PipeChat Digest #4186 - Wednesday, December 31, 2003
 
RE: Episcopal Churches
  by "Barry H Bodie" <bbodie@InfoAve.Net>
Re: Young church musicians (long response from Tina)
  by "chemphill" <chemphill@wi.rr.com>
Re: Young church musicians (was RCs and Anglicans)
  by <Gfc234@aol.com>
Re: bulletins in RC churches...
  by "Mike Franch" <mike6514@hotmail.com>
Re: PipeChat Digest #4184 - 12/31/03
  by <hydrant@baskerbeagles.com>
Re: Young church musicians (long response from Tina)
  by "Alan Freed" <acfreed0904@earthlink.net>
negative attitudes...
  by "Greg Homza" <homza@indiana.edu>
Re: Bulletins
  by "Shirley" <pnst.shirley@verizon.net>
Re: negative attitudes...
  by "chemphill" <chemphill@wi.rr.com>
Young Musicians within the Church.
  by "Bob Conway" <conwayb@sympatico.ca>
Re: Young Musicians within the Church.
  by "Paul Valtos" <chercapa@enter.net>
 

(back) Subject: RE: Episcopal Churches From: "Barry H Bodie" <bbodie@InfoAve.Net> Date: Wed, 31 Dec 2003 13:02:08 -0500   I was there last week. Robert McCormick and Robert McDermott are doing a bang up job with the music. Despite numerous financial problems at the church, the organ holds great respect and is in excellent condition. The music program is going strong. I don't think it is up the caliber of St. Thomas Church, but the organists and organ are certainly better quality. = For fans of high-church Anglicanism, it's a show not to be missed! Solemn Pontifical Mass is really quite a spectacle unlike anything else I have = seen in the USA. As far as what happened with Kyler Brown, the previous organist, I really don't know. I suspect the current rector and he did not see eye to eye. Kyler is currently organist at Church of St. John the Baptist R.C. The instrument there is some type of electronic and pipe hybrid which I have = not heard. Barry H. Bodie, MD, FACS Western Carolina Urological Associates Brevard, NC bbodie@wcua.com 828-883-5858 Office 828-884-3339 Fax _____   From: pipechat@pipechat.org [mailto:pipechat@pipechat.org] On Behalf Of = Mari Sent: Wednesday, December 31, 2003 8:41 AM To: 'PipeChat' Subject: RE: Episcopal Churches what's up with smokey mary's then? Mari -----Original Message----- From: pipechat@pipechat.org [mailto:pipechat@pipechat.org]On Behalf Of RMB10@aol.com Sent: Wednesday, December 31, 2003 7:52 AM To: pipechat@pipechat.org Subject: Re: Episcopal Churches Bud wrote: >Major parish churches: > >St. Mary the Virgin NYC - I presume everybody knows about THAT >St. Luke's, Evanston IL - organist "retired" allegedly at bishop's = request >St. Bart's, NYC - no longer full-time? or so I've heard As far as I know, St. Bart's is still full time. Bill Trafka will be = taking a sabbatical this year, but they have just hired one of my friends, = Preston Smith, who was at a large Episcopal church in Tampa, FL, and was also formerly at St. Philip's, Charleston, SC, to be the Assistant Music = Director (full time) there in addition to Ken Cowan who is part-time who does most = of the organ playing there, so I would think the music department at St. = Bart's it still quite healthy. Monty Bennett Friendship Baptist Church Charlotte, NC    
(back) Subject: Re: Young church musicians (long response from Tina) From: "chemphill" <chemphill@wi.rr.com> Date: Wed, 31 Dec 2003 12:38:45 -0600   I apologize in advance for this is a long response.. Tina Dear Bob, I admire your dedication and am thankful to God for your encouragement to the young to serve in the ministry of music.   Perhaps part of the problem that Bud addresses stems from the changes in churches in the past 30 years of so, especially the Catholic Church in the USA. If I read correctly, Bud, you come from several years experience in the RC? As do I. If this is true, then allow me to use my own experience = to attempt an explanation of burn-out in the RC or any church for that = matter.   If I could afford to pay my bills without relying on my church income, = than I would play for free. When I was a paramedic in Texas and worked night shift, I did in fact do just that at St. John the Apostle in Fort Worth. I prefer to play for free. Music is my deepest prayer and it is not always easy to get paid to pray.   If I finish my degree in music, will it provide me with an income greater than I am already making now at the church. No. The only way to make more than I am making now is to work in another field. That will require a different degree in a field I may not be good at nor employable in. So why finish my degree in music? What are the incentives?   The RC of my youth relied on us piano students at the grade school to play the organ. I was chosen at the end of third grade to join this group. We played for free for every weekday mass and for the Sunday Mass we were assigned to on a rotating basis. For the most part, we were the best of Sister's students, but far from being competent to play for Sunday Mass.   Even now, in a lot of parishes, RC churches still rely on the goodness of members to provide the music at Sunday Mass. When I started at St. Joan, = my present church, there were rotating organists being paid a small stipend/Mass. Most of them were as incompetent to play as I was back in third grade.   Even at that I started part time. Few churches, from any denomination, = have the resources to pay for full-time musicians. What I see happening is that in order to get a full-time position you have to be able to do all of the following: Play for all services; traditional and contemporary, be tech savvy, direct handbell choirs, youth and children choirs, direct one or = two adult choirs, make worship aids, prepare for extra special services two or three times a year, be available for all funerals and weddings and only = take a couple of weekends off a year. You are also expected to be in the office 30-40 hours a week because the office staff, including the pastor, who has not a spouse or child, doesn't understand your complaint that you would like compensation during the week for the weekends and holidays you work. And if you spend your office time practicing on the organ, shouldn't that = be done on your own time?   I have been told more than once, that I have no right to complain about working every weekend and every Christmas and Easter as it is just part of the job that I chose to do. (Even the priest have limits on how many services they can do in a weekend.) I only ask that I should not be considered a "bad" employee because of through my dedication to my craft = and Faith I am there every Sunday, every Christmas, every Easter and desire = only to be allowed some leeway about being in the office the same number of = hours they are.   I asked a priest friend of mine when did the job of church musician start getting judged on time in the office. He responded, "When did it stop getting judged on the talent sitting on = the bench?"   Good question. I dedicate my life to Christ and to playing in church just = as you and Bud have. But even the church organist/music director, needs a = break now and then. And if we are to encourage younger people to follow this = path of music ministry, then we have to continue to work within the system to make it a more desirable field to enter. There are fewer and fewer jobs or career paths in the real world that don't require working on weekends as well as weekdays. This is unlike the old days when the best organist was = an engineer during the week at RCA and gave of his time to the church on the weekends. No longer do we have the market on part-time weekend work. We = have to be competitive.   The churches ultimately get what they pay for, with the few exceptions = where they are blessed by you, Bob. We all have much to pray for and to work on = if we truly want our children's children's children to know the joy of air vibrating through pipe and making music. Without this effort on our part, = we are only accepting that we are a dying art form. And churches, being = human, without our insistence, will never grow in the areas of social justice on their own front porch. Or should I say bench.   Tina Hemphill Wisconsin   ----- Original Message ----- From: "bobelms" <bobelms@westnet.com.au> To: <quilisma@cox.net>; <pipechat@pipechat.org> Sent: Wednesday, December 31, 2003 7:48 AM Subject: Re: Young church musicians (was RCs and Anglicans)     > Bud I find your post very depressing. If your posts are correct in > detail there has to be something seriously wrong on the church scene > in the USA. There must be something seriously wrong for you to adopt > that attitude of bitterness. > > I have been a church organist for 70 years and I still get a real > thrill out of accompanying the service. It is exciting! In only one > position was I ever paid for my efforts and then it was $2.00 a week > when $2.00 was probably worth about $20 today. It covered my > travelling to the church about 6 miles from my home at that time. > West Australian churches by and large have organists who play for the > love of it; their churches cannot afford a salary. Some may get an > honorarium, some are employed part time and teach in a church school > to make up their salary. I don't know one that does not love the job. > Many regard it as a vocation. It is a ministry, and that is how I > regard it myself. > > As for NOT encouraging the young to take up church playing, your > remarks are very disappointing. That would be a recipe for disaster > as far as the organ as an instrument is concerned. Most orgaists play > in churches. Several of the church organists in my city were trained > by me, including my own son who plays in another church. The young > should be encouraged to play in church. The continued existence of > the pipe organ could well depend on this. > > For 50 of those church years I have also trained a choir; I find that > most satisfying and the appreciation of the choir and the > congregation make it worth while. I am not paid for this either. > > I was a teacher for 47 years in the state school system, where I was > encouraged to train a school choir, which I did. Many of the school > children including some who had no church affiliation came into my > church choir, and hence into the church youth group. Maybe some > stayed in the church. > > In all my 70 years at the organ I have had nothing but encouragement > from my ministers. However our Church government is a whole deal > different from what you describe. Our ministers do not hold the power > to hire or fire; they can not get rid of an organist. The church > council is the appointing body and the minister has little say. I > believe that is as it should be. > > I am getting on in years now, but I hope to give another 10 years to > my church as an organist, and maybe as choirmaster. At age 90 I may > think of retiring! Don't let my age fool you into thinking that maybe > I am kept on in sympathy for the old feller!!. I have entered the > music eisteddford playing organ for the past 7 or 8 years and my > scores have varied from mid 70%s to 90% with excellent critiques > from the adjudicators. My marbles are all still there in very good > condition! > Bob Elms. > >    
(back) Subject: Re: Young church musicians (was RCs and Anglicans) From: <Gfc234@aol.com> Date: Wed, 31 Dec 2003 15:12:11 EST   In a message dated 12/31/2003 7:49:42 AM Central Standard Time, bobelms@westnet.com.au writes: As for NOT encouraging the young to take up church playing, your remarks are very disappointing. That would be a recipe for disaster as far as the organ as an instrument is concerned. I agree with Bud. The job market has been PATHETIC lately. There have = been no more than two positions made available annualy that pay enough to make = a living. Bob, while you may enjoy working for two dollars per week at = church, you mentioned that you were a teacher for 47 years, collecting salary, = benefits etc...So actually, through your actions, you are telling your church that =   musicians do not deserve to get paid for their time and expertise. I am = going to have a master's degree in organ in June, and quite frankly, am = concerned about my future. Most of the available jobs are at churches where there = is NO understanding about musicianship, time requirements, and NO RESPECT for = AGO GUIDELINES OR PRACTICES-maybe if we all wrote comments on the AGO Salary = Survey, something would get accomplished, for once. Most advertised jobs have = been paying like 10 grand a year-and NO benefits- poverty level wages...What do = you propose that people who have spent lots of money, several years in school studying, practicing, learning the trade etc.. do for a living? Work at = McDonalds or some other low skill level job? Move back in with their parents? Not = have a car? Maybe the situation in other parts of the country is better, but = in Chicago, it just plain stinks!   Hoping that the New Year brings much needed change. gfc         Gregory Ceurvorst M.M. Organ Performance Student Northwestern University Director of Music and Organist St. Peter's U.C.C. Frankfort, IL 847.332.2788 home 708.243.2549 mobile gfc234@aol.com    
(back) Subject: Re: bulletins in RC churches... From: "Mike Franch" <mike6514@hotmail.com> Date: Wed, 31 Dec 2003 14:43:40 -0600   Yikes, flames, flames! Guys, I'm not feeling the love here during this otherwise festive holiday season. Of course, shame on the person who = shames the listings of servise music, but Happy Holidays anyway (see the love in this sentence?). It's simply factual informaiton. Now, if you put down how =   hard you worked at this piece, and placed a numerical difficultiy scale of =   it (1 being easy and 10 being difficult), now that would be "tooting your own horn".   I guess what the detractor was saying is that hard work should NOT be rewarded. So don't bother working hard. Someone who's jealous of your = talent will simply try to knock you down.   Love, (see there's that word again!)   Mike Franch Madison, WI     >From: "STRAIGHT " <STRAIGHT@infoblvd.net> >Reply-To: "PipeChat" <pipechat@pipechat.org> >To: "PipeChat" <pipechat@pipechat.org> >Subject: Re: bulletins in RC churches... >Date: Tue, 30 Dec 2003 17:37:45 -0500 > ><<<<<<<Perhaps the reason service music is generally printed in = Protestant >bulletins is because the organists/music directors want to see their >great accomplishments in print?>>>> > > That was uncalled for, and obviously you don't even know what you're >talking about. > If that's what you're learning at Indiana University, you're getting = a >very poor education. > >Diane S. >Presbyterian/Baptist > >--- >[This E-mail scanned for viruses by Information Boulevard's Virus = Scanning] > >"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 > >   _________________________________________________________________ Check your PC for viruses with the FREE McAfee online computer scan. http://clinic.mcafee.com/clinic/ibuy/campaign.asp?cid=3D3963    
(back) Subject: Re: PipeChat Digest #4184 - 12/31/03 From: <hydrant@baskerbeagles.com> Date: Wed, 31 Dec 2003 15:45:34 -0500   >Subject: Bulletins >From: "First Christian Church of Casey, IL" <kzrev@rr1.net>   >With REAL names like Oliphant Chuckerbutty, who has to make up names!>   Oh! But it's even worse now that we have contemporary pop music to list. Oliphant Chuckerbutty lost almost normal next to Shaniah Twain and Bobo "Whatzisname?" Sheesh!   It especially get me when I see some of the people whose music we're using on TV with green hair and little "rods" sticking out of holes in their body! Scritchies and Haruffaroo-bahawow...   Bruce and the Baskerbeagles http://baskerbeagles.com a great way to shop http://www.smartmall.biz?717886 HELP FEED ANIMALS FOR FREE http://tinyurl.com/2j5i and = http://pets.care2.com  
(back) Subject: Re: Young church musicians (long response from Tina) From: "Alan Freed" <acfreed0904@earthlink.net> Date: Wed, 31 Dec 2003 15:46:24 -0500   On 12/31/03 1:38 PM, "chemphill" <chemphill@wi.rr.com> wrote:   > If I could afford to pay my bills without relying on my church income, = than I > would play for free. When I was a paramedic in Texas and worked night = shift, I > did in fact do just that at St. John the Apostle in Fort Worth. I prefer = to > play for free. Music is my deepest prayer and it is not always easy to = get > paid to pray.   Your attitude is marvelous. I've voiced very similar thoughts in the distant past.   But, while you're saying it out of love, I don't think you'd be doing any favors. Not to yourself, not to the parish, and not to whoever succeeds = you some day.   Go for the best salary you can get. Give back as much of it as you wish. Get a tax break. Otherwise, when you resign/retire, your successor will = be expected to work gratis, which is not fair.   (Yes, I realize that you're getting paid something now. Put in for an annual raise. Even if you win the Irish Sweepstakes, you should be paid what you're worth, and not a farthing less.)   Alan www.stlukesnyc.org        
(back) Subject: negative attitudes... From: "Greg Homza" <homza@indiana.edu> Date: Wed, 31 Dec 2003 16:21:16 -0500 (EST)   On Wed, 31 Dec 2003, Mike Franch wrote:   > I guess what the detractor was saying is that hard work should NOT be > rewarded. So don't bother working hard.   Rewarded with what? Having the music I select/execute listed in a disposable church bulletin? Yippy-skippy!! Indeed, such acknowledgement would totally validate my existence...mmm hmm...   I believe in *always* working hard and doing my best, or else what's the point? I *don't* work hard because I expect a reward, unless of course you count my salary. And speaking of which, unlike many of the folks on this list [who have complained endlessly about how much their life sucks], I have a very good 1/2-time job well within AGO salary guidelines, PLUS full benefits. And at a Catholic church...go figure! I don't say this to brag, but...if I can manage a situation like this in the cornfields of Indiana where parishes are closing due to lack of financial resources (and clergy), how is it that others have been unable to do it in more metropolitan areas?   It's a bummer that so many people have had such bad experiences with church work, but I can assure you, I know plenty of organists who are very happy with the work that they do, where they do it, and the amount they're paid to do it. I'm one of them, and certainly have no reason to expect that that situation will be any different throughout the course of my career.   Maybe I've just been lucky? If so, here's hoping it doesn't change...   Feelin' the love, -greg          
(back) Subject: Re: Bulletins From: "Shirley" <pnst.shirley@verizon.net> Date: Wed, 31 Dec 2003 16:25:47 -0500   I'm chair of the Worship & Music Committee at my home church. One of the = line items in our budget is "Worship Aids" It's supposed to pay for props and = hand- outs for the children's sermons, and is almost always spelled wrong. I = keep telling them, "Hey, *I'LL* be a worship aide if you're paying!"   --Shirley   On 30 Dec 2003 at 23:13, First Christian Church of Casey, IL wrote:   > center "isle," and mentioned those who played an active "roll" in the > church. >        
(back) Subject: Re: negative attitudes... From: "chemphill" <chemphill@wi.rr.com> Date: Wed, 31 Dec 2003 15:29:25 -0600   Dear Greg, I believe Mike was expressing disdain at egos and not criticizing the profession.   And I do like my church job. I bring up the negative side only as to = explain to someone else why this is not only a vocation but a career profession as well.   I am glad to find see someone happy at what they do. And I am encouraged = by it. I am blessed by the people of my parish, by my pastor who I would = follow anywhere, and by the staff that I grumble occasionally about. We are all close. I am nothing without the efforts of the volunteers under me.   Thank you for reminding us to keep in mind that which makes us happy.   May God bless your day. Tina in Wisconsin....Nashotah/Waukesha ----- Original Message ----- From: "Greg Homza" <homza@indiana.edu> To: <Pipechat@pipechat.org> Sent: Wednesday, December 31, 2003 3:21 PM Subject: negative attitudes...     > On Wed, 31 Dec 2003, Mike Franch wrote: > > > I guess what the detractor was saying is that hard work should NOT be > > rewarded. So don't bother working hard. > > Rewarded with what? Having the music I select/execute listed in a > disposable church bulletin? Yippy-skippy!! Indeed, such = acknowledgement > would totally validate my existence...mmm hmm... > > I believe in *always* working hard and doing my best, or else what's the > point? I *don't* work hard because I expect a reward, unless of course > you count my salary. And speaking of which, unlike many of the folks on > this list [who have complained endlessly about how much their life = sucks], > I have a very good 1/2-time job well within AGO salary guidelines, PLUS > full benefits. And at a Catholic church...go figure! I don't say this = to > brag, but...if I can manage a situation like this in the cornfields of > Indiana where parishes are closing due to lack of financial resources = (and > clergy), how is it that others have been unable to do it in more > metropolitan areas? > > It's a bummer that so many people have had such bad experiences with > church work, but I can assure you, I know plenty of organists who are = very > happy with the work that they do, where they do it, and the amount = they're > paid to do it. I'm one of them, and certainly have no reason to expect > that that situation will be any different throughout the course of my > career. > > Maybe I've just been lucky? If so, here's hoping it doesn't change... > > Feelin' the love, > -greg > > > > > "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: Young Musicians within the Church. From: "Bob Conway" <conwayb@sympatico.ca> Date: Wed, 31 Dec 2003 17:03:46 -0500   Hi List,   I can relate to Bud's experiences, and at the same time I can understand Bob Elms' view.   Some 60 years or so back, I had the idea that I might like to be a musician, for I really liked music, especially singing, but decided on my =   original hope for a career in engineering.   This was based upon the knowledge that unless one was exceptionally capable, there was really little option of having a well paying job in music, - church or otherwise. This decision has been proved to me as the right one, time and time again.   I have earned a little pocket money singing at festivals, at weddings, Masonic dinners, even as a Cantor for a Jewish synagogue, - but in each case it was for the fun of it, rather than for the fee!   For my part, I am with Bud, I have seen the treatment that musicians = within the Anglican Church have received for perhaps, at the most 100 pounds a year honorarium, - I wouldn't have lasted very long putting up with that.   I fulfilled my desire to become an engineer, and kept my love of music as = a hobby of choice. I still do not think that there is enough in a musical career unless one is either a 'pop' singer or an exceptionally gifted performer up there at the top of the profession.   However, I temper all the above by saying that it is up to every young man =   or woman to make their own decision, and that I hope that each and every one of them have a successful career in music.   Happy New Year to you all,   Bob Conway    
(back) Subject: Re: Young Musicians within the Church. From: "Paul Valtos" <chercapa@enter.net> Date: Wed, 31 Dec 2003 17:22:10 -0500   Dear Bob et al, In 1961, after some time studying organ with some great teachers, I decided that I could not continue what I felt was a financial dead end. I found out what organists were getting paid and I knew that I would be burning the midnight oil most nights to get my talent up to the point that was acceptable to a church or even myself. I loved the organ, Bach and on and on but I wanted a family and i didn;t want to have to forever scratch for my next meal. I had to do that when I was in undergrad working 32 = hours on a weekend to pay tuition and expenses. When I quit, my teacher told me that"after I make my million I would be back." In 1962 I joined the Air Force and was commissioned. While in the Air Force I received the equivalent of an Assoc in Aero Eng and then an MBA. I can assure you that even with those credentials life was not easy but depended less on the whims of a Pastor. I retired after being hit by an 18 wheeler on the turnpike and returned to music. I still don't play at a church as my sight reading abilities are not that great but I enjoy = playing for my own enjoyment. I recently (last year) went back for lessons and while sitting on the bench mentioned to the Organ Prof that the last time I took a lesson was = in April of 1961. We then had a good laugh. It is tough to get a decent church position with most positions here = in Pa. running around $14,000. a year at best. The two women who play at the church that I attend (RC) play for nothing, are spinsters and are quite = old. God forbid when they can no longer play.In addition the organ is an ADC = type without reverb and would not attract someone trained in liturgical music. = I have an Allen Theatre III which is a better organ than the one in the church. It is a real shame that things are not quite what they were prior to Vatican II or the late 50's but I have no control over that. I can = complain though to the pastor and give him music that can be sung such as Latin masses etc. Paul                                                                       ----- Original Message ----- From: "Bob Conway" <conwayb@sympatico.ca> To: "Pipechat-L" <pipechat@pipechat.org> Sent: Wednesday, December 31, 2003 5:03 PM Subject: Young Musicians within the Church.     > Hi List, > > I can relate to Bud's experiences, and at the same time I can understand > Bob Elms' view. > > Some 60 years or so back, I had the idea that I might like to be a > musician, for I really liked music, especially singing, but decided on = my > original hope for a career in engineering. > > This was based upon the knowledge that unless one was exceptionally > capable, there was really little option of having a well paying job in > music, - church or otherwise. This decision has been proved to me as = the > right one, time and time again. > > I have earned a little pocket money singing at festivals, at weddings, > Masonic dinners, even as a Cantor for a Jewish synagogue, - but in each > case it was for the fun of it, rather than for the fee! > > For my part, I am with Bud, I have seen the treatment that musicians within > the Anglican Church have received for perhaps, at the most 100 pounds a > year honorarium, - I wouldn't have lasted very long putting up with = that. > > I fulfilled my desire to become an engineer, and kept my love of music = as a > hobby of choice. I still do not think that there is enough in a musical > career unless one is either a 'pop' singer or an exceptionally gifted > performer up there at the top of the profession. > > However, I temper all the above by saying that it is up to every young = man > or woman to make their own decision, and that I hope that each and every > one of them have a successful career in music. > > Happy New Year to you all, > > Bob Conway > > "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 > >