Upcoming Performances

May 13, 5:00 pm Eastern
Guest recitalist, First Presbyterian Church, Wilmington, N.C.

June 10
Guest recitalist, Bethel Evangelical Lutheran Church, Rochester, Minn.

September 23, 4:00 pm Eastern
Guest recitalist, Schantz organ 40th anniversary, Culpeper Baptist Church, Culpeper, Va.

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Recruiting, Part 6: A church organist's hidden agenda


Wanted: Organist with an agenda

Must play for services. Must be on time. Must do all the other usual, expected, predictable things. Must also be open to doing the following:

-- Write and publish a brochure about the church's organ(s). Place copies in the narthex and throughout the building. Include history, specs, photos, and a standing invitation for people to come visit the organ with you – and to bring their CHILDREN. Make sure that every word in the brochure is spelled correctly and every sentence is true.

-- Leave the organ up and running for a few minutes after a Sunday postlude, in case you get some visitors. Invite people in the bulletin. Then welcome them and encourage them to come back sometime with friends and CHILDREN.

-- Play a short, post-Sunday-service recital from time to time. Advertise it. Have a theme for a given program.

-- Publish some short program notes about the prelude and postlude, whether in the bulletin or in the weekly newsletter. Might be good for the choir director to do the same for the anthems. Of course, all this would necessitate some advance planning.

-- Have a time of console cleaning after children’s choir rehearsal. Invite kids to come and help with dusting, Dirt Devil-ing under the pedalboard, removing clutter, etc.

-- Take pride in the organ you play. Even if you hate it, it is your congregation’s instrument, and they have entrusted you with the task of taking care of it. You may find that a clean console may engender increased pride and focus for you and therefore enhanced worship for all.

-- Unlock the console and throw away the key. Leave the roll top up and unlocked. Refuse to invoke the “don’t touch” rule. Consoles are too beautiful to lock up in towers. And their seduction potential is too great not to explore with as many people as we can. If you're concerned about damage, post some house rules on the music rack and expect people to be as respectful as you would be with their instruments.

-- Invent your own, additional ways beyond these to keep the organ a viable part of your congregation's life. Playing it well, taking care of it, and providing opportunities for future organists to enjoy it will be the undergirding elements of your devious, hidden agenda.

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