PipeChat Digest #4985 - Friday, December 10, 2004
 
"Night of Snobbery"
  by "Charlie Lester" <crl@137.com>
John's C2
  by "First Christian Church of Casey, IL" <kzrev@rr1.net>
Re: "Night of Snobbery"
  by "Liquescent" <quilisma@cox.net>
Re: Hammond C2 questions
  by "Vern Jones" <soundres@foothill.net>
Speaking of Funerals.......
  by "Charlie Lester" <crl@137.com>
 

(back) Subject: "Night of Snobbery" From: "Charlie Lester" <crl@137.com> Date: Thu, 09 Dec 2004 19:30:25 -0800   >> Daniel Hancock wrote: >> Are they out of print? [Night of Miracles scores]   > "Roger Brown" wrote: > Hope so - that would indeed be a welcome miracle!     Now THAT right there could not be a more perfect example of the kind of nose-upturned attitude we have been discussing, that is driving away a lot of people in general, and young people in particular, from the organ and the A.G.O.   Yeah, okay, "Night of Miracles" is not, from a musicianship standpoint, the greatest piece of music ever written. But it is very melodic and singable, is easy to learn, and has some lovely choruses that "the people in the pew" love to hear. For small or all-volunteer amateur choirs who can't handle Messiah or Bach's Christmas Oratorio, it is a very suitable piece of music.   And, indeed, the cantata is well-beloved by many people. Including me.   I personally have a long history with the work, having first sung it at ten years old in 1966 in my mother's choir. And in the intervening years I have sung it, played organ, piano, and directed it several times; and it has always been a very moving and meaningful experience for me. It's one of those sentimental bits of sweet Christmas cheer that "takes me back to days of yore."   When I first started considering what to do for Christmas this year, I mentioned "Night of Miracles" almost offhandedly to a dear friend who is a retired choral director and school music teacher. She lit up like a Christmas tree and said, "Oh, that would be wonderful. It's not been done in years and I am sure it would be very well received."   Well, the naysayers will be glad-hearted to hear that the music is indeed out of print. I went right to the source for it and found out it is no longer published. But I do have a 40-year-old copy of the score, and the publisher agreed to grant a special license to make photocopies of it.   Then I started sending around invitations to choir folks to sing it as a "massed choir." Every single reply was favorable and positive although some people already had seasonal commitments and could not join us.   I just think it's really sad that this kind of "I'm better than that crap, and so is my choir" is so pervasive. Those who don't want to do this kind of music certainly don't have to ... but at the same time, why can't they be a little more open-minded and CHARITABLE toward those who DO want to. And maybe consider that maybe their choir MIGHT like this kind of fare ... as welcome relief from the hard-to-digest diet of "suitable music" that they are force-fed all year 'round.   ~ C      
(back) Subject: John's C2 From: "First Christian Church of Casey, IL" <kzrev@rr1.net> Date: Thu, 9 Dec 2004 21:51:25 -0600   John--a Hammond C-2 can be upgraded with aftermarket add ons that will = make it equivalent to a C-3, which is EXACTLY the same as a B-3 except for the cabinet (YES, it IS, those there are those who deny it!). But the B-3's = are the ones with the big price tags. Of course, it also matters if you have = a Leslie speaker--and which one. The old Hammond tone cabinets are = virtually "worthless" in terms of adding value to the sale.   The biggest sources I know of for professionally rebuilt and resold = Hammonds are:   http://vintageorgans.com/ and another one I can't locate at the moment.....it has B-3 in the name = and is somewhere in the Dakotas or Minnesota.....thought I had it bookmarked, but can't find it. Dennis Steckley Lover of Cats, Pipe Organs & 1940-65 Sewing Machines    
(back) Subject: Re: "Night of Snobbery" From: "Liquescent" <quilisma@cox.net> Date: Thu, 09 Dec 2004 20:01:46 -0800   I intend to have John W. Peterson's "But I Would Not Have You To Be Ignorant, Brethren" sung at my funeral. The music of the Mass will be Casciolini's Requiem, and the Croft Burial Sentences.   I have taken a fair amount of heat for the simple, singable choral music that I have edited and arranged for the Anglican service. In response, I have pointed out that the AVERAGE Anglican Church in the USA has UNDER 100 members, a volunteer choir (MAYBE!) and a volunteer or part-time amateur organist. Those stats were collected by our Commission on Ministry as part of a larger survey.   Unlike the RC church, where prior to Vatican II music was written for every imaginable configuration of voices and degree of difficulty, Anglican composers have always directed their efforts toward the "city" churches in the USA, and the cathedral and collegiate churches in the UK. As a result, there IS a dearth of simple, singable music with scriptural and/or liturgical texts suitable for the Anglican service for the AVERAGE Anglican parish choir.   I discovered a forgotten treasure-trove in the extensive music holdings of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary Library in Ft. Worth ... back in the '20s, '30s, and '40s, some US Anglican composers wrote for the Lorenz choir magazines ... I found simple, singable anthems and service music (!) in The Choir Leader and The Choir Herald magazines of those decades. Ellen Jane Lorenz herself wrote a very nice Russian-sounding anthem setting of the Easter Day Gospel (!!)..   Had I turned up my nose at old Lorenz publications, I never would have found any of that.   Every year around Christmas and Easter we have a great dust-up over on Anglican-Music@stsams.org about such things as Silent Night by candlelight, O Holy Night, Gesu Bambino, The Palms, Open the Gates of the Temple, Were You There, Stainer's They Have Taken Away My Lord, etc. etc. etc.   "Tasteless and tacky," some cry. I just shrug and say, "in exchange for doing some of those things occasionally, I get to do all the Gregorian Chant and renaissance polyphony I want."   Seems a fair trade to me. Christmas and Easter are NOT times to engage in music education.   Cheers,   Bud          
(back) Subject: Re: Hammond C2 questions From: "Vern Jones" <soundres@foothill.net> Date: Thu, 9 Dec 2004 20:03:08 -0800   Hello John,   A good place to look is E-Bay, Musical Instruments, Pianos, Keyboards, Organs, Hammond.   Most of the Hammonds still seem to sell for $1000 (C2-CV)+ and for up to about $6000 for a really super clean B3s   Vern ----original Message ----- From: John Seboldt <rohrwerk@seboldt.net> To: <pipechat@pipechat.org> Sent: Thursday, December 09, 2004 6:44 PM Subject: Hammond C2 questions     > > The "organ" on which I practiced as a kid is still at my folks' house in > the Twin Cities area, and now that they are considering moving out, I'm > offering to find a home for it. What are the best sites for determining = a > fair market value? > > It's the C2 - no touch response percussion, no Leslie. I know lotsa = folks > would pay a premium for a B3 with Leslie, but is the C2 still prized by > some? It's in working condition last I played it - lubrication has been > kept up, just needs some use and/or some contact cleaner. > > John Seboldt > Milwaukee > > > ****************************************************************** > "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: Speaking of Funerals....... From: "Charlie Lester" <crl@137.com> Date: Thu, 09 Dec 2004 23:24:20 -0800   Today, I played for a funeral at St. Lawrence Catholic Church in South Central Los Angeles, which was right at the epicenter of the 1960s Watts Riots. The priest in his homily mentioned that everything all around the church for a several-block radius was torn up or burned down except for the church and its premises - which, miraculously, was "literally untouched."   I had never been to the church and knew nothing about it - the funeral was for the mother of one of my choir members. I got down there early and went into the sanctuary -- a very lovely place seating 250 or so, excellent acoustics -- all hard surfaces and high beamed ceiling. One of those rooms where even a kazoo sounds magnificent.   I looked for signs of an organ, which seemed to be notably absent. So I went and found the custodian who was in the sacristy preparing the incense. I said, "Could you show me to the organ please." He said, "Come with me, it's right there" - gesturing in the direction of a corner where I had already inspected.   We walked over there and he pointed to a very battered baby grand piano.   "Um, no, I mean the ORRR-GAN."   "We have no organ. Only piano. Our 'grupa' no needs organ."   Hm.   Oh.   I stood there for a moment and listened to the canned music wafting down from the P.A. system -- some kind of Matovani-esque elevator music but with a religious flair.   "Well all-RIGHT-ey then ... could you turn off the tape so I can run through the music?"   "Um, I can turn down the tape but then you do not start to play until the mass begin."   ??   Whatever.   I was already starting to feel irritated and I hadn't even been there 5 minutes.   Even more so when he opened the piano and the music rack would not stay up. The little proppie-thing behind it was mangled and the rack kept flopping backward. Guess the "grupa" no need music either.   1 ... 2 ... 3 ...........   So I laid the music out over the top of the piano and looked through it. Quite a mixed bag: Bach/Gounod's "Ave Maria." Walter Hawkins' [gospel music writer] "Goin' Up Yonder." And the WORDS to a third selection, "I Know I've Been Changed" I do not know this song - the singer had said it's a "gospel standard" - guess she'll be singing it alone. Grr.   Okay, in comes a sweet-faced Irish priest right out of Central Casting -- Father Bowles I think his name was. He introduced himself and we had a moment of chit-chat when I took the opportunity to comment on the beautiful sanctuary and wonderful acoustics, noting it was a shame there was no pipe organ."   "Oh, well, an orrrrrrgin," he burred in his thick brogue, "That's for old-fashioned chuhr-ches. This is a modern, up-to-date parrrish." [Okay, I'll stop "burrrring" - you get the idea already!] "We do 100% contemporary gospel music, and we have a Praise Team who leads with guitars, drums, and piano."   Oh.   "Hmm," I said, "That's lovely - but do you think it's really fair to call the organ 'old fashioned' since it has been the mainstay musical instrument in churches for centuries?"   "Well, I guess an organ would be fine. Actually, I have sometimes missed the sound of a fine organ especially during Christmas. Several times over the years people have offered to donate an organ to us, but we don't have anyone to play it and it would just get torn up. So we make do without."   I did not press the issue any further. It's really none of my business, I thought, since I don't have anything to do with the church.   Just then, the soloist came in - a rather statuesque African American woman betopped with a very big "Church Lady" hat. She was all in a dither and a flither because she was running late. "Do you have the words for the Ave Maria?" she gasped between breaths as she tried to stop gulping for air.   "No, this copy only has the music. Sorry."   "Hmmmmm. I wonder if it's in the hymnal."   Probably not, since there WERE no hymnals.   She vexed and stewed for a long moment trying to decide what to do.   "I know! I'll play my tape!" She reached into her overnighter-sized handbag and withdrew a tape. She scurried back to the sacristy and I could see her hand the tape over to the priest who smiled indulgently. Clearly that would be fine with him.   Meanwhile, the canned music kept droning along, lulling me into a mild stupor. I kept trying to get the Pastor's attention to turn off the tape and he finally did - with about a minute to spare for my prelude music.   [NOTE: Before I get too further into this and continue painting what is obviously going to be an unflattering portrait, let me just say that the pastor is a very dear man. I have met so many priests over the years who are grouchy, boorish, snide, aloof, arrogant, bullyish, mean, -- and in more than a few cases, all of the above. Father Bowles was very pleasant and gracious, and did his best to make me feel welcome even though he could sense my disappointment over the organ. Or lack thereof.]   So the service begins. I'll cut through all the usual stuff - welcome, scriptures, prayers, etc. - then Fr Bowles decided to have everyone "pass the peace." Then it was time for the soloist -- he announced her, then when she gestured to the tape machine he said, "Oh, right, we're going to listen to her on the tape." Very surreal. Especially when the tape started and her voice - quite lovely actually - filled the room. As she "sang" she made her way to the family and worked the row, hugging and kissing each one and murmuring sweet nothings into their ears.   End of tape, end of song; big round of applause with a sweet curtsy from the songstress.   Later came "Goin' Up Yonder" which I kinda butchered. I thought I knew it -- but didn't know it well enough to get just the right flavor for it. With gospel music, you can't just play the notes on the page. The written music is really just an approximation of a deeper, richer experience -- each gospel song has a certain "feel" or "style" that you either get, or you don't. The soloist kept kinda looking at me out of the corner of her eye and giving me "Body English" to get into a groove with her but I just couldn't find it. She mercifully omitted the last verse and went into one of those neck-wiggling "oh-aaaa-ohhhh, ohh-a-a-a-a-ohhhh" gospel singer cadenzas for the big finale. You know what I mean. We got applause again, but this time more of a polite smattering. THEY knew we hadn't pulled it off.   For the last number, she decided to change it to "He Knows How Much We Can Bear," which IS a gospel standard and one I know very well. "Charlie Got His Groove Back" during that one and I could tell she was diggin' it. And so was the church. Especially Father Bowles who swayed along and tapped his feet. This one really got the place "a-screamin' and a-jumpin'" as my friend in North Carolina says. We got a big happy applause and many Amens and Praise the Lords and Hall-ah-LEW-yahs and Thank ya Jeeeezuses!   During Fr Bowles' homily, he talked about the parish and how the deceased figured into its history. She had been a member for many, many years. (She and her husband had just celebrated their 69th anniversary.) He told of how the church had survived the Watts Riots unscathed and how now, it is a predominately "Mexican" [his term] parish. With a look at me, he talked about how the "Mexican" culture had influenced their style and repeated the bit to the whole church about how they are a "modern, up-to-date parish." Yeah, yeah, we got it. Modern. With a bowl of salsa and chips on the side.   He also cracked a few borderline-tacky "cultural" jokes that would have been all the tackier were it not for his cherubic disposition. He joked about the place being full of Lutherans (the lady's family "defected" to the Lutheran church some time ago.) BLACK Lutherans, no less. Then he asked for a count on how many Baptists there were. Several, from the resultant hand-wavings. Methodists? One. Episcopals [sic]? A smattering. No Presbyterians, COGICs, 7th Day Adventists or Jehovah's Witnesses (duh). He beamed, "I do believe this is the first time in this parish's history that CATHOLICS are in the minority in here! But that's okay, we are all a part of the Body of Christ and we welcome all of you with loving, open arms." And, indeed, they did.   As he finally got around to talking about the Dearly Departed, it became clear that she had been very dear to him. He choked up and wiped away tears more than once as he talked about the "dear, blessed woman of God" and how much she had meant to the parish over the years.   His style was calm, matter-of-fact, almost casual in a way yet lucid and very focused. But he became very emotional and intense as he reached the end of his homily. Very touching. Recalling his frankly expressed emotions, I have a lump in my throat as I type this.   Well, it was over soon enough and off I went, feeling very strange and out of sorts. It was as if I had slipped into Alice in Wonderland's mirror and come out on the other side in some odd, off-kilter world.   It took a while to shake that feeling.   On the way home, I stopped for lunch at an inviting-looking El Salvadoran restaurant. As I sat and ate my PUPUSAS, "Cantique de Noel" blasted forth from the radio -- played 'oom-pah-pah' style by a Mariachi Band.   I guess the restaurant is "modern and up-to-date," too.