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Thread: organist robe

  1. #1
    Seaman, Mezzoforte
    Join Date
    Jan 2010

    organist robe

    hello to all the organist in this great forum,please i want to find out if wearing the organist rope in a service is compulsory.our new minister is saying that i should be wearing the robe in every service. i have been playing the organ with my suit for sometime now without any problem from the past ministers.i personally dont like wearing the robe because it is too bogus and cumbersome.and am not always comfortable with it thanks

  2. #2
    Captain of Water Music
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    I personally like to see an organist wearing robes, though I know some robes can have rather too much fabric and be very cumbersome, as you say. However, if there is a robed choir, then it looks rather better if the organist too is robed - though doesn't mean the playing is any better, or any worse!

  3. #3
    Recruit, Pianissimo DrBen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    If the choir wears vestments, it is reasonable to expect the organist to do likewise. If the current garment affects the ability to play the organ, there are solutions. Ask around, especially among Anglicans (Episcopalians) and Lutherans whose choirs and organists are often in a chancel between the sanctuary and nave. Some garments have cut or altered sleeves that look like ordinary choir vestments when the organist's hands are at his side but that fall away when he is playing. In any case, the priest or pastor is the master of ceremonies and decides what clergy, acolytes, choristers and organists wear.

  4. #4
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso wljmrbill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Taylors, South Carolina, USA
    Being an old Episcopalian Organist.. I was always told the reason for the robes was so everyone looked the same regardless of what they may have had to wear:rich, poor, middle classes all appeared the same. as we are in the eyes of God.
    ....To play only what is written is the domain of science. To realize what is not written is the domain of art."
    - Jean Langlais

    I wish you the Best for each day, now and always.


  5. #5
    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Tucson, Arizona
    Robes in our church are worn to signify the 'leaders' of a particular worship service. The choir, organist, and assisting minister are the ones who are leading the congregation and hopefully making the experience wonderful.

    During the summer, I dispense with wearing one ... and so does our minister of music ... the organ console and pipes are located in side upstairs alcove. We have a central altar with opposing pews on both sides ... my view from the organ console is looking left down at the altar. The choir sits in chairs on risers to my right.

    If I were situated in the chancel or between the nave and the chancel, I would be robed for all services regardless of the presence of a choir. I have worked in places like that in the past, the last one being a huge RC parish in the early 90's.
    Kh ~~.

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

  6. #6
    Ensign, Principal
    Join Date
    May 2011
    I work in an Episcopal Church and I have to wear a robe as well. In my church the choir wears robes and so I agree that it looks better if the organist wears a robe as well so as to look unified. Also, my console is located in the chancel with the choir stalls so I am very visible. My solution is to only button the robe halfway down. That way when I sit at the bench I can push the bottom behind me (like a cape) so it doesn't get in the way of my legs and feet while playing, but still looks fine for anyone who can see me over the organ console.

  7. #7
    Captain of Water Music JONESEY's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    No robes for me ... I think a suit, shirt (and tie if it's a wedding or funeral) is good enough.
    Not sure I'd enjoy playing in a robe either, but having not done it, can't say for sure!!
    Twitter: Jonesey789

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