Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 25

Thread: dealing with impolite congregations

  1. #1
    Recruit, Pianissimo
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    10
    Post Thanks / Like

    dealing with impolite congregations

    Hello all.

    I have only posted here one other time, but this might be something that has affected others of you. Today, while I was playing the prelude at church, a congregation member's cell phone rang loudly. While it annoys me very much in the first place that people do not turn off their cell phones during worship I did not believe that this individual would actually answer it but she exceeded my lowest of expectations and not only answered it but proceeded to engage in a conversation that was audible even above all the other people who never listen to the prelude but rather prefer to talk through it. People do not understand that the prelude is part of the service.

    I am sure I am hardly the only organist to experience this kind of thing, but for some reason this one has bothered my all day. Has anyone else here seen this kind of thing happen and how did you deal with it?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso Dorsetmike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Poole Dorset UK
    Posts
    4,519
    Post Thanks / Like
    I'd be inclined to break into something loud and drown them out, maybe not correct, but satisfying!!
    Cheers MIKE.

    How many roads must a man walk down ... ... before he admits he's lost?

  3. #3
    Recruit, Pianissimo
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    3
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by goodwill67 View Post
    Hello all.

    I have only posted here one other time, but this might be something that has affected others of you. Today, while I was playing the prelude at church, a congregation member's cell phone rang loudly. While it annoys me very much in the first place that people do not turn off their cell phones during worship I did not believe that this individual would actually answer it but she exceeded my lowest of expectations and not only answered it but proceeded to engage in a conversation that was audible even above all the other people who never listen to the prelude but rather prefer to talk through it. People do not understand that the prelude is part of the service.

    I am sure I am hardly the only organist to experience this kind of thing, but for some reason this one has bothered my all day. Has anyone else here seen this kind of thing happen and how did you deal with it?

    Thanks.
    I can understand forgetting to turn off the cell phone, but to converse goes beyond forgettfulness to rudeness!!
    Last edited by Krummhorn; Jul-13-2009 at 01:40. Reason: continuity

  4. #4
    Commodore con Forza
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    West Midlands, UK
    Posts
    701
    Post Thanks / Like
    This sort of experience can be very annoying, but i think it's important to grit your teeth and not to take it personally. It would be naive to imagine that every member of the congregation is going to sit quietly and listen to your playing, but some will.

  5. #5
    Admiral of Fugues Contratrombone64's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    5,340
    Post Thanks / Like
    Pull out the bombardes and heavy reeds and let 'er rip ...
    I'm not an atheist and I don't think I can call myself a pantheist. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many different languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn't know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God.
    —Albert Einstein.

  6. #6
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso methodistgirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Madisonville,Ky.42431
    Posts
    4,411
    Post Thanks / Like
    Organist are not the only ones. I've seen when the preacher was
    preaching people get up and walk about. If that wasn't enough some
    one would let their kid squall for a good while before they would
    take it out. I've also seen it where you could tell if the congregation
    was listening to the preacher or tuning him out. I hate it when that
    happens when he was being tuned out. What is really aggravating
    is feed back on the microphone and it whistles loudly.
    judy tooley

  7. #7
    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona
    Posts
    7,952
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    3
    I've used the approach that Dorsetmike and Contratrombone64 have suggested many times ... does it always help? Not really. After 48+ years on the organ bench in church, I have given up trying to play preludes that tie in to the lessons or theme of the day.

    The only exception being the festival or feast services where I have standard pieces that I always play on those given days year after year.

    I made a bet with another organist once saying that I could actually play "I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandee" during the prelude and nobody would notice. I won the bet ... and yes, I really played it, however quite "reverently" ... not one single parishioner caught on to it.

    When the din becomes annoying, I will just start increasing volume, adding stops until I have achieved tutti, then will suddenly drop to the quietest stop ... the worst offending yakkers quickly get the point and then shut their traps. Works every time!

    For the most part, I accept it as the norm these days .. except when someones mobile phone rings - now, that's just plain rude, and there is no excuse for that happening.
    Kh ~~.
    Administrator


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


  8. #8
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso wljmrbill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Taylors, South Carolina, USA
    Posts
    3,060
    Post Thanks / Like
    I have experienced this situation many times in my career.. and usually ingnore the issue and go on with my music.. I do tend to increase the volume to cover them up.. I too love to catch them at it with a sudden "ppp"...then they feel like a jackass they are... Most the of priest I worked with made it quite clear they would not tolertate chatting and cell phone on "ring" within the nave or durning services..

  9. #9
    Captain of Water Music JONESEY's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    305
    Post Thanks / Like
    It's not happened to me, but I think I'd be inclined to stop where I was, let them have their conversation and then start again - surely they'd take the hint at that?.

    I was playing a prelude yesterday and the sidesperson started ringing the bell before the service - while it is necessary not only does it drown the organ out, but I can't find a key to play in that is in tune with the ruddy thing!!!!!!!

  10. #10
    Commodore con Forza
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    544
    Post Thanks / Like
    Has it occurred to anyone that some kind soul could put an announcement in the service bulletin or program, which most churches use? Maybe it should be right at the top so it's the first thing people see. I've seen bulletins that say that the organ prelude begins the service.

    Anyone failing to turn off a cell phone in church ought to be called on the carpet in no uncertain terms. Since there's always a person up in front doing a lot of talking, that person would be the one to lay down the law.

  11. #11
    Midshipman, Forte Aristide's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    26
    Post Thanks / Like
    I adhere to wljmrbill's approach, playing PP or PPP, which causes the rest of the congregation to give the renegade the evil eye. Usually works.
    This thing seems to happen mostly during weddings ... and funerals.

  12. #12
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso Mat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    3,600
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by Krummhorn View Post
    When the din becomes annoying, I will just start increasing volume, adding stops until I have achieved tutti, then will suddenly drop to the quietest stop ... the worst offending yakkers quickly get the point and then shut their traps. Works every time!
    Wish you could do that during a philharmonic concert...
    Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent.
    -- Victor Hugo


  13. #13
    Ensign, Principal
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Worcestershire UK
    Posts
    68
    Post Thanks / Like
    Hi all,

    This is a perennial problem that seems to be part of the organisits lot, at least in the small parishes.

    On the subject of mobiles, one went off last night, on the occasion of my school choir singing a traditional evensong for the first time (to the delight of all the old-timers). Whilst playing the choir in, a phone started to chime. 'Bl**dy parents' thought I; until I realised it was mine...

  14. #14
    Commodore con Forza musicalis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    France (City of Bourges)
    Posts
    941
    Post Thanks / Like
    You should stop your prelude at once and play the same tune that the cell phone ring until she understand and get ou the church
    Friendly yours. Jean-Paul

    Music is my placebo

    Please visit my channel and web site to hear the music I compose
    http://fr.youtube.com/organcomposer
    http://organ.monespace.net

  15. #15
    Civilian
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Veneta, Oregon
    Posts
    1
    Post Thanks / Like

    .....impolite congregations

    This is a universal problem with church musicians.

    I have played for services in many different settings -- military chapels, Catholic, Protestant and non-denominational churches, etc. I have been doing this professionally since 1955.

    Most congregations have not been informed about how important the prelude is as a preparation for worship. I have worked with many ministers and chaplains who have taken the time to teach about how all the parts of the service work to make the worship experience whole.

    One thing that can be done, and we did it in a Presbyterian Church for over 18 years, until I retired -- is to have the organist play the prelude AFTER the minister does the greeting and call to worship.

    Also, our congregation became accustomed to remain seated during the postlude after our minister reminded the congregation how it could be a good time to reflect on the service.

    Remember to keep loving that congregation of yours. Take my word for it, they do love your music.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •