@hotmail.com> writes: > Hey Gang, > > Today I found an envelope marked "Organist" in my box at church. > The letter reads in full: > > "Sir: > > I am sorry to tell you but your organ music is too loud and too > long. We can't even hear ourselves sing. When the ushers are done >passing collection plates you can stop as we are ready for our praise. >Cut your songs a little shorter and the service will be shorter!" > > > Of course, no signature was affixed. > > Your comments, please. > Circular file. Shalom, Preston p.wilson2@juno.com   ___________________________________________________________________ Get the Internet just the way you want it. Free software, free e-mail, and free Internet access for a month! Try Juno Web: http://dl.www.juno.com/dynoget/tagj.  
(back) Subject: Re: input please From: Adrianne Schutt <maybe@pipcom.com> Date: Thu, 29 Jul 1999 06:30:24 -0700   At 11:30 PM 7/28/99 -0700, ray ahrens wrote: >Of course, no signature was affixed. I've got to go with Neil's gem of wisdom: "consider the source".   Personally, I give complaints and criticisms with no identifiable =   source no identifiable consideration (though I am printing out Noel's directions for the next time I need to run something through an administrative paper trail ;->).   Ray, odds are you're doing a wonderful job and this person just needed a handy target. Don't let it get to you.   Have fun! Ad ;->    
(back) Subject: Re: input please From: rohrschok8@webtv.net (bruce cornely) Date: Thu, 29 Jul 1999 07:22:04 -0400 (EDT)   =A0=A0 >Today I found an envelope marked "Organist" > in my box at church. The letter reads in full: >"Sir: >I am sorry to tell you but your organ music is > too loud and too long. We can't even hear > ourselves sing. I would consider this part. It is possible that the organ is too loud, especially if you're one of those dutiful people who follows the longstanding instruction of many teachers: use mixtures; they brighten the melody line. They might, but they do it in a very annoying way in most modern organs. If you play an electronic, chances are you're doomed. They just don't carry properly through the room. You might also consider sharing this with your music committee for their input. Don't bear this alone!   > When the ushers are done passing collection > plates you can stop as we are ready for our > praise. Cut your songs a little shorter and the > service will be shorter!" I have eliminated this problem by using an anthem at the offering, actually, a hymn-anthem. It gives the choir an opportunity to sing hymns which are familiar but not used as often as previously, and to introduce new hymns to the congregation. People seldom complain about choral music. I also write about the organ music (as well as the anthems, hymns and service music) used in worship each week and this is included as an insert in the bulletin. If it doesn't give them something to think about during the organ music, at least there is a nice piece of paper to draw on for them!   >Of course, no signature was affixed. Of course... these people are afraid of being found out that they are not the good people they pretend to be. Feel sorry and pray for them. It is also helpful to mingle with people after church just to let them know you are a real person with feelings and consideration for others.   >Your comments, please. Oh? what I really think??? ^%#&*^^%#!! ;-) (always with a smile!!!)   Bruce & the Baskerbeagles ~~+~~+~~ rohrschok8@webtv.net ~~+~~+~~   I love a dog. =A0 He does nothing for political reasons. =A0 -- Will Rogers    
(back) Subject: Re: input please From: antoni scott <ascott@epix.net> Date: Thu, 29 Jul 1999 08:51:26 -0400   Dear Ray:   I am not aware of the layout of your church, but I remember an organist's loft which sent all the music over the top of his head and down onto the congregation. The volume level was a lot lower up at the organ where the organist was hidden inbetween some pipes.   If that was the only complaint I would ignore it. If it bothers you, try this. Keep cutting back on the volume until you hear a complaint that it is too quiet. Then increase the volume week by week. Somewhere between the two volume level complaints should satisfy the majority.   If I were the organist, I would make the decision as to how loud or quiet I think it should be.         Antoni   ray ahrens wrote: > > Hey Gang, > > Today I found an envelope marked "Organist" in my box at church. The = letter > reads in full: > > "Sir: > > I am sorry to tell you but your organ music is too loud and too long. = We > can't even hear ourselves sing. When the ushers are done passing = collection > plates you can stop as we are ready for our praise. Cut your songs a = little > shorter and the service will be shorter!" > > Of course, no signature was affixed. > > Your comments, please. > > _______________________________________________________________ > Get Free Email and Do More On The Web. Visit http://www.msn.com > > "Pipe Up and Be Heard!" > PipeChat: A discussion List for pipe/digital organs & related topics > HOMEPAGE : http://www.pipechat.org > List: mailto:pipechat@pipechat.org > Administration: mailto:admin@pipechat.org > Subscribe/Unsubscribe: mailto:requests@pipechat.org  
(back) Subject: Re: input please From: DudelK@aol.com Date: Thu, 29 Jul 1999 09:02:23 EDT   In a message dated 99-07-29 02:32:19 EDT, you write:   << Your comments, please. >> Insert in nearest trash can.   I once had a situation where I was apparently simultaneously playing too loud, too soft, too fast, and too slow.   There are those who consider anything beyond an Unda Maris with the swell = box closed too loud. Then again, sometimes I play a verse of a hymn on a very soft registration to hear the people sing.   You can't win, so just follow your best instincts and go with the flow!  
(back) Subject: Re: input please From: John Vanderlee <jovanderlee@vassar.edu> Date: Thu, 29 Jul 1999 09:13:13 -0500   Dear Ray and List,   I hate to be the devil's advocate and am fully aware that I have never heard Ray nor know anything about his church, He is probably a fine musician, and the fact that he seems disturbed enough by this note to = share it with our list, shows that he is a sensitive person. Having said all that, I would consider the possibility that what seems proper to Ray, and with every good intention, may not be every one's cup = of tea. "You can't please all of the people...etc,"   I would suggest two things:   1. Adjust the playing a little as suggested by another poster, and see if it has any effect.   2. At the next music/worship committee meeting inquire in a casual way if there are any suggestions for adjustments to the musical part of the service, or if they like things fine the way they are. In such a non confrontational setting comments are invited and most likely passed along. If all are happy "deep six" the note and forget it. If not, then the topic is open for discussion, and you have shown an interest in making the service the best it can be.   Only suggestions...   John V      
(back) Subject: Re: Whew! Was "Standards" and more From: Ruth <theraven@sympatico.ca> Date: Thu, 29 Jul 1999 12:14:00 -0400   One must remain stern and sober in the face of the many assaults >which are hurled against us! LOL > >Hmmmm, why do you play for weddings at alll??? Perhaps you could save your talents for the more serious, and less happy occasions. After all, then the rest of the "crowd" could more match your disposition, and they too would be all unsmiling. I imagine you must be an assault to to any crowd as well. Just a thought :(   I personally prefer Paul's method. But then, eh, to each his own. I wonder if the organist has anything to do with the50% divorce rates.   John as organist...the poor couple for sure have no chance at a happy = start. Paul as organist..... well, at least they had a good start.   Ruth  
(back) Subject: Re: input please From: "Tom Jones" <tomj@netpath.net> Date: Thu, 29 Jul 1999 15:38:23 -0400   An anonymous complaint could be anything--someone who doesn't like = the way Ray wears his hair. Responsible criticism is one thing, but an anonymous note is valueless. I'd be careful about asking whether anyone wanted anything changed. The church is entitled to tell you in general terms what it wants in a music program, but organists shouldn't allow themselves to be = micromanaged. You don't hire people for their expertise and then tell them how to do their jobs. A better approach is to make sure you know exactly how the music = comes across--how the choir and organ sound from the nave, for example, when the building's full and empty, during hymns, during vocal or instrumental music, and during solo literature. I listen to our weekly service tapes several times, and if something needs adjusting, I adjust it. Also, if someone makes a positive, constructive suggestion, I certainly consider = it. But I do nothing simply because someone complains. Expecting everybody always to like everything is unrealistic.   Regards, Tom Jones Organist/Choir Director Mebane Presbyterian Church, Mebane, N.C.    
(back) Subject: Last night I lay a-sleeping... From: "Tom Jones" <tomj@netpath.net> Date: Thu, 29 Jul 1999 15:42:26 -0400   I dreamed the Positif sounded funny, so I went upstairs to check, and the church had put a Sunday school class in the organ chamber! Ranks of children were sitting between the ranks of pipes (in the dream, the windchests had expanded). Moreover, the church had installed a toilet for the children right there in the middle of the chamber, and the added moisture was rusting the small Cymbale pipes. So I drained the toilet and shut off the water, shooed everyone out, and went to the hardware store for padlocks, since the door locks we have obviously hadn't been sufficient. I was glad to wake up.   Regards, Tom Jones Organist/Choir Director Mebane Presbyterian Church, Mebane, N.C.  
(back) Subject: Re: Last night I lay a-sleeping... From: DudelK@aol.com Date: Thu, 29 Jul 1999 16:13:48 EDT   In a message dated 99-07-29 15:48:23 EDT, you write:   << I was glad to wake up. >> Got to watch eating spicy food late at night!  
(back) Subject: MIDI and the organist From: "Frank W. Breazeale" <fbreazeale@carol.net> Date: Thu, 29 Jul 1999 17:30:27 -0400   I find it interesting that organists are concerned about MIDI. Maybe we should be. However, I don't think I would want to be associated with a church who would want to use sequenced songs for accomps. Therefore, I would quit before they fired me.   Frank Breazeale Organist    
(back) Subject: Re: MIDI and the organist From: Bud/burgie <budchris@earthlink.net> Date: Thu, 29 Jul 1999 15:36:49 -0700   From what I've observed, MIDI and the electronic barrel-organs advertised = in "Episcopal Life" (!! How are the mighty fallen !!) are going to have to = get a lot more user-friendly before they're any real threat. I've heard = nothing but funny/horror stories when churches tried to use either to completely replace the organist. MIDI still has to have a live organist to play in = the service music peculiar to the individual church, whether it's "Hear Our Prayer, O Lord" or the Willan Mass; the barrel organs I've seen don't have the complete hymnals of ANY denomination, but rather the "best of" the most-used ones.   An RC church in San Diego has an organ with MIDI and a cordless remote for the priest, so he can cue the organ at the appropriate times when the organist isn't available, BUT ... if you happen to push "play" twice you = get the Sanctus AND the Great Amen back-to-back (grin), or something like that ....   IF we eventually get an electric-action pipe organ at St. Matthew's, I'll PROBABLY give in and have MIDI, just because it's convenient to record things and go downstairs and listen to the registration; I use it every Sunday on Le Grand Hammond so I can go to Communion whilst my Communion Voluntary is playing. Evidently my predecessor never used the function; = the first Sunday I did it, the congregation was staring in disbelief, first at me at the Communion rail, and then at the "riderless" organ in the back of the church. Too bad MIDI doesn't make the keys and stops move (grin) ... they WOULD have gotten religion THEN. But I don't see a time when ANY electronic device could find its way through our High Mass unassisted. There's simply too much improvising and looking in the mirror to see where the priest is in the Mass.   The barrel organs probably have their uses in rural churches that just simply can't find/can't pay an organist ... that's why they were so widely used in village churches in England in the 18th and early 19th centuries. = I might even use MIDI occasionally for an anthem accompaniment that required "layering" in order to play all the notes ... that Bach piece in the green Morning Star Choir Book comes to mind ... I laid down the solo violin and the bass line; then I laid down the continuo part.   These things usually run their course ... anybody remember "folk" Masses?   Cheers,   Bud    
(back) Subject: Re: input please From: "Jason D. Comet" <bombarde8@juno.com> Date: Thu, 29 Jul 1999 07:40:35 -0400   I once had that happen to me also. For about 3 weeks, I played hymns on the 8' Stopped Diapason and 4' Fugara and 16' Bourdon. That got me both ticked and upset. When the next ad. Board meeting came around. The board asked why I was playing so soft. Then I told them and they said to play normally. So I did. The next month I got another letter. Both letters were addressed the same way. I wanted to get my point across. So I played the Offertory short. By short, I meant that I stopped dead on a 7th chord and started the Doxology before they were even done collecting the offering. Stopped the prelude on a 7th chord, and cut a verse out of the hymns. (That was by mistake. After all, after 6 verses you kind of forget what verse your on.) That Monday, I got a letter in my mailbox again and they asked why I did all that cutting out. I simply replyed:   You were saying that I was playing too loud and too long, so I tried to please you and play softer and shorter. If that was what you wanted, why are you still complaining? About the volume, I was only trying to do my best with the organ that I had at my disposal. Well, it was your fault that the organ is too loud for the room. You are the one that didn't want to spend the money to have a new organ installed in the new building when it was being built. So you just took an organ that was voiced for a large room and installed it in a room that was three times as smaller. Naturally it would be louder. Plus all that carpeting doesn't help either. As for the length of music. I enjoy the great solo organ literature. I enjoy listening to it and also enjoy performing it. If the congregation doesn't enjoy it, that should be enjoying watching me enjoy playing it. After all, you are only one person. You don't have to complain about one little thing. Do you think that if I hired you, should I tell you how to do your job? I am only in the learning phase of my career. You should learn to have some tollerance for younger people. You should be thankful that you have an organist right now. I could be off getting a lot more money from another church instead of staying here. But I enjoy this congregation and the congregation enjoys me. Many churches don't have an organist or ANY musician at all. Consider yourself lucky that you are in a church that has a talented child that can do something that is not at all easy. You try taking 6 years of organ and playing in front of 60-70 people every week and working your but off and not even getting your $40 a week. If you can't enjoy the music I'm performing or that I can play the organ the way it was intended, that I'll just quit and you won't have any music for 6 months. After all, you are only one person. I'm sure there are other people who are just like you, but they realize that I have limited knowledge, and can't judge or decide for myself if this sounds right or not. You are only one person and I will not let you get the best of me. I don't take crap from anybody and am not going to start. I did not write this letter in order to give you a piece of my mind, I am only trying to make you realize that by writing those several notes, you are just proving that you are not the Christian that you appear to be in the vicinity of averyone else. I am presently the Music Minister and I am ministring to you not through music, but through through writing. But anyways, I am ministring to you by showing you your weak points and should fix them. Thank you anyways for your input.   Fortunantly I could read his handwriting and knew who it was. I got a visit at the Console the next Sunday and a big appology and compliment by that person. (even though he didn't say anything about the letter.)     Jason Comet bombarde8@juno.com |\ Organist/Choir Director | | 2/22 M.P. Moller pipe organ O ~20 member choir   ___________________________________________________________________ Get the Internet just the way you want it. Free software, free e-mail, and free Internet access for a month! Try Juno Web: http://dl.www.juno.com/dynoget/tagj.  
(back) Subject: Re: input please From: rohrschok8@webtv.net (bruce cornely) Date: Thu, 29 Jul 1999 22:16:11 -0400 (EDT)   In a previous parish I ran into this volume problem. We could not nail down what was loud and what was too bright, so I came up with a little card to pass out to interested members of the congregation. It was something like:   Opening Hymn st. 1 loud ok soft like dislike st. 2 loud ok soft like dislike st. 3 loud ok soft like dislike st. 4 loud ok soft like dislike   Middle Hymn st. 1 loud ok soft like dislike st. 2 loud ok soft like dislike st. 3 loud ok soft like dislike st. 4 loud ok soft like dislike   Closing Hymn st. 1 loud ok soft like dislike st. 2 loud ok soft like dislike st. 3 loud ok soft like dislike st. 4 loud ok soft like dislike   I had pre-planned all registrations (even used pistons -- was an Austin so it had plenty!) and followed my guide. After church we collected cards and discovered that some of the sounds that the congregation liked were actually loud, such as principals 842+reeds8. A combination that was actually slightly softer was principals 842+mix's. It was very interesting an educational for me. I heartily recommend it.   Bruce & the Baskerbeagles ~~+~~+~~ rohrschok8@webtv.net ~~+~~+~~   I love a dog. =A0 He does nothing for political reasons. =A0 -- Will Rogers    
(back) Subject: Ray Ahrens: ``organist'' letter From: "Bonnie Beth Derby" <orge@dreamscape.com> Date: Thu, 29 Jul 1999 22:31:34 -0400   To Ray Ahrens in regards to his ``organist'' letter post   Ray,   About the letter addressed to ``organist''...........if the sender cannot sign it -- ignore it!   I am sure that you are doing a super job and you do not need unsigned = notes. That is just plain rude! (And just think, if the letter is sent to ``organist'', it just MIGHT be to another musician in another church! The sender doesn't even know who their organist is!)   Keep the faith....   Bonnie Beth Derby Producer & Host ``Orgelwerke'' & ``Choral Traditions'' WCNY-FM, 91.3; Syracuse; WUNY-FM, 89.5, Utica; WJNY-FM, 90.9, Watertown Organist, First Church of Christ, Scientist, Syracuse orge@dreamscape.com          
(back) Subject: Biggs LPs for sale (cross-post) From: "Bonnie Beth Derby" <orge@dreamscape.com> Date: Thu, 29 Jul 1999 22:51:46 -0400   FOR SALE:   (2) Columbia LP - E.Power Biggs - ``The Organ in Sight and Sound'' (1) E. Power Biggs - Bach: The Little Organ Book (3 LP set)   Best price takes the recording. All three in fine shape. Bonnie Beth Derby orge@dreamscape.com    
(back) Subject: Re: MIDI and the organist From: DudelK@aol.com Date: Thu, 29 Jul 1999 23:23:47 EDT   In a message dated 99-07-29 18:41:48 EDT, you write:   << These things usually run their course ... anybody remember "folk" Masses? >> Yep -- and they still go on week after week in these parts (Washington, = DC), including one in St. Joseph's Chapel of Washington Cathedral (except = during the summer).  
(back) Subject: Re: Last night I lay a-sleeping... From: "ray ahrens" <ray_ahrens@hotmail.com> Date: Thu, 29 Jul 1999 20:37:06 PDT     >Got to watch eating spicy food late at night! > Stick with "organ"-ically grown fruits and vegetables.     _______________________________________________________________ Get Free Email and Do More On The Web. Visit http://www.msn.com  
(back) Subject: Re: input please From: Innkawgneeto@webtv.net (N Brown) Date: Fri, 30 Jul 1999 00:18:08 -0400 (EDT)   Ray, unsigned letters are food for thought, but not public policy. As I said in another post, "Consider the Source." Don't take it personally, but add it to your ministry quotient. Offertories are not meant to take up time, but are meant to glorify the living Lord (offertories are offerings too). Hang in there, do your best, and let the Lord deal with it. --Neil    
(back) Subject: Re: input please From: OrganMD@aol.com Date: Fri, 30 Jul 1999 00:43:47 EDT   Dear Ray...   As one who has played in church for over 30 years, I feel like a letter without a name is junk mail and should be treated as such!   Bill