The Invisible Man is The Ward Organist

I’m very pleased if anybody recognizes the organist. It’s a hard job, particularly hard to do well. Like some of you, I wasn’t trained as an organist (and I taught myself to play the piano, too). I was just asked to be the organist, and I sat down in front of it the very next Sunday. That was in October, 1985, and I think I’ve played the organ somewhere every Sunday since.

The hymns are just my speed, and I try to give them a little energy. I breathe with the phrases (lifting my hands off the keys at a comma, for instance), and I try to choose a tempo which is just right, not too slow and not too fast (organ makes you slow down, piano makes you speed up).

I am inventive, but I try to be careful to stay within the hymns written harmony, because it’s too difficult to sing along, otherwise.

I do pull it out the stops, and play loudly, but I don’t like to do this more than one hymn a week, usually the opening or rest hymn. The sacrament hymn, and the closing hymn, I reserve for quieter, contemplative, and spiritual moods.

My favorite anthem to play is All Creatures of Our God and King, #62 (naturally), and I modulate upward on the final verse.

My favorite hymn, though is Abide With Me!, #166, which is just exquisite harmony, and perfect words.

(I’ll be doing both of these, this Sunday, in addition to speaking.)


2 Responses to TIM is TWO

  1. Peggy says:

    My favorite was when you played a religious rendition of “Maniac” as prelude music in our home ward. Though I thought I was losing my mind when I first heard it, it became like our little secret. That’s what you can do with music — send messages and love to your listeners.

  2. greenfrog says:

    Years ago I got into some mildly hot water for singing Schubert’s Ave Maria at a funeral of a Catholic woman that was conducted in an LDS chapel. A few weeks later, I recalled hearing an arrangement of it played on an organ while I waited in a temple chapel. Without words, apparently, it wasn’t as improper, though for me, a singer, it is impossible to hear music without my mind singing the words.

    Maybe all organists are secretly subversive.

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