PipeChat Digest #4751 - Thursday, September 9, 2004
What is happening to today's church (part II)
  by "Larry Wheelock" <llwheels@mac.com>
  by "Alan Freed" <acfreed0904@earthlink.net>
Trinity Wall Street
  by "Glenda" <gksjd85@direcway.com>
  by "F. Richard Burt" <effarbee@verizon.net>
Re: Problems
  by "bobelms" <bobelms@westnet.com.au>
Re: What is happening to today's church (part II)
  by "jch" <opus1100@catoe.org>
  by "Keith Zimmerman" <kwzimmerman@alltel.net>
Re: Problems
  by "bobelms" <bobelms@westnet.com.au>
Re: Pet Peaves O'mine, pronunciations etc
  by "Roy Redman" <rredman@imagin.net>
Re: Problems
  by "littlebayus@yahoo.com" <littlebayus@yahoo.com>
Electronic Swell Motors
  by "Nathan Smith" <erzahler@sbcglobal.net>
Being happy in your church!
  by "Sand Lawn" <glawn@jam.rr.com>
small pipe organs for small churches
  by "Gary Black" <gblack@ocslink.com>
  by "John Jarvis" <jljarvis@comcast.net>

(back) Subject: What is happening to today's church (part II) From: "Larry Wheelock" <llwheels@mac.com> Date: Wed, 8 Sep 2004 19:11:19 -0500   Emily Adams wrote:   > 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....   "Idiots?" A little harsh perhaps. I've never actually 'hung-up under such circumstances, but I have ended phone-calls of interviews when I realized that continuing would be fruitless. Why make myself miserable in a situation which I would find unfulfilling? In fairness, only the person 'hanging-up' can determine what kind of trade-off they are willing to make. Every job has trade-offs. One might have good liturgy and tempermental clergy, or another a good choir but lousy acoustics. I personally have never considered taking a job at a parish where there was no organ, or an organ substitute. I have made this choice . The SOUND of an organ is important to my well-being as a musician, and I would find the task of regularly making music on most church installations of electronics, or digitas, or sampled-organs, or what-have-you to be personally unfulfilling. I have no doubt that I would soon seek-out another situation. For the same reason I have chosen a small pipe organ for my practice instrument in my home. I certainly could have had a mega-stop substitute but I would have found hours of practice on such an instrument to be tedious rather than inspiring. I would find practice on a single well-voiced flute stop to be preferable to most commercially available substitute instruments.   > ...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....   I note that, among your list of trained musicians there is no mention of any keyboard artists of any kind and in particular, no mention of any trained organists. Do you wonder why? People choose to join a particular congregation for myriad reasons, and it is not surprising that a trained vocalist, or oboist or band director might choose to trade-off other things against the sound of the Rodgers. If that satisfies them, so be it. It would not satisfy me.   I'm given to understand that there are some high-end specialty custom-made instruments which have a remarkable degree of fidelity to the sound of a real pipe, but those instruments are beyond the scope of what I can afford to spend while smallish pipe organs can be comparatively inexpensive. This is generally true for small congregations as well.   > 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.   How nice for you that you have found a situation which you find fulfilling, and I'm glad you are happy there, but please do not presume to decide for someone else what would or should make him or her happy. Please also understand that the presence of a pipe organ in a congregation does not make or limit that congregation to value it's musicians less, in fact quite the opposite is generally true.   > Rodgers is an easy tradeoff for me.   But.. not for me, and I'll thank you not to presume I am an idiot for knowing what trade-offs I am willing to make.   > 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.   No, you are mistaken, this is not the conclusion of a "rational" person. This is the conclusion of someone not willing to do the necessary work to lay the foundation for the congregation to appreciate and value the organ, and to teach them that it is possible to seek-out a better choice for the congregation. Sorry, this is simply a non-argument. The Organ Clearing House has literally hundreds of pipe organs begging for new homes at the fraction of the cost of a new instrument. Many more pipe organs are simply trashed because of congregations insistence on buying something 'brand-new' or, more often because no one in the congregation has the either the knowledge or the willingness to acquire knowledge necessary to procure a pipe organ. It's not rocket science, but it does require a willingness to get beyond the attitude of "We're too poor, we're too unsophisticated, or we're too (fill-in the blank)"   Congregations in general do NOT just decide out-of-the-blue to go buy a pipe organ. It takes education, prodding, and someone with a passion for what is possible which is not hindered by common misconceptions that real art is unattainable by average folk. I have worked with such congregations in the past and while I do not have time to tell you all the stories right now, believe me, the people are out there in our congregations if one can inspire and motivate them to see beyond their limitations.   But, as long as you are happy 'making-do' then there is no reason for you to aspire to anything greater.   Larry Wheelock Director of Music Ministries Kenwood United Methodist Church Milwaukee, Wisconsin musicdirector@kenwood-umc.org
(back) Subject: Re: MORE ORCHESTRAS, LESS ORGAN!?!?!?!?!? From: "Alan Freed" <acfreed0904@earthlink.net> Date: Wed, 08 Sep 2004 20:12:34 -0400   On 9/8/04 7:50 PM, "Andy Lawrence" <andy@ablorgans.com> wrote:   > But if they want to spend their money that way, why not? A choir > accompanied by an orchestra is amazing!   In Salt Lake City, FINE! But whatchagonnado about Idaho Falls? Or even Boise? How many stakes in each?   Alan    
(back) Subject: Trinity Wall Street From: "Glenda" <gksjd85@direcway.com> Date: Wed, 08 Sep 2004 19:55:03 -0500   What is the current talk about the future of the organ? Is the current installation what will be? Is there any effort to restore the past instrument? Build a new one?   Just wondering.   Glenda Sutton gksjd85@direcway.com          
(back) Subject: MORE ORCHESTRAS, LESS ORGAN -- not quite From: "F. Richard Burt" <effarbee@verizon.net> Date: Wed, 8 Sep 2004 19:59:42 -0600   Hello, Seb, Bud, et al: Having posed the question of having an orchestra for every seek (assuming one service on Sunday and one rehearsal at union scale), how would you respond to 36 orchestral volunteers at no financial cost to the church. This orchestra exists mostly as it provides the players a place to give their talent a hearing. We have one rehearsal every week, and play on only one Sunday morning each month. However, that one Sunday probably includes two services. We do this as a regular part of our worship music ministry at the First Baptist Church in Garland. The orchestra includes about 18 to 20 string players, one or two flutes, one or two clarinets, oboe, bassoon, one or two horns, three or four trombones, maybe a tuba, three or four trumpets, kettle drums, snare drum, glokenspiel, cymbals, maybe a modern trap set, and any other "special" instruments we can put to good use. We have had as many as 50 players in this orchestra but the normal level is between 35 and 40 players, mostly depending on how many string players are available.   We suffer most of the problems of weak technique and irregular attendance due to conflicts in family schedules. This is still a large expense when we have to pay the orchestra leader (mostly to rehearse for the Sunday performance without the presence of the Music Director). My wife works about 24 hours each week directly on supporting the needs of the orchestra with scores and materials for rehearsal and performance. When we started the orchestra about 8 years ago, we were mostly playing quarter notes and slower technical requirements. Last year, we played the accompaniment parts to Messiah (Handel) with the assistance of only four professional string players (one per part). That's a lot of contribution just for the "fun" of playing regularly as volunteers, but we like it. AND, don't forget that these volunteer performances have to pay the royalties, too. NOW, I don't advocate placing most orchestra players into your regular musical mix, for it takes a tremendous amount of support by the Music Director, my wife (orchestra administrator), and everyone else who moves the stands, chairs, and instruments in and out as needed. At times, I think that Diane Bish is right about the organ being capable of doing everything that you might expect out of an orchestra, and the coordination time to get that kind of production costs much less. Hmmmmmmm........ Gotta go think about other things for a while. F. Richard Burt Dorian Organs ..    
(back) Subject: Re: Problems From: "bobelms" <bobelms@westnet.com.au> Date: Thu, 9 Sep 2004 08:13:46 +0800   Hi Glenda, Thanks for you message. Well, I am forced to do the same thing. They say = my mailbox is rejecting postings from PIPORG-L yet I am still receiving them. = I have been cut off again so I am going to just let it stay that way. Regards, Bob. ----- Original Message ----- From: "Glenda" <gksjd85@direcway.com> To: "'PipeChat'" <pipechat@pipechat.org> Sent: Thursday, September 09, 2004 6:15 AM Subject: RE: Problems     > Bob, I had to let Piporg-L go because I kept getting bumped off it, even > after I went to considerable expense to get satellite internet and boost > my signal and strength. It had nothing to do with personalities or ill > feelings. Ben and I have talked about it several times, but their > settings are somehow stricter I guess. >  
(back) Subject: Re: What is happening to today's church (part II) From: "jch" <opus1100@catoe.org> Date: Wed, 08 Sep 2004 20:21:00 -0500   At 07:11 PM 9/8/2004, you wrote: >But, as long as you are happy 'making-do' then there is no reason for you =   >to aspire to anything greater.   Never let it be said that you have strong opinions here....but I have to agree, given the choice between a pipe organ or an electronic clone, I would choose the real thing.   Jon        
(back) Subject: MORE ORCHESTRAS, LESS ORGAN!?!?!?!?!? From: "Keith Zimmerman" <kwzimmerman@alltel.net> Date: Wed, 8 Sep 2004 21:35:54 -0400   A few have mentioned that it must cost a fortune for these large churches = to have orchestras. I'm only familiar with two churches with orchestras. = For years I attended FBC Atlanta where they had a 4/86 Schantz. For the 11:00 worship service, an orchestra of about 30 people played along with the organ. They often accompanied the choir as well. To my knowledge, each member of the orchestra was a member of the church and donated their talents. IOW, this wasn't their day job. They loved music, but, for whatever reason, they (like I) chose to go into another field instead of music. Therefore they volunteered to play in the church orchestra. In a large city church there might even by chance (or by providence) be enough musicians to have a decent small orchestra. Are they polished? More or less. Most are not professional, but they do a good job and the congregation love(s) them.   My parents now attend a fairly large (not like FBC) church in Athens, Ga which has a medium sized ensemble. The members of this ensemble are = members of the church, have other occupations, and donate their time and talents = in order to have a better music program. I think one or two of the members = are on the music faculty at the University.   Sorry 'bout all that just to answer a question.   Keith      
(back) Subject: Re: Problems From: "bobelms" <bobelms@westnet.com.au> Date: Thu, 9 Sep 2004 10:24:07 +0800   Sorry! Caught yet again. The REPLY button sent my P mail to Glenda to the entire list. I'll try to remember next time. Bob Elms.   ----- Original Message ----- From: "Glenda" <gksjd85@direcway.com> To: "'PipeChat'" <pipechat@pipechat.org> Sent: Thursday, September 09, 2004 6:15 AM Subject: RE: Problems     > Bob    
(back) Subject: Re: Pet Peaves O'mine, pronunciations etc From: "Roy Redman" <rredman@imagin.net> Date: Wed, 8 Sep 2004 21:45:43 -0500   There is still another type of all-sticker action organ. There is a = small, rather late model Rieger, in a Lutheran Church here in Fort Worth = where the stickers proceed directly upward from the keys into the = windchest. When I first saw this, I was amazed, and wondered how it = could possibly work. Upon opening the pallet box, I discovered that the = stickers worked on a pallet extension, thus opening the pallet in a = rocker motion. Very clever!! This organ also has a mechanical coupler = which can couple second manual to first or first to second. This is = done with backfalls under the first manual and an aluminum C channel = which can be rocked to change the fulcrum from bottom to top of the = backfall! Ah, the legacy of GG. Roy Redman ----- Original Message -----=20 From: John Speller=20 To: PipeChat=20 Sent: Wednesday, September 08, 2004 5:55 AM Subject: RE: Pet Peaves O'mine, pronunciations etc     There is, however, a design of mechanical action in which there are no = trackers and in which a sticker runs directly from the key and opens the = pallet. This is called a "pin pallet" action, and was sometimes used in = small chamber organs in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.   John Speller   Will Light <will.light@btinternet.com> wrote: Yes- ditto! A tracker is just a long thin bit of wood which pulls = something at its other end. A similar bit of wood that pushes something is = called a "sticker", but nobody ever calls an organ a "sticker action". Maybe = because it might suggest that something "sticks"  
(back) Subject: Re: Problems From: "littlebayus@yahoo.com" <littlebayus@yahoo.com> Date: Wed, 8 Sep 2004 20:02:50 -0700 (PDT)   Greetings to all...   Although I am a member of PIPORG-L, for various considerations I prefer to read their postings on the web... As I have posting privileges, I can still post...   For me, this arrangement works out fine... Why not try it?   Best wishes to all...     Morton Belcher fellow list member --- bobelms <bobelms@westnet.com.au> wrote:   > Hi Glenda, > Thanks for you message. Well, I am forced to do the > same thing. They say my > mailbox is rejecting postings from PIPORG-L yet I am > still receiving them. I > have been cut off again so I am going to just let it > stay that way. > Regards, > Bob. > ----- Original Message ----- > From: "Glenda" <gksjd85@direcway.com> > To: "'PipeChat'" <pipechat@pipechat.org> > Sent: Thursday, September 09, 2004 6:15 AM > Subject: RE: Problems > > > > Bob, I had to let Piporg-L go because I kept > getting bumped off it, even > > after I went to considerable expense to get > satellite internet and boost > > my signal and strength. It had nothing to do with > personalities or ill > > feelings. Ben and I have talked about it several > times, but their > > settings are somehow stricter I guess. > > > > ****************************************************************** > "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> > >       __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? Yahoo! Mail is new and improved - Check it out! http://promotions.yahoo.com/new_mail  
(back) Subject: Electronic Swell Motors From: "Nathan Smith" <erzahler@sbcglobal.net> Date: Wed, 8 Sep 2004 23:03:43 -0400 (Eastern Standard Time)   Dear List,=0D =0D I tend to be in favor of preserving existing equipment, such as swell engines. The pneumatic engines take advantage of a readily available sou= rce of energy (wind), and tend to be quite reliable. A whiffle-tree type eng= ine with inside valve pouches and pneumatics covered with rubber cloth or polylon will last you a long time - at least 50 years I would say (If the CPL lasts as long as Havana leather did). As for the individual shade motors, I know of a few Artiste organs that are still cruising on 1950's leather. A properly muffled primary should give you quiet service with minimal current draw. I would submit that the pneumatic engines:=0D =0D 1 - Are probably cheaper to releather than replace=0D 2 - Achieved a high level of quiet reliability in their day=0D 3 - Are less susceptable to damage from lightning strikes save for a dire= ct hit where the damage would be roughly equal.=0D 4 - A direct hit on a pneumatic engine would be more aromatic than an electric.=0D =0D If the installation of an electronic motor is inevitable, I would strongly suggest installing it in an accessible place, possibly where the old motor was mounted. I have encountered quite a few installations wher= e the motors were either way up above the shades and over the pipes where t= hey are very difficult to service, or they have been mounted on the front of = the tuning perch over the chest, which has obvious disadvantages. If the mot= or must be mounted to the perch, make sure it can take the abuse, those moto= rs are strong! A nice mounting spot for the control box would facilitate service as well. A second possible issue is that whiffle-tree systems generally use a spring or gravity tension to open. As far as I know, an electronic engine generates both opening and closing motion - which might work an existing linkage system loose. Thirdly, make sure the unit gets clean surge-protected power, they can and do fry!=0D =0D Admittedly, I never really notice the ones that behave nicely, they see= m to operate quietly and reliably in the background. However, the pointers= I have mentioned above result from some experiences with the motors that ga= ve trouble. The most entertaining of those experiences was when a control b= ox was fried by a lightning storm and the speed control function was lost. = The shades would zoom to a position and would shake after reaching it from th= e sheer momentum of the movement.=0D =0D In closing, I would say that while the electric motors are well develop= ed, when they go, they go in thrilling ways. If a stage or two dies on a whiffle tree or shade pneumatic set-up, swell function will resume, albei= t impaired. The electric motors use energy during every movement, opening = and closing. They also are sensitive to power issues, and draw quite a bit m= ore than a traditional swell engine. The pneumatic engines will huff and puf= f away using some of the abundant wind supply, and will do so as long as th= ere are sheep to skin. It will be interesting to see how long parts will be available for the electrics!=0D =0D Best,=0D =0D - Nate=0D =0D =20
(back) Subject: Being happy in your church! From: "Sand Lawn" <glawn@jam.rr.com> Date: Wed, 8 Sep 2004 22:07:33 -0500   I know that there must be more organists who are happy in their situation than me..... and Monty. More and more I am thankful for my situation. I would like to hear some more happy stories.   I am in a small church, 280 members, about 160 who are involved. There is money for missions (we support a sister church in Cuba), we have a pipe organ and a good choir. The church was founded fifteen years ago by about = 80 Baptists who were uncomfortable with the growing informality of most = Baptist churches, but were not ready to leave the denomination. The result was a church with a liturgical tradition, fine music, an expanding collection of liturgical art, a well attended concert series, and a challenging minister who commutes weekly from Washington, DC and a brilliant young Pastoral minister.   Over the past few years, we have presented a fully-staged production of "Amahl and the Night Visitors" (with a ten year old kid who is a member of the Children's Choir), the Mendelssohn "Hymn of Praise", the entire "Messiah", and the Rutter "Requiem" and "Gloria."   OK, I will shut up! I am very happy to be a church musician who has found his perfect niche. Hope to hear of more happy situations.   Sand Lawn Northminster Church Monroe, LA >    
(back) Subject: small pipe organs for small churches From: "Gary Black" <gblack@ocslink.com> Date: Wed, 8 Sep 2004 23:44:05 -0500   I live in on one of the smallest counties in Illinois and we are lucky to have two pipe organs in the town in which I live of 850 people. 5 rank unit Wicks at the Methodist Church, where I play, and a 10 rank Pilcher that has been rebuilt within the past 4 years at the Catholic Church. The Baptists have a Conn and the Apostolics none at all. The = other two towns have Hinners, Bennett, and Gratian amongst the different denominations. Since I am within 50 miles from Pekin, home of Hinners, there are still a lot of these organs still playing away in their original installations and most untouched except for an occasional tuning. Princeton, Illinois is only 25 miles away, "organ Mecca" as we refer to it around here. What town has a plaque in front of the town hall that is dedicated to an organist? Virgil Fox is the name. Organs by Howell, Schantz, Wicks, Moller and Hinners and a one manual Kilgen at the = Episcopal Church, just to name a few. Some fun there. Even churches that are in the country have pipe organs, usually one manual Hinners trackers from before the 20's. Thanks for listening. Gary    
(back) Subject: RE: MORE ORCHESTRAS, LESS ORGAN!?!?!?!?!? From: "John Jarvis" <jljarvis@comcast.net> Date: Wed, 8 Sep 2004 22:19:11 -0700   "An orchestra is great, but that's a lot of musicians to=20 pay! But if they want to spend their money that way, why not? A choir=20 accompanied by an orchestra is amazing! I guess they probably already = have=20 a paid orchestra in the pit anyway? "   Who said that these orchestras are paid? My past experience in a large church (Evangelical Free) with 7,000 members is that there were enough people to fill out an orchestra without paying anyone. Most of these = people were professional musicians playing in studio environments, local = symphonies or teachers. Many of them were not professional musicians buy educated people with a lot of talent. In a music program of nearly 1,000 people = only the Music Minister and the organist were paid. The orchestra played = once a month on average while the 300 voice choir sang every week. It IS very thrilling to sing grand hymns with a full orchestra. =20   I currently play in a Worship Band on Saturday evenings as their regular pianist is not able to be there on Saturday evenings. This works well as = I have a Sunday morning Organ gig at another church (I get paid). All of = the people in this Worship Band are studio musicians except me, most of them have music degrees and all giving of their time as a "Spiritual service = of worship" (Romans 12:1). This Band includes Bass, lead guitar, keyboard, piano, multiple brass (Trmpts, Tromb, etc.)   I have to admit that I get very frustrated with this list as we seem to = go around in circles on these off topic topics. Can we stick to organ = topics and not bash the traditions of others? The love of organs is the common factor among all of us who are from many varied backgrounds, training, denominations, worship styles and etc. This list is called PipeChat not Worship Bashing!   OK, off my soap box and back to hiding in the shadows. =20 John Jarvis