PipeChat Digest #4662 - Monday, August 2, 2004
 
RE: Is it slow around here . . .
  by "Will Light" <will.light@btinternet.com>
Re: Is it slow around here . . .
  by "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk>
What I played Sunday
  by "Judy A. Ollikkala" <71431.2534@compuserve.com>
Re: The Washington Post Article on Organists declining
  by "Arie Vandenberg" <ArieV@ClassicOrgan.com>
Re: The Washington Post Article on Organists declining
  by <Keys4bach@aol.com>
Transnational organists
  by "Alan Freed" <acfreed0904@earthlink.net>
Re: Transnational organists
  by "Jarle Fagerheim" <jarle_fagerheim@yahoo.co.uk>
RE: The Washington Post Article on Organists declining
  by "Andrew Mead" <mead@eagle.ca>
why there are no organists
  by "Raymond H. Clark" <quilisma@cox.net>
Organ music/Styles
  by "Gene Ostenkamp" <go467500@quixnet.net>
Organists Declining and the School Programs...Starting a movement?
  by "T.Desiree' Hines" <nicemusica@yahoo.com>
 

(back) Subject: RE: Is it slow around here . . . From: "Will Light" <will.light@btinternet.com> Date: Mon, 2 Aug 2004 10:03:48 +0100   Nothing very exciting, but I was in quiet mood so I used the Verset on = Adoro Te by Boellmann as a prelude. We had the hymn which actually instructs the organist - There's a Light upon the Mountain - In verse (or stanza for the benefit of Alan) 4 it goes_ Hark I hear a distant music, And it comes with FULLER SWELL - so I did!! And We did!   Will Light Coventry UK     -----Original Message----- From: pipechat@pipechat.org [mailto:pipechat@pipechat.org] On Behalf Of Glenda Sent: 02 August 2004 01:49 To: 'PipeChat' Subject: Is it slow around here . . .   Or are you all asleep at the wheel? I don't think I've had a dozen list e-mails in the last 3-4 days, although the spam is coming through at the normal pace.   Just wondering - didn't anyone play something exciting at church today?   Enjoyed the visit, Keith.   Glenda Sutton gksjd85@direcway.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 List-Subscribe: <mailto:pipechat-on@pipechat.org> List-Digest: <mailto:pipechat-digest@pipechat.org> List-Unsubscribe: <mailto:pipechat-off@pipechat.org>    
(back) Subject: Re: Is it slow around here . . . From: "Colin Mitchell" <cmys13085@yahoo.co.uk> Date: Mon, 2 Aug 2004 05:23:04 -0700 (PDT)   Hello Glenda,   I played a really sleepy little number yesterday..........zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!   Regards,   Colin Mitchell UK         --- Glenda <gksjd85@direcway.com> wrote:   > Or are you all asleep at the wheel? I don't think > I've had a dozen list > e-mails in the last 3-4 days     __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? Yahoo! Mail Address AutoComplete - You start. We finish. http://promotions.yahoo.com/new_mail  
(back) Subject: What I played Sunday From: "Judy A. Ollikkala" <71431.2534@compuserve.com> Date: Mon, 2 Aug 2004 09:07:34 -0400   Hi, it was very warm inside and raining outside, will ask for a fan to be set up in the gallery next week. I played Mascagni's "Intermezzo" and 3 Healey Willan hymn preludes - "St. Bride", "Irish", and "Durham". The last piece was the Postlude in "honor" of my daughter who is taking her augmented choir from St. Mark's Episcopal, Geneva IL to be in residence at Durham Cathedral, England next week plus a brief concert at York Minster. The bass soloist sang "His Eye is on the Sparrow". I am Interim at a church in northcentral Massachusetts which is both Methodist and Congregational, they had Methodist Communion today. The organ is an Austin recently refurbished by Austin, 1915 Opus 591, three manual. After having played = in 5 different churches in the last 6 weeks, it is nice to be in just one for awhile. Judy Ollikkala  
(back) Subject: Re: The Washington Post Article on Organists declining From: "Arie Vandenberg" <ArieV@ClassicOrgan.com> Date: Mon, 02 Aug 2004 11:28:24 -0400   At 07:14 AM 2004-08-01 -0700, you wrote: >I read the post from Matt Rhodes of the WNP article. >They surved organists in full time positions in larger churches and major =   >programs. Im wondering if the people who do these articles would talk to >those who are on serach committees and the pastors and ask them what the >search process is like. One major turn off for me is this: Churches just >get too picky and too much of a "concert" fare. I see so many jobs where >there is way more emphasis on what anthems the choir sings on a Sunday = and >what movement of which Vierne Symphone is going to be the pre or = postlude. >Seldom do I see any discriptions that say a candidate who is well versed >in hymnody and strong hymn playing, in addition to strong choir traing, = is >the optimum candidate. It is hard to find a church where the central = focus >is the People's song in a sturdy, jubilant manner. That's why Im at my >church...the peoples song is what they want cultivated. > >In some ways, do you feel that the church itself is driving away the >desire for those to be church musicians?   Desiree,   I think you hit the nail on the head.   I can't speak for the U.S. scene, but here in Canada, the shortage of organists is astounding. Mostly elderly folk too I might add who sit on the organ bench. There are few younger folk studying organ, some of whom are extremely talented, but they seem interested in concert repertoire, = and little interested in being tied down on week-ends with a church job, and also show little interest in practising and playing hymns, and other = church music.   And church committees that are looking assume that if someone can play = part of Widor' s Toccata they are good church musicians. 9 out of 10 times = they are wrong in this assumption.   The other problem is that so often the organist/music director is but a hired person, who has no loyalty to, or interest in the congregation, and sometimes does not even have a believe system that is anything like the church they work for. All in all it leads to a situation where the only drawing card for the musician is the instrument that is there, so the =   organist has someplace to practise.   Not a rosey picture.   Desiree, play church music well, play it because you like it, play it so the people enjoy it, but above all play it to the Glory of God. In most cases then you will gain the respect of your employers as well as that of those in the congregation.   Just my thoughts...after being almost 25 years in the business.   Arie V.   ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Arie Vandenberg Classic Organbuilders ArieV@ClassicOrgan.com Tel.: 905-475-1263      
(back) Subject: Re: The Washington Post Article on Organists declining From: <Keys4bach@aol.com> Date: Mon, 2 Aug 2004 12:02:28 EDT   In a message dated 8/2/2004 11:26:39 AM Eastern Standard Time, ArieV@ClassicOrgan.com writes:   > after being almost 25 years in the business. >   after 35 years in the business, if you went into it for the money = Desiree, oops.   i am there because that is the talent i was given to nurture. so i did. = and in the end, if using that talent i have helped others find God, cool. if others do not like what i do...........poop on them.   i aims to please God and God alone, THEN THE Council then the boss then = the rest.   BTW Arie, I AM ALWAYS looking for God to call me to another = church.....what is available up there?   dale in Florida  
(back) Subject: Transnational organists From: "Alan Freed" <acfreed0904@earthlink.net> Date: Mon, 02 Aug 2004 12:16:49 -0400   On 8/2/04 11:28 AM, "Arie Vandenberg" <ArieV@ClassicOrgan.com> wrote:   > I can't speak for the U.S. scene, but here in Canada, the shortage of > organists is astounding. Mostly elderly folk too I might add who sit on = the > organ bench. There are few younger folk studying organ, some of whom = are > extremely talented, but they seem interested in concert repertoire, and = little > interested in being tied down on week-ends with a church job, and also = show > little interest in practising and playing hymns, and other church music.   This is purely anecdotal, but possibly interesting. I was told on reasonably decent authority about a week ago that about HALF the parish organists in Norway are Britons who moved to Norway to get work with = decent pay. (No, they don't have to learn Norwegian; the Norwegians speak English.)   Alan    
(back) Subject: Re: Transnational organists From: "Jarle Fagerheim" <jarle_fagerheim@yahoo.co.uk> Date: Mon, 02 Aug 2004 18:27:54 +0200   Not quite sure about that. Yes, there are many British organists here, but 50 % sounds like an exaggeration to me. I believe 20 % would be a better estimate, based on my own (limited) experience. It'd be interesting to see some real statistics on this.   BTW it's correct that they don't have to learn Norwegian, but I've met some who speaks it excellently.   - Jarle (full-blown Norwegian organist in Norway!)    
(back) Subject: RE: The Washington Post Article on Organists declining From: "Andrew Mead" <mead@eagle.ca> Date: Mon, 2 Aug 2004 14:04:23 -0400   Arie V. Wrote:   Desiree,   I think you hit the nail on the head.   I can't speak for the U.S. scene, but here in Canada, the shortage of organists is astounding. Mostly elderly folk too I might add who sit on the organ bench. There are few younger folk studying organ, some of whom are extremely talented, but they seem interested in concert repertoire, = and little interested in being tied down on week-ends with a church job, and also show little interest in practising and playing hymns, and other = church music.   And church committees that are looking assume that if someone can play = part of Widor' s Toccata they are good church musicians. 9 out of 10 times = they are wrong in this assumption.   The other problem is that so often the organist/music director is but a hired person, who has no loyalty to, or interest in the congregation, and sometimes does not even have a believe system that is anything like the church they work for. All in all it leads to a situation where the only drawing card for the musician is the instrument that is there, so the organist has someplace to practise.   Not a rosey picture.   Desiree, play church music well, play it because you like it, play it so the people enjoy it, but above all play it to the Glory of God. In most cases then you will gain the respect of your employers as well as that of those in the congregation.   Just my thoughts...after being almost 25 years in the business.   Arie V.   Andrew Mead commented:   Arie: Surely you're commenting on what you've seen on one "side of the coin". Have a look at the obverse and "things" aren't so bad. Most of my customers (all in Canada, all organists, all compensated and all in our = neck of the woods) are under 45 years of age. I don't know of any who are not apparently thoroughly committed to their job, vocation, position, = ministry, whatever we wish to call it.   Unless I've largely misinterpreted your message I must actively disagree with it. I don't think it accurately reflects the "big picture" with the situation for organists in and around the area we live, but it might = reflect the situation of a few notorious organists.   The RCCO's "positions available" list does not reveal an "astounding" shortage of organists in Canada either. I will agree with you on one point: From what I've observed some young, studying organists could make themselves more useful if they studied hymn playing and service technique. But I'm not so sure it's their fault. I = think their teachers assume that part to be so easy it's not worth spending any time studying or learning.   AjM          
(back) Subject: why there are no organists From: "Raymond H. Clark" <quilisma@cox.net> Date: Mon, 02 Aug 2004 10:56:23 -0700   My last post left me shattered ... physically, spiritually, emotionally, musically. I doubt that I shall ever play the organ again, OR set foot in a church.   Such experiences are ALL TOO COMMON in our profession; 90% of them can be laid at the doors of the reverend clergy.   I would NEVER, EVER recommend that a young person go into church music, UNLESS they inherited or married money.   There's no future; there's no job security; there's no health insurance (for the most part); there are no retirement benefits (for the most part); churches are exempt from paying into State Disability Insurance and unemployment insurance (a few CHOOSE to do so); many still try to (illegally) pay their musicians as independent contractors to avoid paying their share of Social Security taxes, and thereby create a heavier tax burden for the musician.   I can't think of ANY other profession requiring a similar amount of education and training that would put up with such conditions.   Bud Clark      
(back) Subject: Organ music/Styles From: "Gene Ostenkamp" <go467500@quixnet.net> Date: Tue, 3 Aug 2004 02:26:56 -0400   .. Jeff <reedstop@charter.net> wrote:   "Does anyone else find that certain styles of organ music appeal to = their congregations more than others?"     Concerning styles of organ music, I find that there are as many = different tastes within a single congregation as there are styles of = music to choose from. I try to give them a wide variety of organ styles = from different periods. I tend to get the biggest response from French = Romantic pieces, even simple ditties as some of Boellmann's single-page = manuals only pieces. I also get very positive responses from English = Baroque (?) like Stanley, Boyce, Bennett, et al. Anything by Handel or = Bach is a sure winner. As well as contemporary organ literature that's = "flashy": Postludes on familiar hymntunes, etc. I get the most = "complaints" when I play Early organ music. I think the modal = progressions sound foreign to people these days. Yet, I have on few = occasions tried something "atonal" and they like those. Go figure.   When in doubt, I've learned to just play something "familiar." It seems = one can work for weeks to prepare a nice prelude or postlude, yet the = simple ad libbed hymn tune snuck in at the last minute to cover a dead = space is the piece everyone comments on. =20   I have found that repitition is good. If I repeat a postlude, for = example, several weeks later, there is more response the second time = than the first. If I repeat it again within the next month, wow! Big = response. I guess it has to get in their heads. Repitition works for = TV commercials. Why waste several weeks of work preparing a splendid = piece to play it only once (or annually)? While it's still fresh, I = repeat it (if appropriate, of course). Let the congregation hear it = again. When it sounds familiar to them (which it should after only a = couple weeks), they automatically like it.   And so, if I get negative remarks about a certain piece, (normally being = something like, "That was wierd," or "That made me feel sad," or "Yuck, = what was that?") I am SURE to repeat it several times in the next few = months. And believe it or not, the same person who didn't like it the = first time might be the very one who says something positive about it a = few months later.   (Of course, I have the advantage (?) of NOT listing the names of the = organ pieces I play each week. I have wondered if anyone would notice = if I played the same prelude or postlude for several weeks in a row. I = may try it some time.)   I believe we do our congregation an injustice if we only play one style = all the time (i.e. all Baroque). There is a huge wealth of organ = literature available at all levels of difficulty. Sure, one's = instrument has to be taken into account, but that's where one gets to be = creative. The congregations deserve to hear organ music of all styles = and periods.   Gene Ostenkamp Cincinnati, OH ..
(back) Subject: Organists Declining and the School Programs...Starting a movement? From: "T.Desiree' Hines" <nicemusica@yahoo.com> Date: Mon, 2 Aug 2004 11:33:01 -0700 (PDT)     Arie V and Andrew Mead had some very good points and thanks so much for = them.   I was on the phone last night with two of my friends/colleagues who are = listers there, and we were also all online chatting together about stuff. = One thing that really sets me off is this: The university programs, for = the most part, are not offering sturdy course work for us which the = churches seem to need. Westminster Choir College, the University of Kansas = and a few other schools are the only places that offer Sacred Music study = where the course work is intense. The University of Washington at Seattle, = while not having a Church Music degree still has a way where a Sacred = Music degree can be "fashioned" with adding about 9 hours of classes in = Church Music to a BA Degree, taught by Mel Butler.   My beef with the schools that dont do this: they are taking all of our = money and not teaching us the basics that we need to know. Every decent = paying job on the AGO website now has a requirement for things like STRONG = choral conducting, RSCM expertise, very keen skills in Business = Administration, etc. Few colleges that I have seen have anything where the = Organ major is REQUIRED to take intense courses in Choral Conducting and = literature, childrens music, handbells, a sacred music education class or = two, etc. The schools really need to encourage their organ departments to = add Sacred Music components, if not degree plans to offer us what we need = to know.   And stop bi***ing about who's going to teach what. I remember at one = school where I took some studies, the Handbell choir director got into a = tiff about not wanting to teach handbell methods to the Church Music = majors. After 3 weeks of classes, we still did not have an agreement, so = they stopped it for a semester. Another of my colleages said he asked a = prominent Episcopal Church musician to teach him how to work in an RSCM = frame, and that musician refused.   After the close of the Northwestern University Organ department, I = encourage us in the field to REALLY get serious about this issue. The only = thing churches are doing is sitting, reading newspaper articles, and = saying very blacnd statements such as "Its sad that the organ schools are = closing." Yet THE CHURCHES are not doing ANYTHING about it. They won't = step up and say to the schools, the AGO, the NPM, NASM to please think = about what they are doing. If they don;t say something and become more = aggressive, then they will have to start with the drums and cymbals...and = NOT in a Karg Elert fashion. Search committees at churches are made up of = too many different people who are insecure as to where they want the = church to go. Like I said...the church itself is making us uninterested = inworking for them.         From Desiree' T. Desiree' Hines Chicago, IL 60610 ---------------------------- For Compositions by Desiree' Frog Music Press www.frogmusic.com ------------------------------- FOR CONCERTS BY DESIREE' http://concertartist.info/bios/hines.html __________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around http://mail.yahoo.com