PipeChat Digest #4749 - Wednesday, September 8, 2004
 
RE: What is happening to today's church (part II)
  by "Daniel Hancock" <dhancock@brpae.com>
MORE ORCHESTRAS, LESS ORGAN!?!?!?!?!?
  by <AEolianSkinner@aol.com>
RE: MORE ORCHESTRAS, LESS ORGAN!?!?!?!?!?
  by "Daniel Hancock" <dhancock@brpae.com>
Re: What is happening to today's church (part II)
  by "Alan Freed" <acfreed0904@earthlink.net>
Re: What might be happening to today's church
  by <TubaMagna@aol.com>
Re: MORE ORCHESTRAS, LESS ORGAN!?!?!?!?!?
  by "Liquescent" <quilisma@cox.net>
Who is playing in today's church?
  by <TubaMagna@aol.com>
pipe organs in rural churches
  by "Liquescent" <quilisma@cox.net>
What is happening to today's church (part II)
  by "Emily Adams" <eadams@cinci.rr.com>
Re: swell motors
  by <RMaryman@aol.com>
small pipe organs for small churches
  by "Liquescent" <quilisma@cox.net>
 

(back) Subject: RE: What is happening to today's church (part II) From: "Daniel Hancock" <dhancock@brpae.com> Date: Wed, 8 Sep 2004 14:04:59 -0500   So the average weekly attendance is 90; what's the membership? And what is the annual budget, in rough figures? You are fortunate to have income supplements by using your building(s) creatively.   =20   Daniel   Springfield, Missouri   =20   -----Original Message----- From: pipechat@pipechat.org [mailto:pipechat@pipechat.org] On Behalf Of Alan Freed Sent: Wednesday, September 08, 2004 1:58 PM To: PipeChat Subject: Re: What is happening to today's church (part II)   =20   On 9/8/04 1:35 PM, "Daniel Hancock" <dhancock@brpae.com> wrote:   And I'd be interested to know (in quantifying terms) just what a small parish of modest means is in New York City-for comparison.   Simple. We're 154 years in the same neighborhood, 81 years in our present building. Old Germn-Irish neighborhood, but now not nearly so residential as it was, and is classified by Census Bureau as "Bohemian singles." Neighborhood is the Theatre District off Times Square; gentrifying quite noticeably. Several new high-rise apartment houses close by, from which we draw no one. Largely our fault; we're not TRYing! =20   Nave seats 270; choir is maybe 16. Sixty years ago we had several hundred baptisms per year; now maybe two or three. Thirty years ago we had maybe 90 in church each Sunday; that remains stable. Age demographics are quite healthy: young singles from elsewhere, with performing arts ambitions and lots of talent. But little money. Most work as temps or as caterers, restaurant waiters, etc. =20   Our 1922 Moller died 15 years ago; promptly replaced by II/23 Walcker tracker from Germany ($160K). Liturgically we're high, as are all the neighboring ELCA parishes. Our music is pretty darn good, and our pastor is terrific. A lot of our budget is met by renting out space to non- or semi-related mostly secular activities (homeless shelter, off-Broadway theatre, Montessori School, church-related immigration/refugee service facility. Full time staff is pastor, administrator, building superintendent (has apartment on premises); cantor is part-time, but (even with three sons) can live on it as he is also assistant organist at the largest synagogue on earth. =20   Pastor is decently paid and housed (penthouse atop parish house); his wife works outside the home (in the bishop's office); we pay all costs for private schooling for their two kids. =20   What'm I leaving out? =20   Alan Freed www.stlukesnyc.org =20           =20  
(back) Subject: MORE ORCHESTRAS, LESS ORGAN!?!?!?!?!? From: <AEolianSkinner@aol.com> Date: Wed, 8 Sep 2004 15:11:52 EDT   Hey Guys, I have a disturbing line for yal. I was talking to Dr. James Drake = when I was in Salt Lake City two years ago, he told me that a few heads of the =   church said they would rather prefer hear an orchestra rather than a = organ. I was shocked to hear that. I would much rather hear a organ accompany a = nice size choir anyday. A few days ago, I also talked to a choir director in Houston and he told me that the pastor came up to him and said "could the =   orchestra accompany the choir instead of he organ?" I can't believe that = people would rather hear an orchestra over an organ. What are yal's thoughts?   Best Regards, Gregory Hinson    
(back) Subject: RE: MORE ORCHESTRAS, LESS ORGAN!?!?!?!?!? From: "Daniel Hancock" <dhancock@brpae.com> Date: Wed, 8 Sep 2004 14:18:04 -0500   Fortunately, budgetary issues preclude many of us from hiring enough musicians to form any kind orchestra versus paying a competent organist. However, I'm all for using other real musical instruments along with the organ-anything to demonstrate our instrument's capabilities and flexibility.   =20   Most of all, I fear that I (and perhaps many others) don't push the boundaries enough to showcase the organ for what it can really do. Also, we have to be judicious in our use of the organ, and not wear people out on the with the full ensemble too much. =20     All which goes to show that it isn't easy to do it right, and keep people interested and excited about what you and the organ can do-but it can be done.   =20   Daniel   Springfield, Missouri   =20   -----Original Message----- From: pipechat@pipechat.org [mailto:pipechat@pipechat.org] On Behalf Of AEolianSkinner@aol.com Sent: Wednesday, September 08, 2004 2:12 PM To: pipechat@pipechat.org Subject: MORE ORCHESTRAS, LESS ORGAN!?!?!?!?!?   =20   Hey Guys,   =20   I have a disturbing line for yal. I was talking to Dr. James Drake when I was in Salt Lake City two years ago, he told me that a few heads of the church said they would rather prefer hear an orchestra rather than a organ. I was shocked to hear that. I would much rather hear a organ accompany a nice size choir anyday. A few days ago, I also talked to a choir director in Houston and he told me that the pastor came up to him and said "could the orchestra accompany the choir instead of he organ?" I can't believe that people would rather hear an orchestra over an organ. What are yal's thoughts?=20   =20   Best Regards, Gregory Hinson  
(back) Subject: Re: What is happening to today's church (part II) From: "Alan Freed" <acfreed0904@earthlink.net> Date: Wed, 08 Sep 2004 15:57:19 -0400   On 9/8/04 3:04 PM, "Daniel Hancock" <dhancock@brpae.com> wrote:   > So the average weekly attendance is 90; what=B9s the membership? >=20 > =A7=A7=A7 Sorry I left that out; by now you=B9ve got those figures: maybe 140 > (almost entirely single adults). I should add that, being in a tourist a= rea, > we have anywhere from 15 to 50 visitors every Sunday, so even our =B3attend= ance > 90=B2 figure is misleading. In summertime, when our music (etc.) folks are > mostly on Caribbean cruise ships (waiting tables by day and doing > song-and-dance routines by evening), we sometimes have more visitors than > members! =20 >=20 > I could mention that we serve at least 200-300 meals (really very good on= es!) > per week in our soup kitchen; there=B9s some =B3public=B2 money in that, but it= is a > =B3cost=B2 item for us, too. Uncle Sam doesn=B9t pick up the WHOLE bill! >=20 > And what is the annual budget, in rough figures? >=20 > =A7=A7=A7 I=B9d love to tell you, but don=B9t have the figures, and am a total flo= p at > interpreting them if I did have them. >=20 > You are fortunate to have income supplements by using your building(s) > creatively. >=20 > =A7=A7=A7 You=B9re absolutely right, of course. It=B9s quite unusual. I don=B9t kn= ow > how we=B9d survive without these =B3extras=B2 (=B2use fees=B2) It=B9s one reason why= , if > I HAD the figures in front of me, they wouldn=B9t MEAN what they=B9d mean in = a > normal parish. When the next figures come out (early December?), I=B9d be = glad > to share them; feel free to ask me, and I=B9ll send you the whole wad. >=20 > Alan >=20    
(back) Subject: Re: What might be happening to today's church From: <TubaMagna@aol.com> Date: Wed, 8 Sep 2004 16:26:46 EDT   It might be unproductive to generalize about musical tastes or = desires, especially when blanket statements really do not apply. I refuse to = believe that people dislike pre-1800 music; I venture to think that more people = relate to Bach, Handel, and Mozart than to Stravinsky, Brahms, Franck, and Ligeti. Likewise, are pipe organs really always out of tune? If so, fire your "tech" and hire a professional organ tuner more than once a year. Congregants don't dislike mixtures, or any other stops in particular. They REALLY dislike organists who play on full organ all the time, without =   subtlety or nuance, and they are quite vocal about it. We cannot complain = that they don't understand the beauty and range of the organ if we do not = demonstrate it. How do we explain rural congregations and parishes, supposedly out of touch with the main stream, who educate themselves, go through the = selection process, and raise the money for fine pipe organs? While almost all = organesque instruments in the world are pipeless, we must find out why truly fine = all-pipe organs ARE showing up in what many consider to be "unlikely" = congregations. That might be more interesting, especially in light of the fact that good = pipe organs ARE being built without the single-donor factor, but rather with = the smaller contributions of many.   Sebastian M. Gluck New York City http://www.glucknewyork.com/   ..  
(back) Subject: Re: MORE ORCHESTRAS, LESS ORGAN!?!?!?!?!? From: "Liquescent" <quilisma@cox.net> Date: Wed, 08 Sep 2004 13:39:29 -0700   Couple of comments:   1. How do they AFFORD it? Even if they're just paying union scale (Sundays and holidays are usually MORE), the kinds of orchestras I see on TV in the mega-churches HAVE to cost a FORTUNE. Maybe it's different in other parts of the country, but in SoCal, if you want orchestra players, they WILL be union members. Period. Even members of the San Diego YOUTH Orchestra get scale when they play outside gigs.   And there's none of this business about the union rules and regs stopping at the church door either. I'VE been stopped by the concertmaster/contractor more than once for running over and/or into scheduled break times.   A STRING QUARTET for Christmas in these parts costs $1,000 ... that's $200 per player plus $200 for the contractor ... that gets you one two-hour rehearsal (or portion thereof; minimum, required), and one two-hour performance (or portion thereof; minimum, required). If the service goes over, you pay overtime.   2. One sometimes hears the argument that buying PIPE ORGANS isn't good stewardship ... we all know the long-term answer to that; but I can't IMAGINE justifying an ORCHESTRA to a church that has ANY sort of missionary/social consciousness. One could run a homeless shelter AND a soup kitchen for what it costs to have an orchestra every Sunday.   Even if the church CAN afford it, SHOULD they?   Cheers,   Bud   Daniel Hancock wrote:   > Fortunately, budgetary issues preclude many of us from hiring enough > musicians to form any kind orchestra versus paying a competent > organist. However, I=92m all for using other real musical instruments > along with the organ=97anything to demonstrate our instrument=92s > capabilities and flexibility. > > > > Most of all, I fear that I (and perhaps many others) don=92t push the > boundaries enough to showcase the organ for what it can really do. > Also, we have to be judicious in our use of the organ, and not wear > people out on the with the full ensemble too much. > > > All which goes to show that it isn=92t easy to do it right, and keep > people interested and excited about what you and the organ can do=97but = it > can be done. > > > > Daniel > > Springfield, Missouri > > > > -----Original Message----- > From: pipechat@pipechat.org [mailto:pipechat@pipechat.org] On Behalf Of > AEolianSkinner@aol.com > Sent: Wednesday, September 08, 2004 2:12 PM > To: pipechat@pipechat.org > Subject: MORE ORCHESTRAS, LESS ORGAN!?!?!?!?!? > > > > Hey Guys, > > > > I have a disturbing line for yal. I was talking to Dr. James Drake > when I was in Salt Lake City two years ago, he told me that a few heads > of the church said they would rather prefer hear an orchestra rather > than a organ. I was shocked to hear that. I would much rather hear a > organ accompany a nice size choir anyday. A few days ago, I also talked =   > to a choir director in Houston and he told me that the pastor came up to =   > him and said "could the orchestra accompany the choir instead of he > organ?" I can't believe that people would rather hear an orchestra over =   > an organ. What are yal's thoughts? > > > > Best Regards, > Gregory Hinson >      
(back) Subject: Who is playing in today's church? From: <TubaMagna@aol.com> Date: Wed, 8 Sep 2004 16:49:46 EDT   The problem of maintaining musical standards for sacred music programs =   comes both from within and from without our profession. Many of us have surges in blood pressure when we hear, "Our Minister = of Musical Praise is Crispen Carwithen, one of the best in the world. He = doesn't use the organ's foot-keys, but his mother taught him the accordian and = he's so desperately loves The Lord that he hasn't charged for his services in the = nine years he's been here. He just plays here to glorify The Almighty, and even =   wrote a two-fold Amen in honor of Pastor Gimp's wife." But is it any worse to have trained, yet self-depricating, organists embrace the lowbrow while tearing apart their colleagues who attempt to = promote sophisticated music programs? "I'm proud of my cruddy little Brand Z organ = (pipe or otherwise), and I won't shove haughty music down my parishioners' throats!!!" Do they REALLY enjoy playing that instrument? Do they really = think so little of the people in the pews, believing that they cannot appreciate = what we consider fine music? Does the act of resenting your colleagues who ARE attempting four-part singing and sophisticated service settings help one's = own situation? One last point: I have built a handful of instruments ranging from = five to thirteen ranks for churches that had no wealth base, no big donor, and = no trained organist. They chose to educate themselves, and they didn't price themselves out of the market by insisting on an organ that was too large = for their needs. They investigated pipe organs, pipeless instruments, and = combination instruments, and in the end, chose a small pipe organ. These instruments = serve their purposes. Two of these organs have no combination action. They use = the organs creatively and with joy, and have yet to demand 32' reeds, MIDI, = festival trumpets, or artificial gallery divisions. The choirs have grown, the = music has grown more sophisticated, and the present generation of children is = growing up with the concept of a pipe organ as something special.   Sebastian M. Gluck New York City http://www.glucknewyork.com/   ..  
(back) Subject: pipe organs in rural churches From: "Liquescent" <quilisma@cox.net> Date: Wed, 08 Sep 2004 13:59:15 -0700       TubaMagna@aol.com wrote:   > > How do we explain rural congregations and parishes, supposedly out = of > touch with the main stream, who educate themselves, go through the = selection > process, and raise the money for fine pipe organs? While almost all = organesque > instruments in the world are pipeless, we must find out why truly fine = all-pipe > organs ARE showing up in what many consider to be "unlikely" = congregations. > That might be more interesting, especially in light of the fact that = good pipe > organs ARE being built without the single-donor factor, but rather with = the > smaller contributions of many. > > Sebastian M. Gluck > New York City > http://www.glucknewyork.com/ > > .   Case in point: Mulberry Methodist Church, Mulberry, FL ... a gritty phosphate mining town of 2,000 souls. The original organ was a large one-manual reed organ; sometime around WWII the Methodists the next town over were given an Aeolian residence organ, and gave their stock model "L" (I think it was) 7-stop Estey to the Mulberry Methodists. It served served until the new church was built in the 1970s (I think it was). At that point they bought a 4-rank unit organ from the remnants of the "Florida" Skinner Organ Co ... they could have done better, in my opinion, but the point is that an electronic substitute was never on the table.   Ever.   Nor was there a professional organist leading the fight for a pipe organ. The organist was a schoolteacher/piano teacher; when she retired, she was succeeded by another schoolteacher/piano teacher.   When I was in high school, I drove Miss Addy around to hear and play various installations, both pipe and electronic. At that point, the electronic choices were Hammond, Wurlitzer (the local Baptist churches had two of those), Baldwin (the 5-A hadn't come out yet), and the Allen TC series ... there WAS one big custom Allen in the Congregational Church over in St. Petersburg, but all we had in our immediate area was TC-1s and TC-3s, or Rondos.   In each case, she'd play a verse of a hymn on the electronic, turn to me, and say, "Bud, what's wrong with this organ? It DOESN'T SOUND RIGHT!"   She didn't think much of Moller and Wicks unit organs either (chuckle). In fairness, the little Skinner WAS the best of THAT lot, and it was all they could AFFORD. They DID build a second chamber so they could enlarge it and de-unify it by adding an independent Swell; I don't know if they ever did.   It's still the only pipe organ in town as far as I know. The Women's Society of Christian Service saved their butter and egg money and had rummage sales and bake sales for DECADES in preparation for buying "a real pipe organ" for the new church. Aside from Miss Addy, I don't think anyone else was really pushing it ... it was just "the thing to do."   In Bartow, the next town over, only the Episcopalians gave up their old Artiste for an Allen when they built the new church. They sold it to the Lutherans along with their old church; the Lutherans were thrilled to death (chuckle).   Cheers,   Bud      
(back) Subject: What is happening to today's church (part II) From: "Emily Adams" <eadams@cinci.rr.com> Date: Wed, 8 Sep 2004 17:06:35 -0400   Alan asked about attitudes and conditions in other congregations. I = started playing in June for a smallish (about 100 members) ELCA congregation in a suburb of a major metro area in the Midwest. Lutherans are scarce in these =   parts. The area around our church is heavily Catholic, and there's a very large Christian (some kind of Church of Christ, not UCC) church nearby, = too. They've even managed to siphon off a few Lutherans because of the large, varied youth program. Although the population in the area is growing, it's =   perplexing to figure out how to attract new members. As one member told = me, "people who aren't used to our liturgy think it's weird." We usually have about 20 people at our contemporary service and 30 at the traditional service. There's a pretty good mix of age groups.   Our congregation is middle-middle class demographically. They built a new building 5 years ago, and I think it's paid for. It's simple--one small stained glass window, plain oak woodwork, etc. --but reasonably tasteful = and of decent quality. The budget is okay right now, but there's only an = interim minister. I'm not sure how all the bills will get paid after the new = pastor is called. These people really pitch in--they prepare the bulletin, do the =   janitorial work, whatever needs to be done. And they do it with care, quality, and reasonable good cheer.   I've been told that in the past potential organists said "no, thanks" and hung up the phone as soon as they heard there was a Rodgers instead of pipes. Personally I think those people were idiots, mostly because among = the congregation we have a retired musicology professor whose performance area =   was voice, a retired district band director, a Ph.D. candidate in oboe, = and several other semi-professional musicians and amateurs who've had formal training. Our choir director directs the vocal music program at a large = high school. I'd put the choir up against one from any church of the same size and resources. I'm much happier in this environment where music is valued and musicians are respected than I would be in a church with a nice pipe organ but where the members and staff afford the same degree of = respect--or less--to the organist as to the custodian. Rodgers is an easy tradeoff for =   me.   Unless someone were to leave an enormous bequest--and I don't think anyone =   in the church has access to that kind of money--this church will never = have a pipe organ. Even the Rodgers is smallish--good quality but pretty much = the minimum size to do reasonably varied service playing. Sure, they might = like to have pipes, but just about any rational person would realize that due mostly to demographics a lot of these people are giving till it hurts in time *and* money and still just barely keeping the church above water with = a bare-bones budget.   That's the report from where I am <g>.    
(back) Subject: Re: swell motors From: <RMaryman@aol.com> Date: Wed, 8 Sep 2004 17:13:32 EDT   In a message dated 9/8/2004 12:01:12 AM Eastern Daylight Time, gblack@ocslink.com writes: List, I have a question. Our 1946 unit Wicks is having swell pouch motor problems. Two of them have blown out and the rest are still working. = Would it be better to put a trace on the shades ( the motors now only open two shades apiece) and install an electric swell motor or have the pneumatic ones rebuilt? Curious minds like mine want to know. lol Thanks for your help. Gary to correctly answer the quetion, you need to know a little technical info about the contqactson the back of the swell pedal. The contact system is = made up of little brass 'half-moon' shaped discs, sequenced to make progressively = more contacts as the pedal is depressed. If your swell shoe only has 5 contacts = on it, then it may make more sense to rebuild the existing swell motor (completely, because if 2 have failed, the others will also become = problematic soon.)   If you have 10 contacts available, then you might want to consider = replacing the pneumatic swell motor, tying the shades together with a trace and intalling a Peterson swell shade operator (set up for 8 stages of = expression.) the reason you need ten is that one supplies the current to the other contacts = and you should have a spare.   Rick in VA  
(back) Subject: small pipe organs for small churches From: "Liquescent" <quilisma@cox.net> Date: Wed, 08 Sep 2004 14:54:41 -0700       Emily Adams wrote:     > > Unless someone were to leave an enormous bequest--and I don't think > anyone in the church has access to that kind of money--this church will > never have a pipe organ. Even the Rodgers is smallish--good quality but > pretty much the minimum size to do reasonably varied service playing. > Sure, they might like to have pipes, but just about any rational person > would realize that due mostly to demographics a lot of these people are > giving till it hurts in time *and* money and still just barely keeping > the church above water with a bare-bones budget. > > That's the report from where I am <g>. > > ******************************************************************   There was a lovely little one-manual Hinners pipe organ in a Lutheran church in the upper midwest that was available recently (it has since found a new home) ... it would have served the needs of an average congregation of thirty very well, and accompanied the choir as well.   The church was giving it away, as long as it went to another church; I was quoted a price of $30K to move it and set it up; it had already been restored. They were giving it away because it was too small for their new church.   There are 7-14 stop tracker pipe organs on Organ Clearing House all the time. Unless they've been rained on or the pipes have been beat to death by an ignorant tuner, most of them just need the reservoir releathered, broken trackers and leather nuts replaced, and maybe some of the keys recovered.   And, as Sebastian Gluck has often pointed out, MANY organ-builders have orphan organs in storage waiting for a home. He has that lovely 3m Roosevelt; Patrick Murphy was advertising a couple recently; Chris Holtkamp has a straight 11-stop Moller of 1966 that would serve a small church very well with some judicious revoicing.   I know of a turn of the century 10-stop Mason & Hamlin PIPE organ here locally in San Diego, AND the other half of the Singer Mansion Aeolian that somebody was looking for in a classified in the Diapason recently; a 2m Pilcher from a closed Methodist church recently went to a hobbyist .... a 3m Schantz from old First Baptist downtown also went to a hobbyist .... that's four just in San Diego. There may also be a 4-rank Wicks Fuga .... I'm not sure what happened to that.   There's also a 4-rank Artiste in good condition up in Orange County for $20K. There was a LOVELY old 1930s 4-rank Kimball for sale in Los Angeles not long ago. Wasn't it like $7K?   Except for the Aeolian (about 30 stops) and the Schantz (don't remember how big it was), these are SMALL PIPE ORGANS for SMALL churches.   A Lutheran church here saved a bundle on their Schlicker ... the men of the church built the case to Schlicker's specifications (!).   Not everybody could do THAT, but I moved a 27-stop tracker with volunteer labor under the supervision of an organ-builder.   Where there's a WILL there's a WAY.   Cheers,   Bud