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Upcoming Performances

February 11
Inaugural recitalist, Casavant organ, Forest Lake Presbyterian Church, Columbia, S.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.

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

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Monday
Sep182017

Children will listen

My students do as I say, most of the time. But they nearly always do as I DO. And that may be a scary thing.

I am pleased with my students for being protective of our console at the university. They forbid people to place book bags, reed cups, instruments, coats, folders, etc., on the console or on the bench. They have learned such from me, because I, too, forbid such things. It’s only respectful of our instrument, no matter how much like a table or shelf it may look to a non-organist. Although no one is likely to damage anything by placing their coat on a console, we must continue toward an ideal of complete respect of all musical instruments, no matter how otherwise utilitarian an instrument may look. While I am proud of my students for their pro-action, I don’t have control over them becoming an old codger like their teacher! Here’s an interesting story of their putting this into practice one day:

A few years ago, we were all in Kilgore, Tex., for the annual East Texas Pipe Organ Festival. We gathered around the console at First Presbyterian after church on Sunday, to meet and greet for a bit before going off to lunch. During our visiting, the recitalist for that evening appeared, pushed his/her way through the crowd without a word, placed his/her coffee thermos on top of a stop jamb, and prepared to go to work. My students were mildly annoyed by the unfriendliness of said artist, but they were utterly HORRIFIED by that coffee thermos being placed on top of such an historic console and all it represents. After their horror subsided, which took about four seconds, they promptly shifted over to anger and hatred that someone would do such a thing to something so valuable to all who were gathered that day and that week.

Oh, but they didn't stop there. Later that evening, they left that person’s recital at intermission and came to where I was practicing for mine. They’d rather listen to me practice than listen to that person perform flawlessly from memory. And this is only a guess, but I suppose they were also no longer interested in auditioning for that person for grad school.

From a single, non-musical encounter, my students lost all respect for this person as a performer. No matter your opinion on how that happened, it does happen, and we teachers are often the model for how it happens. So teachers, be careful out there. “Children” will listen.

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