Sunday, March 11, 2007
We have a spanish congregation that is still struggling to become self sufficient. They have many new members, and not enough people to fill all of the church positions. One position that they haven't been able to fill is organist. A man I know has been going there every week to play the organ for them. I offered to substitute if he can't make it. He asked me to substitute for him today.
It's been awhile since I've played the organ in church. When that was my assignment, I practiced regularly. I have an organ at my home which made it easy to practice. But since it isn't my assignment anymore, I have to confess I rarely play it. The piano and organ are very different in the way they are played, so my piano practice doesn't help my organ playing.....except in knowing the music.
I was a little rusty today. There were several reasons for that. First, I know part of the problem is that this organ has a different action in the keys. Our other church building has a much nicer organ that is obviously higher quality. The action in those keys is much better, and unfortunately that is the organ I am used to playing. So it took me a few minutes to adapt to these "looser" feeling keys.
Secondly, I only had 4 years of high school spanish, and I pretty much was clueless about what was going on. A couple of times I understood that the Bishop was saying page numbers, so knew it was my cue. But when it came time for the closing song, I sat there in innocent bliss until I noticed the chorister eyeing me...WILLING me to get up and play the introduction. If it weren't for her, we would probably still be sitting there waiting to sing the closing song.
Problem number three. This organ has a slow start button. It took what seemed like an eternity for it to warm up so that sound would come out. The other building's organ warms up rather quickly, so I always turned it off before going back to my seat. I was always afraid my feet would hit a foot pedal while sliding off the bench. I think in the future I will just leave the organ turned on the whole time.
I like having the chance to play the organ. EVen though it isn't my instrument of choice, there is a challenge to it, and it tickles something in my brain, so I enjoy doing it. I did take a semester of organ in college, but I wouldn't really say that I am well trained. But I can do the job, and most people don't know the difference.
Here is what I feel guilty about though....and something that I want to work on. About a year ago, as part of my current church assignment, we went to visit the women leaders of the women's organization in this congregation. They asked if we could help them get keyboard lessons for their members so that they could become self sufficent. We passed on the request to the person who has the music assignment, but she never did anything about it. If I had just jumped in and helped, instead of trying to do things in an organized way, it is possible that they could have one of the members of their congregation playing today. I have decided I am going to really push this through, even if I have to go and teach them myself.
Okay, if you made it all the way through this post, you either are now feeling incredibly sleepy, or have a strong constitution. You may sleep now.