Monday, August 12, 2013

And Music Plays On

Church music, underestimated? I practice, maybe not hours and hours, but I don't go in cold!
How little do some people know about church music? A year ago, I was asked what I do (in general) and when I spoke of being a church organist, the other person was NOT impressed. I didn't mean to impress him however he said something hinting that it was the same music over and over again. I realized that meant liturgy was repeated. I pointed out that I play three or four tunes from 3 books of 1,600+ hymns/songs, plus incidental music of my own choosing, but rarely repeated more than twice a year.
What happens when the fingers fail you?  A few weeks ago I was practicing for something, maybe a choral anthem, and I kept missing the same note.  OK, so there were several hundred other notes that I was playing, but it became evident that I wasn't getting this one thing.  I had focused on it, repeated it slowly, and still when I went through that passage, I was missing the same *** key!  It was annoying, and then I realized that my --- (I swear it) my fingers have changed.  When did it happen?  Mostly, it's my little fingers.  Over the past few years, my little fingers have been giving out.  My previous posts have attested to their plights, but just at this one moment it meant that my left little finger wasn't able to bend to get to that above mentioned *** key.  Luckily, just identifying that funny little unbendable finger was enough.  I didn't miss it again.  Curious.
I thought I was losing it! But since then I've accompanied regularly and irregularly, meaning the odd summer concert.  It was held as part of the city's Summer Terrace Concerts at the Museum.  Luckily, we cranky classical musicians insisted on having it inside, and without the distractions of nature (insects, wind, weather, dust, and nothing to reverberate) it went very well.  The audience was a bit miffed at first, with folding chairs and picnic lunches in tow, but they were very appreciative!  (Even before it was over... You never know if the sustained applause at the end is relief that the audience can stand up and move around!)
Here's a picture from one of the museum displays.  If you are ever in Farmington New Mexico...stop by!

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