PipeChat Digest #2413 - Wednesday, October 3, 2001
 
"Local" composers (more music than organ related)
  by "MusicMan" <musicman@cottagemusic.co.uk>
RE: Standards, Unions, and The Guild
  by "COLASACCO, ROBERT" <RCOLASACCO@popcouncil.org>
RE: Grace Cathedral - San Francisco
  by "COLASACCO, ROBERT" <RCOLASACCO@popcouncil.org>
AGO certificates
  by "Jonathan B. Hall" <jonahall@indiana.edu>
Did anyone hear the Fisk
  by "Wayne Grauel" <wgvideo@attglobal.net>
RE: Grace Cathedral - San Francisco
  by "Randy Terry" <randyterryus@yahoo.com>
RE: Grace Cathedral - San Francisco
  by "COLASACCO, ROBERT" <RCOLASACCO@popcouncil.org>
THE "NON-PROFIT" ISSUE
  by "Randy Terry" <randyterryus@yahoo.com>
 

(back) Subject: "Local" composers (more music than organ related) From: "MusicMan" <musicman@cottagemusic.co.uk> Date: Wed, 3 Oct 2001 09:16:47 +0100   Dear 'All',   My local newspaper [Birmingham Post] contains a (glowing) review of a recent concert - CBSO @ Symphony Hall - Raphael Wallfisch (cello), Paul Daniel (conductor) - performing Gerald Finzi's Concerto as part of the centenary (birthday !) celebrations for this composer. ...."a devoted soloist" ... "a big work, calling upon a big orchestra and = a big contribution from its soloist"...   It also mentions the birthday (65 today) of American composer Steve = Michael Reich. Can anyone provide me with a little information about this gentleman ? and did he 'visit' the organ-loft with any of his compositions ? I know about my 'local', tell me about yours.   Ta,   Harry Grove    
(back) Subject: RE: Standards, Unions, and The Guild From: "COLASACCO, ROBERT" <RCOLASACCO@popcouncil.org> Date: Wed, 3 Oct 2001 08:29:13 -0400   BRAVISSIMO!!! Magnigicente!!!   -----Original Message----- From: TubaMagna@aol.com [mailto:TubaMagna@aol.com] Sent: Wednesday, October 03, 2001 12:09 AM To: pipechat@pipechat.org Subject: Standards, Unions, and The Guild     Dear Pipechatters:   My experience with organ chat lists reveals unequivocally that the = majority of organists are never really willing to face brutal, hard truths when it comes to the catastrophic destruction of the profession, which is real, ongoing, progressive, and despite our good cheer, seemingly unstoppable because we have done nothing to change it. Any attempt at substantive discussions, getting to the ROOT of it all, is met with rage, denial, and = an   immediate change of subject. Always.   So from a city of funerals and brutal truths, at my computer a mile north = of   a mass grave that still burns after three weeks, I shall post a handful of =   thoughts regarding the AGO, the unity of organ-players, and how standards are applied.   Nota bene: Standards are meaningless if they are not demanded of us.   Our abilities, qualifications, and well-honed taste mean nothing to an ignorant lemmingswarm of clergy. Yes, some of us DO get to participate in =   congregations with extraordinarily sophisticated and well-financed music programs, but that is rare. And even then, the institutions are fraught with tense and wearisome politics. It takes only one bitter, unhappy person = with   an agenda to start the ball rolling.   We are fundamentally a nation of adamant anti-intellectuals, expressing great disdain for anything that aspires to class, sophistication, or erudition. =   That sentiment rears its head very, very frequently on organ chat lists, = and   is not limited to the popular media. We want to be recognized as Masters = of   the King of Instruments, yet laud the electronic substitute, and deride = and insult builders who aspire to quality as "boutique" builders who are "elitists." Many organists taken an elitist attitude in ALL that they do and say, but that stops when it comes to investing in a decent organ.   When we find thousands of people willing to play at the organ "for the goodness and glory of it," and do it for free or next to nothing, because = it   is part of their "calling," we have NO recourse. We're doomed. Likewise, = I ha ve no response to the people I meet at Guild meetings who tell me that = Jesus   taught them how to build organs. Those people most often will get the = jobs,   the rest of us will not, no matter how good we are.   WHAT ARE WE DOING OR NOT DOING THAT HAS MADE US SO UNAPPRECIATED, and now more than ever, NOT EVEN WANTED??? Since the "outside world" doesn't even =   really acknowledge the existence of organists, why are so many young = people being driven AWAY from WITHIN? And what is it about our behaviours, attitudes, or interpersonal dymanics that makes the clergy's housing allowance twice the amount of our salaries? What makes clergy, of ALL faiths, now decide that banjos and tambourines are more spiritual than the =   organ? And that an organist does not really work? And isn't worth a = living   wage?   What are the ritual circumstances and particular events leading up to the parish meeting at which they decide that the second Sunday of each month = is "Explosion of Joy Jamboree Sunday," and one needn't prepare Parry's Great Evening Service in D? We PERCEIVE these to be arbitrary decisions because =   they have "starting dates," but have we been paying attention to the = months of hints leading up to them??????   Before there is a union for organists, there must be UNITY. The ongoing campaigns by certain organists to discredit their colleagues must stop. Likewise with builders, and the crossover between the groups. Organists must know their limitations, and accept them, especially when they are = glaringly evident. I know that I cannot sing, so I don't. I listen, and enjoy.   We will never, ever, EVER overcome the spectre of the "volunteer" = organist.   THEY COST NOTHING, and therefore nothing is EXPECTED of them, and THAT becomes the standard.   On the issue of job action, Guild members continue to be enraged that when =   these matters are taken up by The High Commission on Organist Firings, our =   fearless leaders in the Guild tell us that it is not our RIGHT to know = what is going on, and that even if we KNEW the real story (and we should know BOTH SIDES OF THE STORY, from both parties), we would be incapable of forming appropriate opinions or making intelligent sense of it. We are simply = told NOT to apply for the job, even when it may mean the difference between eviction or a roof over our heads. THAT form of "unionization" is so self-destructive that one only has to look at it for a sober moment to realize how much damage it does, leaving the door open for the amateur, non-Guild, left-footed pianist to take the post PERMANENTLY.   And don't even TRY to discuss these matters openly with your colleagues -- =   you may, like others, get a threating telephone call which implies that = your   career is in jeopardy if you continue your quest for the Truth.   Bad news is only truly bad if one learns nothing from it. If one changes nothing, nothing changes. Doing the same things over and over and over, = and   each time expecting a different outcome, is the most exhausting way to squander a precious life. Who on this list remembers the great organists' =   strike of 1983? None of us. Because there was none.   Folks, BELIEVE ME, I don't have the answer. And I'm certainly too = neurotic and beleaguered to come up with a coherent one in the coming days or = weeks.   But it may be that THIS is what chat lists are for. These are fora for an =   exchange of thoughts, and it may be that this is the time to really take a =   look at our lives, our careers, and how to safeguard the things we = treasure the most, our beloved instrument, and the opportunity to share it with others.   Sebastian Matthaus Gluck New York City   "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: Grace Cathedral - San Francisco From: "COLASACCO, ROBERT" <RCOLASACCO@popcouncil.org> Date: Wed, 3 Oct 2001 08:52:28 -0400   Can you tell us more? Who installed it? Has there been other work on the organ or is that the only work? Was it planned for or decided later that = it would be useful? You know, other things. Robert Colasacco     The wonderful G Donald Harrison Aeolian-Skinner Organ in Grace Cathedral = has   a new addition. It is an unenclosed Tuba Magna  
(back) Subject: AGO certificates From: "Jonathan B. Hall" <jonahall@indiana.edu> Date: Wed, 3 Oct 2001 11:40:22 -0500 (EST)     Hi!   warning: college lecture ahead! :)   These are my thoughts on professional certification in the AGO. Sebastian has made some very trenchant comments on our professional unity, and how to raise our prestige as a profession. Here is my take on the situation. Forgive the length of these comments. I am only focusing on credentials; let me say at the start that interpersonal skills are also vital, but the subject of a different posting.     My esteemed colleague Bud pointed out that, originally, you only could join the Guild via the professional exams. This is true; but I'd just point out that from the beginning one joined either as a Fellow OR an Associate; these are absolutely original to the first day of the AGO. The AAGO was not a later "compromise" but part of the original bi-level plan.     Gradually, the certification requirement was dropped for admission; the Guild became less of a learned society and more of a professional association dedicated to outreach, education, and community. Still, till 1979, one had to be certificated to hold office. (This was a controversial change, and I'd support repealing it.)     In 1979, also, or right thereabouts, the new certificate of Colleague was introduced as a stepping-stone for those who felt intimidated by the AAGO. = At some point--I forget exactly when--the Choirmaster certificate entered the mix as an approximate parallel to the AAGO in terms of skill.     These certificates are not technically "degrees" because of US law; the Canadian and British counterparts, which recognize the AGO's, *are* called degrees. However, the AGO "certificates" do, some of them, confer academic privileges, specifically attributable initials" and academic dress. In other words, alphabet soup and groovy gowns.     I earned the right to doctoral robes in 1999 on becoming a FAGO; I wore them proudly last night at a huge interfaith service in Queens for the victims of the WTC tragedy. I feel I was able to witness the presence of the American Guild of Organists on that stage, and the seriousness and significance of our profession to 1200 people in the theatre and watching on television. Naturally, I was not center stage, nor did I need to be; but the people watching saw an organist in doctoral gown and hood giving his talents to assist in their healing. I think that's a good thing.     This November I shall be made a Doctor of Music; in a delicious footnote, the AGO then traditionally grants the right to a gown of black silk, rather than "plain black stuff." (Great--now I need a new matching purse and shoes!) :)     There is now also a Service Playing Certificate, which is heartily to be recommended to all members of the Guild regardless of their skill level or amibitions. This is an entry-level exam, and does NOT confer alphabet soup or groovy gowns, I'm afraid. Those privileges are reserved for the higher levels. I *am* a tiny bit annoyed when I see someone with the Service Playing Certificate sign him or herself (even in TAO, which should know better) as "Johnny Jones, SPC." There is no such designation..."SPC" is NOT considered attributable initials. This is just an objective fact, said without arrogance (I hope) or invidious pride.     These facts and protocols may strike some readers as arcane, pompous, ridiculous, archaic, absurd, incestuous or cabbalistic. I regret that; because the academic certification process is at the heart of the AGO. You should all know it like the back of your hand.   We have grown much, much stronger since 1896 because of our aggressive and consistent re-invention as a learned, professional community. Let's not blow it now.   Further, I submit that those who publicly hold these certificates in contempt are whistling in the dark, and should buckle down and earn them. I got my present wonderful jobs in large part because of my FAGO. Every single interviewer dwelt on it at length with open admiration.     Your MD degree is followed by membership in a professional group; you become a Fellow of the American Board of Family Practice, or whatever exactly it's called.   Your JD degree is followed by admission to the Bar.   Your MDiv or STM degree is followed by Ordination.   Degrees along don't cut it; you must also formally *join* your professional community. So the DM (or MM or BM or what have you) should be followed by the CAGO, AAGO, FAGO, ChM...     Certificates are also there to hold you to your own abilities; I have "off" days on the bench like everyone else, but the skills I was forced to polish to a high gloss for the Exams continue to stand me in good stead, and my self-respect is no longer the easy target of ambitious mediocrities.   (Didn't even need to trot out a wife and children to get hired! If you think Guild certs are a lame credential, what about heterosexuality? Heterosexuality is a *damn* lame credential, yet is so often trumpeted, ballyhooed, insinuated and indeed falsified. I am above such tragi-comic dishonesty, because I worked hard on reading C clef. Words to the wise.)   I know competition winners who sneer at Certification who might really benefit from doing something besides imitating Their Favourite Virtuoso or worshiping at the shrine of a deceased teacher they never met. Odd, that plagiarism is often the key to success as a performer, but is death to the scholar. The certificates force one to be both, as an individual, under the anonymous scrutiny of peers.   Obviously, from these remarks, I need not emphasize my support for academic training per se! Also, obviously, we are a people profession and our human and pastoral skills are essential. That, however, is the matter of another email.   Got alphabet soup?   Jonathan Hall, etc. etc. NYC      
(back) Subject: Did anyone hear the Fisk From: "Wayne Grauel" <wgvideo@attglobal.net> Date: Wed, 03 Oct 2001 13:01:13 -0400   I was curious if any list members made it to Obelin to hear the Fisk at Finney Chapel? Wayne    
(back) Subject: RE: Grace Cathedral - San Francisco From: "Randy Terry" <randyterryus@yahoo.com> Date: Wed, 3 Oct 2001 10:09:50 -0700 (PDT)     --- "COLASACCO, ROBERT" <RCOLASACCO@popcouncil.org> wrote: > Can you tell us more? Who installed it? Has there been other work on the > organ or is that the only work? Was it planned for or decided later that = it > would be useful? You know, other things. > Robert Colasacco > I was at the Cathedral the other day while Schoenstien was doing a = touch-up tuning of the new stop. It is, as expected, extremely powerful, especially compared to the = tame GDH Tuba Mirabilis in the solo. I assume that Schoenstien installed the reed, which would = have likely been built to their specifications by Bob Shopp or Trivo, but I can't confirm this. I do = know another organ maintenance concern had removed and cleaned the great reed chous of 16/8/4 = Trumpets to make room for the installation of the new Tuba and were in the process of = reinstalling them when I was there and I even got to *touch* a few of the 16's as they were hoisted up the 20 = or so feet from the ambulatory floor to the chamber in, appropriately, a green plastic garbage = can with a rope tied to it!   While this was going on the Schoenstien fellows were attempting to program = the new Tuba Magna, which plays in the Choir, Great, Bombarde, and probably, but I didn't = look, Pedal sections, into the combination action. I don't think it couples, but I am not sure.   Before John Fenstermaker retired some time ago, the new reed was to be a = "Chamade" style reed installed in the crossing area seperate from the main organ, if what = current Canon Organist Christopher Putnam told me is being relayed correctly by this writer. = Chris was not there during my last visit, I had been invited by one of his students who was assisting = with the work.   The organ of course, sounds fabulous as always. My understanding is that = their has been a slight redirection of the ongoing restoration project at Grace. Only natural, I = guess, as each incumbant would naturally have their own artistic preferences. I remember being = apalled when my first college ripped out the 1930 70 rank EMS organ and installed a Holtkamp, = but looking back, my teacher had been a fullbright scholar with Walcha and for her generation = she was doing what was broadly considered "correct." So Please don't take the following comments = as anything other than what I assume is an evolving process regarding the Grace Cathedral organ.   It has already been documented that Ed Stout has previously undone as many = non GDH changes to the original Grace organ as were possible. Some original stops were lost or = discarded over the years. The original swell 16' Posaune ended up at St. Ignatious, I believe, where = Swain & Kates used the full length resonators of the bottom octave to create a 1/2L 32', I am not = sure how the remainder was used but it is documented I believe on the Osiris page under St. = Ignatious or Grace, I don't remember which.   At least one Diapason stop went to the 1st Presbyterian Church in Oakland = and was returned to Grace when Rosales installed the new organ there. Some stops may have been = stored in the Cathedral. The new console knobs are labled to make it clear that the = intentions are to reinstall the originals or make period copies. The current great Gamba 16's stopknob = says "Double Diapason," and the "Second Diapason" was playing a Quintadena 8' the last time I got = to actually play the organ.   There has been a major stained glass resroration project, and aparrently = the work on the Sanctuary windows caused considerable havoc on the Casavant Bombarde division, thus = it is currently disconnected and I think the most tactful thing to say regarding the = status of the Bombarde is to say "stay tuned for further information." I have heard some rather = exciting plans, but it should be stated that I don't think any definitive decision has been made other = than to put the restoration of the Bombarde on hold pending more research. It is clear = that the Bombarde added a sheer layer of sound (not tonal quality) that is missing now, but I would = not be surprised in the long run if an approach more akin to something GDH would have done is taken.   While I am not a professional, as you all know, I think that at this point = some very thoughtful soul seraching is being done regarding the Cathedral organ, I don't think = it will ever be returned exactly they way GDH left it after his last changes. The new Tuba is a = case in point, however, it is a stop that is more in sync with English period style - it seems = totally at home to me, and the fact that it is located in the main chamber does not deminish its umph at = all. I think it is safe to say that only the most diehard purists would fail to admire its only = slightly more "English" accent than say, a real EMS Tuba Miribilis from his later period.       =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D Randy Terry Minister of Music, Organist & Choirmaster The Episcopal Church of St. Peter Redwood City, California www.stpetersrwc.org   __________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Listen to your Yahoo! Mail messages from any phone. http://phone.yahoo.com  
(back) Subject: RE: Grace Cathedral - San Francisco From: "COLASACCO, ROBERT" <RCOLASACCO@popcouncil.org> Date: Wed, 3 Oct 2001 13:21:11 -0400   Well I asked for it and you let us have it!! Thank you very much. That is much appreciated. Robert Colasacco   - > I was at the Cathedral the other day while Schoenstien was doing a = touch-up tuning of the new stop.  
(back) Subject: THE "NON-PROFIT" ISSUE From: "Randy Terry" <randyterryus@yahoo.com> Date: Wed, 3 Oct 2001 11:56:28 -0700 (PDT)   I only read Bud's latest "to AGO or not to AGO." Bud, I suggest you join, = if you have not already done so, the Association of Anglican Musicians. The higher professional = emphasis and "invitation only" attitude seem to be more in keeping with what you describe. (Skip to = last paragraph to read about *topic!*)   My attitude is that there is NOTHING wrong with the AGO as it is set up. = For centuries membership in "guilds" has not been based on education but training and experience. = What is wrong with the AGO is the additudes of certain of its membership and detractors alike. As = to what level of training one should exhibit to bridge the gap I won't even think about = going there.   Look at it this way: If the requirement for membership in the AGO was that = we all hold the FAGO diploma then the organization would not exist in anything near the form it = does today and it certainly would not be able to afford a publication as nice as TAO. = Additionally, those who have most to gain from membership in the AGO are certainly the part-timers, = regardless of education. I have been concerned for years that no matter how much effort the chapters = I am involved with try to make their programs accessible to the "basic" church musician, these = very people we keep trying to attract don't get reached. I can only conclude that they are happy = where they are and don't care. I don't even think a blanket "snob" excuse applies as not all AGO'er = are snobs and even if you think that, until you find that to be true for yourself you should not = accept it as fact!   Personally, I fall in-between I certainly could not pass the FAGO or AAGO = without much study especially for some of the paperwork parts. Too much trouble, on the other = hand I'm not sure you gain anything by holding a service playing note, and the CAGO is a = stepping stone to the main diplomas mentioned above. For me, why bother doing the service playing = test, I already get jobs quite above that level, and I am too lazy as well as too busy to take the = time to attempt the others.   I guess I do agree with you regarding who the AGO is serving. In my = experience it is not reaching those it attempts to serve, and in my chapter we take that approach in our = planning and those of us who attend meetings are bored. The annual Bar-B-Que in September will = have 50 people in attendance. It is FUN, and the host has a 50 rank classical all pipe = organ. People enjoy playing members recitals at Stanford or at the Littlefield residence, but monthly = meetings are poorly attended and the only public events which have a significant audience are = those at Stanford and it is the allure of the beautiful chapel and campus, plus a constant supply = of tourists that give that a shot in the arm.   To actually address the topic. After the bombing, my company laid off = several employees, including me. I have worked in California for almost 3 years. When I called about = unemployment, my name didn't show up, upon questioning, I was asked "have you worked for = non-profits?" It just so happens that at least here if you work for a non-profit they are not = required to pay into the unemployment system and it is not always made clear to employees. I began = working in a "for-profit" at such a point that I would be eligable for the full = unemployment amount in Novemebr, leaving me without a full time income for over a month. I was = hired yesterday for a new job (secular) actually making more money than my last secular job, which = makes this less of an issue for me. But I will NEVER again consider working full-time for a non = profit organization in California, and I think this is something that really should be addressed = across the board regardless of whether you work for the church or some other non profit = agency. It seems cruel for someone to spend a career working to help others and then be left out in = the cold when they themselves need help!   =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D Randy Terry Minister of Music, Organist & Choirmaster The Episcopal Church of St. Peter Redwood City, California www.stpetersrwc.org   __________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? NEW from Yahoo! GeoCities - quick and easy web site hosting, just = $8.95/month. http://geocities.yahoo.com/ps/info1