Upcoming Performances

February 12
8:00 pm Eastern

Organ-plus-one concert with ASU faculty, Rosen Concert Hall, Appalachian State University

February 24
3:00 pm Eastern

Organ/Piano duo concert with Joseph Trivette, Sinking Spring Presbyterian Church, Abingdon, Va.

April 26
8:00 pm Eastern

Collaborative Organist, ASU University Singers, Rosen Concert Hall, Appalachian State University

April 28
3:00 pm Eastern

Guest recitalist, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Kingsport, Tenn.

May 5
4:00 pm Central

Guest recitalist, St. Paul's Cathedral, Des Moines, Iowa

June 21-26, 2020
Worship Organist, Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts, Lake Junaluska, N.C.

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Weddings! Part 3: No charge

I don’t charge for wedding rehearsals, simply because I will not be there. Reasons, in no particular order:

My role at a wedding rehearsal is not in line with my role in the professional world, and I have never reconciled those two roles. Chalk it up to not enjoying playing when no one is listening. Going to a wedding rehearsal opens me up to unnecessary scrutiny. In the name of it’s-their-wedding-they-should-have-it-the-way-they-want-it, I have been critiqued and asked to play faster, slower, more detached, softer, and louder. I may be a world-class organist, but not at a wedding rehearsal. At a wedding rehearsal, I’m a vendor with a customizable product. I am not Dr. Bell; I’m not even Joby. I’m usually “the organist,” and in one case, I was addressed by the visiting clergy as Mr. Organ Player, while he pantomimed air-typing.

Wedding rehearsals are logistical, not musical. They exist to give the uninitiated a chance to find their way.

Wedding cues are visual, not aural. It is much more efficient for the musicians to watch what’s going on and provide the correct music than it is for a wedding coordinator in a noisy narthex to listen for musical cues.

Mothers and grandmothers do not need to rehearse walking down an aisle and taking a seat. I’ll say that again: Mothers and grandmothers do not need to rehearse walking down an aisle and taking a seat.

No one needs to rehearse “walking with the music.” That is known as marching, and it has no place in a wedding. If the power goes out and takes the organ with it, the walking can continue, and the place of arrival will not move.

At the rehearsal, while the wedding coordinator is trying to instruct the wedding party, usually from the other end of the room, music on top of that just adds to the confusion.

No one walks on Saturday the same way they did on Friday. So why bother rehearsing with music?

In addition to my day job, I play Sunday mornings. A wedding gets an additional chunk of my Saturday. It’s not getting my Friday evening, too. Enough already.

And finally, I don’t need to rehearse; I’ve done this before.

Glad that’s off my chest.

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