PipeChat Digest #1626 - Thursday, October 19, 2000
 
RE: Observation "Pipedreams!
  by "Charles E. Brown" <chabrown@bellatlantic.net>
New Organ Console Dedication Week
  by "Judy A. Ollikkala" <71431.2534@compuserve.com>
RE:OK, I'll take the plunge
  by <LLWheels@aol.com>
Fw: RE:OK, I'll take the plunge
  by "VEAGUE" <dutchorgan@svs.net>
Re: OK, I'll take the plunge
  by <toelz@cetlink.net>
THE articles........
  by <CdyVanpool@aol.com>
 


(back) Subject: RE: Observation "Pipedreams! From: "Charles E. Brown" <chabrown@bellatlantic.net> Date: Wed, 18 Oct 2000 21:54:58 -0400   Stu:   I use to maintain the Bardavon organ when it was located in a private home in Scarsdale, NY. I have not had the chance to see it since it was moved = but would love to sometime.   Charles   -----Original Message----- From: pipechat@pipechat.org [mailto:pipechat@pipechat.org]On Behalf Of Stu Ballinger Sent: Wednesday, October 18, 2000 9:08 PM To: pipechat@pipechat.org Subject: Observation "Pipedreams!     Hope that everyone listended to "Pipedreams" last weekend & enjoyed the 7 largest pipe organs! I myself have seen & heard 3 of the organs: Atlantic City, West Point ( Which is only 30 Miles or so south of Poughkeepsie,NY) & Mother Church ( In Boston) ( @ Convention) I have the CD on Atlantic City, & have seen & played it, = @ a bus trip sponsered by NY Theater Organ Soc. The sound of those 100" Reeds really impresed me! Would like to meet some of you sometime! I get "Pipedreams" on WMHT/WRHV -FM, & they have wome wonderful programs! Your fellow Pipechatter,.   Stu Ballinger! ( 1995 E.P.B.Fellow;OHS!) PS I live in Poughkeepsie,NY Home of the 1869 Bardavon Theater, the Original 1928 Wurlitzer theater Pipe Organ (In Bardavon Theater), & the Home of the Hudson Vally Philharmonic Orchestra!   "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: New Organ Console Dedication Week From: "Judy A. Ollikkala" <71431.2534@compuserve.com> Date: Wed, 18 Oct 2000 22:01:40 -0400   The Kotzschmar Organ in Merrill Auditorium, City Hall, Portland Maine = (1912 Austin) has a new 5 manual Austin console which is being dedicated with = two concerts the last week of October 2000. On Tuesday Oct. 24, Dame Gillian Weir plays a recital at 7:30pm, Admission by donation - $10. suggested. Seating limited to first 2000. Information (207)-883-9525. On Friday October 27 Dennis James will accompany the 1927 thriller "The = Cat and the Canary" starring Laura La Plante, silent movie. Costume contest = at 7:00pm, Movie at 7:30pm. Admission by donation - $7. per person suggested. =   Concert sponsor: Verizon. The console is a gift to the Friends of the Kotzschmar Organ, the City of Portland, and all lovers of the mighty = sounds of the Mighty Kotzschmar from Anita and Charles Stickney, Sally and = Malcolm White, and the Theodore Presser Foundation of Philadelphia.   From a flyer received in the mail today. Judy Ollikkala  
(back) Subject: RE:OK, I'll take the plunge From: <LLWheels@aol.com> Date: Wed, 18 Oct 2000 22:39:28 EDT   In a message dated 10/18/2000 8:59:48 PM Central Daylight Time, Chuck = Peery writes:   << More bluntly, does the general public see us as unapproachable snobs who have appointed ourselves arbiters of taste trying vainly to elevate them, the unwashed masses? It would severely limit our ability to speak to them musically = and to lead them in worship if they resented us in this manner. >>   Reminds me of my Pastor's favorite joke to tell in my presence:   Q: Whats the difference between a church organist and a terrorist? A: You can negotiate with a terrorist.   He intends it as a joke, but it is only funny because of the reputation of =   our collegues in general. Many of us have reputations as Prima Donnas and demanding tyrants, and some of us have earned the rap. This reputation = colors many peoples opinion of our work - justified or not. It takes a lot of = good PR to overcome a bad rep. If the <Music> comes before the <people> in the parish, how can ministry take place? You have made an excellen point whoch = we should all take to heart.   Larry Wheelock Kenwood United Methodist Church Milwaukee, WI    
(back) Subject: Fw: RE:OK, I'll take the plunge From: "VEAGUE" <dutchorgan@svs.net> Date: Wed, 18 Oct 2000 22:32:02 -0500   Don't limit yourselves to JUST church organists: I've run into many = theatre organists who think their you-know-what doesn't stink. Attitudes like = theirs does NOT help further the instrument nor its music.   Rick     ----- Original Message ----- From: <LLWheels@aol.com> To: <pipechat@pipechat.org> Sent: Wednesday, October 18, 2000 9:39 PM Subject: RE:OK, I'll take the plunge     > In a message dated 10/18/2000 8:59:48 PM Central Daylight Time, Chuck Peery > writes: > > << More bluntly, does > the general public see us as unapproachable snobs who have appointed > ourselves arbiters of taste trying vainly to elevate them, the unwashed > masses? It would severely limit our ability to speak to them musically and > to lead them in worship if they resented us in this manner. >> > > Reminds me of my Pastor's favorite joke to tell in my presence: > > Q: Whats the difference between a church organist and a terrorist? > A: You can negotiate with a terrorist. > > He intends it as a joke, but it is only funny because of the reputation = of > our collegues in general. Many of us have reputations as Prima Donnas = and > demanding tyrants, and some of us have earned the rap. This reputation colors > many peoples opinion of our work - justified or not. It takes a lot of good > PR to overcome a bad rep. If the <Music> comes before the <people> in = the > parish, how can ministry take place? You have made an excellen point = whoch we > should all take to heart. > > Larry Wheelock > Kenwood United Methodist Church > Milwaukee, WI > > > "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: OK, I'll take the plunge From: <toelz@cetlink.net> Date: Wed, 18 Oct 2000 23:57:30 -0400   At 05:12 PM 10/18/2000 -0400, you wrote: >More bluntly, does >the general public see us as unapproachable snobs >who have appointed >ourselves arbiters of taste trying vainly to >elevate them, the unwashed >masses?   That's a good possibility. I have dealt with a lot of church music committees, and most all mention the "ego" of the organist as an = impediment to their music program. Most all mention that the organist wants to be on center stage. Most all mention that the organist seems detached from not only the worship service, but from the life of the church in general. = Most all mention that the music the organist selects does not meet the needs of the general parishioner. It is probably no accident that the newest = church built in this town has a new concert grand piano, but no organ. They may not have been able to buy a new pipe organ for that amount of money, but they certainly could have had a nice Rodgers or Allen, had they wanted an organ. On the other hand, our church is presently building a new multi-million dollar worship space that will include a very nice new organ--and the organ is already paid for; in fact, there was no problem getting the money from parishioners. That tells me something. That tells me that even without the flash playing, we could get hundreds of thousands of dollars for an organ even after parishioners had pledged to pay for the building. So I KNOW that flash is not necessary.   There is a shortage of people who play the church organ, and there are few people who want to learn. There are vacancies all over this town, and there are classified ads for organists in the paper virtually every week. Yet the positions remain unfilled, or either someone from the church with = a little piano training sits on the organ bench and plays the piano on the organ. The major churches have organists, but many of the smaller churches, say in the range of up to 500 members, do not. If present = trends continue, and still fewer and fewer people begin playing the organ, it won't be long until even the major churches will not have organists. They will then be like the smaller churches and either use pianos, piano = players playing the organ, recorded music, or said services.   Look at the responses my posts have generated. I said from the outset = that I was merely expressing my opinions. Yet I stepped on some toes here. I criticized the "vocal organ world." I dared question, in veiled and not-so-veiled terms, the value of "Tu Es Petra," Dianne Bish, Jean Langlais, flash music, trumpet fanfares, 32' roaring reeds, Liberace-style showmanship at the console. I dared question a style of playing that, in basest terms, reduces the organ to circus act entertainment, which is = what, by and large, the "vocal organ world" has become. No wonder churches are losing interest, and no wonder few people are wanting to join the "performing troupe." "Church organists" who use the chancel as a stage, and those who, if they happen to play at a church of over 1000 members, have an ego the size of the Titanic. I got several mean responses, and = I'm sure there are several more coming, and I'm sure there are several who would like to write one but who won't--in other words, the exact same response that churches get unless they put the organist on an elevated pedastal, recognize his/her obvious superiority and never question his/her obvious "musical" genius. The same stick the nose up in the air, turn on the heels, and, "Well, you obviously are all just a bunch of idiots" response that has turned many churches completely off to not only the stage-seeking organists but to the organ itself. The "vocal organ world" is digging the grave of the organ, or else will reduce it to a side-show = at the county fair.   I would say that the style of playing many organists exhibit belongs more in a Las Vegas showroom than in a church, but they can't even make it in Vegas! I read a review one time of a performance by the organist at the Theatre Organ set up in one of the casino restaurants in Vegas. The reviewer said that there was so much talking from the patrons that the organist had to use full organ all the time, and still could hardly be heard above the crowd. I hear church organists complain frequently about talking during the prelude. Well, what does it take to knock the sense into some organists? If people talk over the flash playing, shouldn't = that at least make someone think that maybe, just maybe, the public is not interested? I mean, here you have an organist doing his best to flash and razzle-dazzle, yet is treated by the patrons as an obnoxious irritant to their conversations. But for some reason, the vocal organ world has convinced itself that flash and razzle-dazzle is what the public wants to hear, and no matter how much the public ignores them, they still think that. If I were playing the organ and people were carrying on conversations over my playing, I would assume they didn't care about hearing my playing. Face it--the organ as a circus act sideshow is always going to be ignored by the general public.   I posted these things without a signature for two reasons. First, I don't give out my name on the internet, to organ people or to anyone. Second, I want my thoughts to be judged on their own merits, not on from whom they come. You see, no one knows--I could be the organist at a major Episcopal parish somewhere in a large city or I could be the organist in a smaller town. I could make my living teaching organ at a local college, or I = could make my living as a CPA, or maybe I am also a Priest, who knows? One of the things I have criticized about the vocal organ world is that they tend to have sort of a "hero worship." If someone would agrees just because = the writer is organist at a major parish, in today's world that's really not necessarily agreement with ideas. I'm promoting ideas, not a personality.    
(back) Subject: THE articles........ From: <CdyVanpool@aol.com> Date: Thu, 19 Oct 2000 00:59:15 EDT     I have enjoyed reading these articles. I liked most of = #1(except the tremulant thing), totally disagreed with #2 and thought #3 was very = good, FOR THE BEGINNING ORGANIST. These articles are not for some of us 30-50 year veterans. I am = not saying we can't get some different slants on areas of service playing, but =   most of these things I have done in service playing for all of my career. These are very basic element of service playing. I try to remember that there are people on these lists that are searching for answers. They may have had an excellent background in piano = or other areas of music and been "forced" to learn the organ for their = church. As we all know, musically uneducated people think if you can play the piano.....you can play the organ too...BLAH, BLAH, BLAH.............. Maybe these people have not had the opportunity to attend some = good basic workshops.Things we take for granted and are second nature to us, = when that light is turned on for them, it's like a BIG flash !!!!!! I don't know, maybe this person is writing a book and trying out = the chapters on us.....<G> (but I do wish the author would sign their real name.....)   Van Vanpool, organist FUMC Bowie, Texas