Upcoming Performances

February 23, 12:30 pm
Recitalist, Lenten series, Corinth Reformed Church, Hickory, N.C.

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

March 11, 3:00 pm Eastern
Guest recitalist, Letourneau organ, Waldensian Presbyterian Church, Valdese, N.C.

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

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

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Answer me!

Communication is more rapid than ever, and modes of communication are more numerous than ever. And yet how often do emails, texts, phone calls, snail-mail letters, and Facebook messages still go unanswered these days? We’re doing better with communication options, but the actual communicating could still improve dramatically.

Several times during my career, I have written detailed, almost passionate letters, most of which were not only ignored but also not even acknowledged. Recently, I sent an article twice to one of my professional organizations and received no acknowledgement whatsoever. (Was it something I said?) I have used online forms, as instructed, to apply for being considered for several recital series. Nothing.

Here’s one for my students: Too many people won’t answer the phone if they don’t recognize the number. What is up with that? What do you think the caller is going to do, kidnap you over the phone? The caller could be someone borrowing a phone to get an important message to you. Answer your phones; it won’t hurt you. Unless you’re in class or church or court.

I learned to stay in touch by invoking the “Do unto others…” rule. If I don’t want people going AWOL on me, then I won’t do so to them. I don’t trust people who don’t answer messages, and I wouldn’t expect them to trust me if I did the same. No one sends messages to practice their speaking or typing skills, you know. Answer!

At one church were I served, brides and their families were often pleasantly surprised when I returned their emails and phone calls so quickly. Apparently, they had gotten used to delays from other staff members and outside vendors. Aside: They were also usually surprised to find that the church organist was so young and personable. [Mercy, people, were organists of yesteryear so surly that laymen automatically thought all of them were?!] And although I’m still personable, that “young” bit is fast fading in applicability.

An out-of-state student once contacted me about double-majoring in organ and a certain field of mathematics. He said that no single institution in his home state offered both of those degrees. When I responded to him, his mother sent me an additional email, saying that they were amazed and grateful that not only did I respond, but I also responded the SAME DAY. As it turned out, they had been inquiring at other schools and had not received ANY responses. I was horrified that other schools had not responded, but I was delighted to help this family out. I was also glad to enroll that student the following fall, thank you very much.

So if good communication boosts “business,” why on earth don’t more people exercise it? Dropping the ball on good service can be immediately soothed through good communication. I would forgive a multitude of sins, if only the sinner would stay in touch. For every day the painting crew doesn’t show and doesn’t communicate, the less willing I am to have them do the work. For every day a student absence goes unacknowledged, my willingness to forgive it wanes.

Good communication is probably not included among the great virtues of human existence. But it works for me, and I develop an undying loyalty to anyone who exercises it. Good communication has become the exception rather than the rule. My students WILL learn the rule from me. Or else.

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