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Thread: Any other Catholic church organists here?

  1. #16
    Midshipman, Forte
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    I am no church organist, just a student. For now although they have been friendly with giving me access to the organs here there is definitely not a friendly attitude toward an organ blaring (or even whistling the flute stops) when peoeple enter the church for whatever their event is (This is in Uruguay or Argentina and therefore Catholic churches). I don't know how much involvement is given to thje organist during Mass service in Catholic church but I presume it is very little. I do not think there is much attention at all toward the organ in the Catholic church and have even come across priests here who heavily disagree with this kind of mindset. Maybe it's a regional thing but I don't see the Catholic Church as the best environment for the organist.

  2. #17
    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    Hi PraeludiumUndFuge,

    It depends on the parish ... the one I played in here in the US was very savvy towards the organ (III/94) and music in general. We also had a 54 voice adult choir that did the likes of Mozart's Coronation Mass - a real workout for the organist, for sure.
    Holy Week was an organists nightmare - chock full of music the entire week - Holy Thursday was a 90 minute Mass with 65 minutes of choral/organ music - Holy Saturday was the same. I was given the freedom to play what I wanted for a Prelude before Mass, but they seemed to prefer more meditative pieces.

    I'm not there anymore, but I still remain in contact with some parishioners as well as the music director and organist and they have continued the music traditions that were put into place years ago.

    Kh

  3. #18
    Commodore con Forza Soubasse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PraeludiumUndFuge View Post
    I do not think there is much attention at all toward the organ in the Catholic church and have even come across priests here who heavily disagree with this kind of mindset. Maybe it's a regional thing but I don't see the Catholic Church as the best environment for the organist.
    With the present administrative personel where I am, I'm afraid I agree with you. However, as Krummhorn pointed out, it does depend on the parish (and to a degree the country). I couldn't imagine the sort of quiet disdain we're treated with here happening somewhere like Paris or Rome where the tradition is obviously still strong.
    Music is made to transform the states of the soul, for an hour or an instant (J. Alain)

  4. #19
    Seaman, Mezzoforte
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    Hello guys,
    I too am a catholic church organist, and it is true that sometimes I was treated like some kind of music-box, but lately I found another church where they asked for my service, and they are showing quite a lot of interest and also give me a certain freedom regarding the hymns etc used during the liturgy. I definitely agree with thomas dressler that playing at church helps to tackle the problem of "learning to play in front of people"; I'm commenting about this because I experienced it, i feel much more confident now, than two years ago when i first started playing in churches.

    Besides, I get paid around Lm2 every Mass, so that's about 5 euros. But i don't really care about the money honestly, i play for the glory of God and for my enjoyment, the pay is a bonus! that's how i look at it!

    Regards,
    Matthew.
    Last edited by Matthew Schembri; Sep-17-2007 at 20:31.

  5. #20
    Captain of Water Music Thomas Dressler's Avatar
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    Interesting turn in this discussion. Wow, Krummhorn, that was quite the Catholic church job!

    Where I work now (Catholic church), they do like good music, but it's an education process that has been ongoing for about 20 years or a little more. The organist there years ago started them on the journey, and now those people have such a taste for good music that if you DON'T do it, they complain. They love to hear Bach, and I often get requests to "play something by Bach." Last year I started another step towards educating them by printing up a weekly music program, something along the lines of a Protestant "bulletin." I print out exactly what I'm playing and what the choir is singing, and if it's in a different language I print the translations. (The choir sings in English, Latin, German, and French.) This is unusual for a Catholic church, at least in this area. For years the only guide they had to the music was the hymn board in the front with the numbers on it. They LOVE these sheets, and it has raised the amount of participation and singing. The other thing they like is that I usually print a paragraph about the music, talking about composers or the pieces--some kind of little fun educational thing. A couple weeks ago a man stopped me and told me how much he liked that. He was reading a book about Henry VIII, and it mentioned Thomas Tallis, and he was excited that he actually KNEW something about Tallis from those blurbs! It's a lot of work on my part for no additional pay, but I find it very rewarding, because it is bringing an even greater appreciation for music in this parish. It's a very nice place to work for a classical organist, and it's Catholic!

  6. #21
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso methodistgirl's Avatar
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    catholic church organist

    Sorry I'm not really catholic but I am a Methodist. That's close enough
    for me. We are kinda like that without all of the masses. We are more
    typical of all of the other protestant churches. Just keep looking help
    is on it's way. Just pray about it.
    judy tooley

  7. #22
    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by methodistgirl View Post
    Sorry I'm not really catholic but I am a Methodist. That's close enough for me.
    I''ve been a Lutheran all my life, but the experience I had playing in that particular RC church was one of the most gratifying in my entire church organist career that has encompassed 47 years so far. We had some Methodists and Lutherans in that church choir, too.
    Kh ~~.
    Administrator


    Amateur musicians practice until they get it right ...
    Pro
    fessional musicians practice until they can't get it wrong ...


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