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Upcoming Performances

August 20, 3:00 pm Central
Inaugural recitalist, Christ the King Lutheran Church, Enterprise, Ala.

September 10
Guest recitalist, First United Methodist Church, Charlotte, N.C.

October 1, 4:00 pm Eastern
Guest recitalist, First Presbyterian Church, Gainesville, Ga.

October 15, 4:00 pm Eastern
Guest recitalist, First United Methodist Church, Gastonia, N.C.

March 9, 2018, 12:15 pm Eastern
Guest recitalist, National City Christian Church, Washington, D.C.

March 11, 2018
Guest recitalist, Waldensian Presbyterian Church, Valdese, N.C.

May 13, 2018, 5:00 pm Eastern
Guest recitalist, First Presbyterian Church, Wilmington, N.C.

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Monday
Apr112011

Little-known facts, Part 2: Help wanted

Writing one’s own obituary is often suggested in books and seminars as a good way to assess one’s life and to help identify what’s important in life – and what’s not. I take that a step further and ask my students to compose an announcement of a “job opening” to “replace” them as students and budding professionals. I have them consider where they are at that time and write a job ad accordingly. Here’s mine, as of today:

WANTED: organ professor, organ recitalist, church organist

-- Must teach undergraduate, graduate, and secondary organ majors.

-- Must coordinate and teach sacred music curriculum.

-- Must teach service playing.

-- Must teach organ literature.

-- Must bring many years’ anecdotal experience to the classroom to illustrate how the world works.

-- Must conduct and/or accompany a large chorus made up of students and community members. Must find a way to keep them all entertained and/or educated at the same time.

-- Must enjoy playing organ recitals, piano collaborations, and Broadway shows.

-- Must be willing to perform minor organ repairs and touch up own reeds when necessary. This involves getting a helper to help move a 25-foot extension ladder and to hold keys, plus being willing to thumb nose at Physical Plant and OSHA regulations to climb the aforementioned ladder. All this must often be done in a suit and tie.

-- Must accompany faculty candidates on difficult pieces the piano faculty don’t have time to learn.

-- Must tune and play the harpsichord, upon which no training was ever received.

-- Must come to terms with the fact that the organ “teaching studio” is often mistaken for a concert hall during teaching hours.

-- Must enjoy playing with children and pets.

-- Must crack one-liners constantly to keep the social machine oiled.

-- Must graciously allow visitors to the organs at any time.

-- Must have a heart of tolerance and compassion for all people in their journey. Must, however, try not to suffer fools for too long.

-- Must hate weddings. Must be preparing a multi-multi-part blog series on that subject.

-- Must shun the administrative spotlight.

-- Must enjoy any music that is well-written or well-rehearsed, preferably both.

-- Must be a fan of good musicians, no matter what music they write or perform. Therefore, must be a fan of opera, orchestras, Broadway shows, conscientious church organists, Gordon Lightfoot, Ricky Skaggs, and ’80s Rock.

-- Must eat often with family and friends to celebrate the joys of being human.

-- Must celebrate position on food chain by being willing to eat absolutely anything any time. Must, however, prefer not to eat celery, raw onions, bell peppers, curry, liver, cilantro, or wild game.

-- Must be able to play the Vierne Carillon and In The Garden in the same service, probably not on the same instrument.

-- Must be able to recall and play on the piano any hymn from the 1956 Baptist Hymnal.

-- Must detest the current United Methodist Hymnal.

-- Must be patient around strangers when stuff goes wrong on the road.

-- Must enjoy church-hopping whenever possible.

-- Must enjoy re-visiting places of good childhood memories. Must enjoy going back home to visit every now and then.

-- Must recognize and thank the people who had an impact during the formative years.

-- Must go back and apologize to people who were wronged, no matter how long ago.

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