PipeChat Digest #4232 - Monday, January 19, 2004
Re: I Guess I'm an Old Timer, Now
  by "Malcolm Wechsler" <manderusa@earthlink.net>
Pastors - do they get paid for weddings?
  by "Charlie Lester" <crlester@137.com>
The Mortuary Keyboard Player
  by "Charlie Lester" <crlester@137.com>
About the Dubois
  by "Charlie Lester" <crlester@137.com>
bench fees
  by <Wdh2@aol.com>

(back) Subject: Re: I Guess I'm an Old Timer, Now From: "Malcolm Wechsler" <manderusa@earthlink.net> Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2004 00:12:06 -0500   Neil B writes:   "I took the advice in some posts to slow down the tempo to "Lift Every = Voice and Sing". It takes on a wholly different character than I had = previously played, and thus, I think, more meaningful (hopefully). What = a GREAT hymn!"   Amen to that. Too many who have never heard this hymn sung in a church = where Gospel music is clearly understood tend to see the dotted quarter = as the unit of the beat, almost dancing through. One needs to feel the = slow, sultry pulse of the eighth note as the basis, and let the whole = thing stretch. It really won't hurt, and the experience, once everyone = is comfortable with it, is really powerful. The first time we sang this = hymn, as we now always do in early February (Black History Month), we = had a brief congregational rehearsal beforehand. It's been fine ever = since.   I received all this wisdom from Larry Bowie, a superb Organist in = Baltimore, an African-American who grew up in the Gospel music = tradition, and accompanied this hymn once in my presence. His = congregation stood and sang the hymn, all of it, from memory, at full = tilt, and no one was in a hurry. I was dissolved!   Enjoy,   Malcolm Wechsler www.mander-organs.com =20     ----- Original Message -----=20 From: Innkawgneeto@cs.com=20 To: anglican-music@list.stsams.org ; pipechat@pipechat.org=20 Sent: Sunday, January 18, 2004 11:07 PM Subject: I Guess I'm an Old Timer, Now     I was figuring it out today: I have been playing hymns for 38 years!! = =20 Sheesh, I'm not sure I'm ready for that realization yet (hehe). =20   What got me thinking about it was a couple misfires in our = processional hymn today, The Church's One Foundation (my favorite). The = Choir barrelled on completely oblivious to my attempt to stretch the = tempo of the final stanza. Just as I was about to get my left hand up = to rein in the troops, the rector decided to snap his fingers to neither = MY tempo or theirs. O well, all in a day's work.   However, having perused another list online last night before bed, I = took the advice in some posts to slow down the tempo to "Lift Every = Voice and Sing". It takes on a wholly different character than I had = previously played, and thus, I think, more meaningful (hopefully). What = a GREAT hymn!   Anyway, we are coming out of the deep freeze here at the Jersey Shore, = for which I'm grateful.   Peace to you all. Have a great week. Neil B.  
(back) Subject: Pastors - do they get paid for weddings? From: "Charlie Lester" <crlester@137.com> Date: Sun, 18 Jan 2004 21:27:22 -0800   Alan Freed said,   =3D-> Pastor is paid an annual salary, which includes conducting weddings for members of the parish. <-=3D     Well, that may be true in SOME parishes (yours?) but in none of any of the ones I have played for or belonged to or known of. The pastor's services for weddings, funerals and funerals are considered "above and beyond the call of duty" just as they are for the organist and other staff.   The only services that the Pastor generally does as a part of his ministry are visitations, house-blessings, etc., and, in some cases, counseling - either premarital or otherwise. The pastor in one of my churches has a double degree in divinity and family counseling and he does offer the latter service as part of his ministry. But he certainly is not OBLIGED to do so, any more than he is OBLIGED to offer his services for weddings and funerals.   Again ... Somewhere, in some old book I've read parts of, I remember seeing the phrase "A worker is worthy of his hire." I really just don't get the idea that church staff are expected to work for nothing, or that every service they offer should be included under the general umbrella of their salary. Especially given the meager salary that most churches offer.   ~ C      
(back) Subject: The Mortuary Keyboard Player From: "Charlie Lester" <crlester@137.com> Date: Sun, 18 Jan 2004 21:41:18 -0800   An interesting postscript to my story about the mortuary who would be sending 'round their "keyboard player" and thus not require my services. Remember, he was supposed to bring his own keyboard.......   Well, I was at the church for the DuBois auditions that I was holding in the Choir Room since we couldn't use the sanctuary because of the funeral (more on that in a subsequent post), when, lo and behold, what to wondering ears should "appear" but the strains of a Hammond organ + Leslie blaring & wabbling forth from the sanctuary.   Now, I knew full well a "keyboard" player would not have lugged a Hammond into the place, not even a B-3 ... and I knew the sound I was hearing was an "Authentic (period-appropriate, historically, informed, genuine tone-wheel) Hammond" and not some digital simulation thereof .... [yes, believe it or not there ARE Hammond Purists!!]   I peeked in, and sure enough, he was playing the Hammond down front that belongs to another congregation who uses our facilities for their Sunday-afternoon services. (Boy, do THEY carry on!!) And, later, I also heard him playing the (crappy baby grand) piano that does belong to my congregation.   No biggie, especially since he did not presume to venture up to the organ loft and fire up the Cassie -- but it's the fact that I think the whole deal was, even if inadvertently, misrepresented to the Pastor. I am pretty sure if he knew that their "keyboard" player was going to use the Hammond sitting down there (which he hates) and the piano, he would have said no, or else would have called the Baptist church's organist and had him play.   Or else, gotten me to do it. I play a pretty mean Hammond myself. More than once I have been holding forth in an ethnically mixed situation and had people come in, see me tearin' apart a Hammond, and then do a SPLENDID double-take .... and then, afterwards, ask all sorts of rather tacky and politically incorrect questions about my bloodline ....... boy, if the shoe were on the other foot ....... !! but I digress.........   The whole thing kinda stinks if you ask me.   ~ C      
(back) Subject: About the Dubois From: "Charlie Lester" <crlester@137.com> Date: Sun, 18 Jan 2004 21:49:36 -0800   Well, my DuBois auditions were kind of a bust.   I did get five sopranos to show up, ranging from an older/middle-aged lady who just about blew out the windows in the choir room -- waaaaaay too Wagnerian [and off-key] to suit Monsieur Th=E9odore, to two of my own choir members who were sweet to show up and have nice voices but are not soloists, to THE ONE, a young operatic coloratura who gave me goosebumps and had me practically in tears as she sang the Introduction from memory. Awesome. Of course she "got the job."   BIG problem however ......... NO MEN showed up. Not one. So now what-ah-uh do?? I need a darn good tenor and a baritone. Yes, I could call the union or other churches asking for their paid soloists etc. but there is no budget to hire soloists. We blew our wad [and then some] getting an organist who agreed to do the whole gig incl all the rehearsals. (Who is fabulous btw -- we had a great time Saturday.) It really has to be a community choir deal, where people come to sing for the pure love of it.   Is that being hypocritical, and double-standard'ed of me - vis-a-vis my earlier comments about hiring organists and pastors? I don't think so. This is a different situation, more like a "Little Theatre" presentation inasmuch as it's going to be performed by a massed choir and at a not-for-income program and not a church function per se.   "What's a Mother to do?"      
(back) Subject: bench fees From: <Wdh2@aol.com> Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2004 01:58:49 EST   Greetings everyone, I am Minister of Music for a large Baptist Church congregation on the =   East side of Baltimore City. My church employs a wedding coordinator who counsels the bridal party about the expectations of anyone wishing to use = the church facilities for a wedding. A contract is provided which states clearly that = the Minister of Music (me) is the ONLY person who will provide ANY music for = the wedding ceremony. My fee is set and collected by the church office as a = part of the contractual agreement between the bridal party and the church. I = have authority over the music which will be provided and performed. If it does = not meet our criteria (only music with a Christian message, secular music = being prohibited) then the bridal party is informed that since the ceremony is = being held in our Sanctuary, that such musical selections are inappropriate for performance and that the party should consider that music for the = reception (held off church premises) or consider another venue for their ceremony. (City Hall perhaps) My congregation is very conscious of it's missions role in = seeking to invite the unchurched into the "Fold" however, there are few places in = civilized society where one can go in and do as they might please at the expense of = the host and the rules and pleasure of the host's facility. I am well aware that this is the "bride's special day." I am equally aware that the world does not stop and take notice because "Mary Sue" = decided to marry her dreamboat. A professional banquet hall will give the bridal = party a list of "Do's and Don'ts" which the party will be expected to abide by irrespective of how much money was paid. The Limo company will delineate = their expectations of the bridal party, why is it a stretch in some minds that = these same people will have any problem understanding the rules and acceptable = behavior in a church, whether they are members or not? When I accepted the position as Minister of Music at this church, I provided the pastor and the church administrator with a 7 page document = which spelled out in painful detail, my duties to this church and the = expectations I had for the behavior of the church towards me. Many of my colleagues continue = to have problems with church administrations because they still naively = believe that the church is some "holier than thou" entity that can be trusted in = all matters to do the "right thing." Nothing could be further from the truth. = Some of the most detestable experiences I've had have been at the hands of "church =   people." Checks that bounced for wedding services, "Trustee so and so = didn't show up to sign checks today so you must wait until later to get your = paycheck." Imagine telling the pastor that you'll be in at 11am on Monday morning to = play the Sunday morning service because the church was a day late in meeting = their payroll. Good for the Goose, Good for the Gander. You'd be fired so = quickly that no one would be able to remember you had ever been there. As for funerals, again, the Minister of Music (or the person I = appoint) is the ONLY person who will be permitted to play. In the 20 plus years = I've been in and around the Baltimore area, I've never seen a mortuary provide = a "keyboard player" for a church funeral. We have individuals in this area = who make a large portion of their annual income as "funeral organists," however, my congregation is very strict about who is authorized to use the instruments = for services. My congregation is not unique. I held a position 10yrs ago at = another Baptist Church with the same policy. When my friend got married, I was no longer on the staff of that church, and I was allowed to play only the = prelude and the recessional/postlude for my friend's marriage.The church's Minister of =   Music played for the ceremony proper. Until we have prevailed upon church administrations to understand = that inasmuch as no minister would be allowed to mount the pulpit of a church without the authorization of the pastor or rector of that church, so = should no outside guest, "cheaper", 'friend of the bride" "11 year old little boy = graduate of the Matilda Attacka D'Keyboard school of Church Organ playing in 8 easy lessons at home in your spare time by correspondence method", be permitted = to go in and use the instrument without proper consideration of the incumbent.   Warren D. Hood, II Baltimore Maryland