So there I am at church yesterday, playing my usual hymnbook prelude on the organ, minding my own business, not looking for addition stress of any kind, when a man walks up on to the stand and sits to my left. Has a coat, a big bag and...organ shoes. I take another look out of the corner of my eye and recognize:Dr. Rulon Christiansen. Yeah. He's a professor here in town at Weber State. What does he teach? Mmm...organ. I went to a workshop of his about 3 years ago. He has a Masters from BYU. He has a PhD in Music Performance. He studied under Alexander Schreiner and Robert Cundick. He plays for the local Presbyterian church on their huge organ. He has accompanied the MTC, and now he's coming over to stand behind me and study the stops on my organ.
First thing he says, "You have nice legato." (Ahhgghh!! Thank you. Don't talk to me!!) Then, "You don't play the foot pedals? Ah, you use the Base Coupler button. That adds your bass." (Yes, it's my magic button and I wouldn't be playing this organ at all if it didn't have a magic button! Please leave!) Then he says, "Your prelude sounds nice." (Ahhhggghh!! Why, why, why are you here??)
Obviously, he was there to play a special musical number, something he wrote himself, Andante Something or Other, I think it was called. It was difficult to think.
Opening Hymn: The Iron Rod. Now remember that I'd been gone all week and had practiced once, the night before, after getting home from the airport. Aghhh! I'm playing too slowly! He knows I'm playing too slowly! He hates it and it's driving him crazy, I just know it. My mind is in a blur and I don't even remember what the Sacrament song was, but he probably hated it. Then it's time for his solo. He completely changes all of my stops, of course, but that's an easy fix. It's the volume I'm concerned about. The volume pedals on my organ are haunted and slowly get louder as my meeting goes on. I'm always having to check those little stinkers. His solo is nice. It makes me feel good. After he's done, he sits, leans forward and wants to whisper about the next speaker. (Yeah, she's great, but don't talk to me! I have nothing to say!)
And the closing hymn still needs to be played.
It's time! Time for Lord, I Would Follow Thee. First I have to fix the stops and the check the pesky volume. Ok. Off we go. I don't want it to drag, but I don't want it to be too fast! Why, why, why!!?? Somehow I survived.
After the meeting he tells me that he liked the registers I used. (Ahgghh! I didn't pick them! One of your former students picked them for me!!) He says he has some nice preludes that he's arranged, here's his card, and I can download them. (What? You don't like my completely un-inspired, straight from the hymnbook prelude?) Thank you. I'll be leaving now.
I had to put more deodorant on when I got home.
P.S. At the urging of my friend, Ruth, who sings show tunes with me and shares my love of cheddar popcorn, I've put links to some of my pictures on this blog. Find them on the top right hand side of this page. More galleries will be coming soon!