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Thread: What voluntaries will you play this Sunday?

  1. #31
    Seaman, Mezzoforte
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    Padster-- You need to do what is right for you. Your talents are valuable - find the right place when it is the right time. --KMB

  2. #32
    Captain of Water Music JONESEY's Avatar
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    Sorry it came to that Padster - never good to be that unappreciated.
    You'll find the right position at the right time. In the meantime, just play for your own enjoyment. Sometimes it's just the best way.
    I took a good few years out before I started playing in Church again after a fall out with the then Vicar. Worked for me.
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    Twitter: Jonesey789
    http://jonesey73.wordpress.com/

  3. #33
    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    Padster,

    I fully respect your decision, based on the very odd conditions you have experienced, and do hope that this doesn't leave a sour taste about being a church musician.

    We've all faced certain oddities at some point or another* and have gotten through them and continued with our talents. Don't forget that you likely pleased a whole lot of parishioners with your weekly music presentations, and you can and should be proud of that.

    *One pastor "ordered" me to transpose all hymns down a fifth so he could sing them. I refused. That initiated a meeting and I politely told him "you and I are professionals and highly educated in our respective fields ... tell you what, I don't tell you how to preach and you don't tell me how to play the organ!" Problem solved and we continued to work together as a team for the next 8 or so years until he retired.

    Hopefully you can find some substitute gigs. Good subs are hard to find and with all the years of experience you have under your belt now, it would be sad to just simply hang up the organ shoes at this point.

    I once took a two year hiatus away from a regular church position - did sub work and mostly played a round of golf on Sunday mornings instead. It was a refreshing break, but I sorely missed playing ... for me it's an emotional outlet sometimes; music calms the savage soul.

    I wish you all the best in the future. And for goodness sake, keep practicing at least. There should be other churches where you could arrange practice times during the regular office hours. I have several people whom I have granted practice privileges at my church ... and overall better for the pipe organ anyway - the more it's played the better it stays in working order and tune.

    Lars A.

  4. #34
    Seaman, Mezzoforte
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    Thanks for your encouraging words but I have completely finished with church music and this unrewarding b*stard of an instrument. What on earth was I thinking of learning it? What has it all been for? The painful process of learning to pedal correctly; the co-ordination, learning to read 3 lines of music at once. All to be treated like dirt time and again. If I had my time to go over again I wouldn't touch the organ with a six-foot barge pole. And in any case, this dog of an instrument is all but dead.

    I truly believe most parishioners wouldn't notice if I showed up and just played hymns without any practice.

    You say music calms the soul. Well, in me it engenders the complete opposite: frustration, anger and despair. I am done with the lot of it.

    Golf sounds like a much better idea.

    Best wishes,
    Padster
    Last edited by Padster; Sep-11-2014 at 19:09.

  5. #35
    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Padster View Post
    Thanks for your encouraging words but I have completely finished with church music and this unrewarding b*stard of an instrument. What on earth was I thinking of learning it? What has it all been for? . . . And in any case, this dog of an instrument is all but dead.
    Padster, I can certainly understand your frustrations and maybe it's time for a sabbatical from church music. I did that between church positions for about two years and did sub work occasionally, but mostly played rounds of golf on Sunday mornings.

    I don't agree with the statement that the "instrument is all but dead", as many churches around the country and world continue to install fine pipe organs, as well as enhancing some of the older instruments by adding ranks and upgrading consoles.

    I truly believe most parishioners wouldn't notice if I showed up and just played hymns without any practice . . . The painful process of learning to pedal correctly; the co-ordination, learning to read 3 lines of music at once. All to be treated like dirt time and again. If I had my time to go over again I wouldn't touch the organ with a six-foot barge pole.
    But, there are those who do appreciate our craft and do listen to our prepared pieces. It's those people that make all the effort worth it for me, and I feel good about what I have played, even if few ever comment about it.

    Apparently this latest situation has you very upset where you want to just chuck it all. You are not alone as I'm sure others have also had those same feelings at one time or another. Please don't let this one situation spoil your initial love of this great instrument. Yes, you were treated like dirt in this one church - but I think it is an isolated situation. Not all churches are like that ... please give it another chance ... after a hiatus possibly.

    We've all had to endure what seemed like endless practice sessions learning pedal technique and reading organ scores. We did it because of our great interest in the king of instruments - we were all drawn to it because of all of the instruments sonorous sounds, and then having the ability to have all those resources at our fingertips brought much joy to our hearts and eventually to our listeners.

    You say music calms the soul. Well, in me it engenders the complete opposite: frustration, anger and despair. I am done with the lot of it.
    Right now, that's probably true. You are currently burned out on the whole situation. Take a break from it, but please don't scrap the whole idea of playing ever again.
    The organist community still needs great people like yourself, and it's all of us, working together, that will keep up the interest in church music as a whole.

    There are fewer and fewer young people stepping up to the challenge of being a church organist these days - there is nobody waiting in the wings to take my position whenever I retire from playing on a weekly basis, nobody at all, and that makes me worrisome. But thanks to organizations like the American Guild of Organists who continue to introduce young people to the organ through their Pipes and Pizza programs, we might, however slowly, begin to replenish the void of available organists in the future.

    When I do retire from playing in church, it won't be a full retirement - I will continue to play like once a month perhaps - I just can't see myself quitting altogether, that is as long as the fingers and toes keep functioning. I've been in this career for 53+ years now - it's part of me, it's in my heart and soul, and the thrill of being able to lead people in joyful hymns is my reward.

    I have never regretted making the decision I made when I was 13 years of age ... I just passed the 53 year mark in service playing (32 years in my present position) and still enjoying all of it. It's in my heart and soul.

    I am hoping that you will, someday, return to the organ console. We all look forward to that day .

    Lars A.

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