Ebay Classic organs

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

First paid organist position

Collapse
This topic is closed.
X
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    First paid organist position

    Hello all,
    I'm back with a new handle.
    An opportunity has come up for me to be organist in a local small town UMC that has a pipe organ. I was needing a second job but I had never considered working for a church. My own church (SBC) doesn't pay me and they really like southern and country gospel which just isn't my thing.

    The UMC organist (85) is retiring which leaves them with no keyboard player at all. I don't know if she plays like Yvonna or if she is a professional. I find all this out tonight at choir practice as well as the make and model of pipe organ. Whether or not I can play well enough still remains to be determined.

    This is strange to me in that I've been playing in an SBC church, a UMC wants to hire me but I've been thinking about going to find a Reformed church. Do any of you here play in churches that are very different from the way you believe?

    I just don't think the fundamentalists in my church would understand but then I have to remember that they are not organists. I don't really have to worry about my present church being without because our pianist actually plays in Nashville sometimes. I mean he is a whole church orchestra by himself.

    Any advice in considering a paid position?

    Thanks

    #2
    Well ya'll, I went to choir practice at the UMC. The music was refreshingly different because it wasn't country gospel. The organ make is still unknown but it is a two manual with 15 ranks. It has stop tabs, swell pedal and crescendo pedal. The action is electric. It dates from the twenties with the electric action update in the sixties. Probably not much of a pipe organ to some of you but I could certainly grow used to it. The problem with all this is that the church has one keyboard position. Regrettably I am not piano proficient enough for the classical choral pieces. I think I would still do it if given the chance especially if they decide to split the position and add a pianist.

    Comment


      #3
      Content removed by jbird604
      Last edited by jbird604; 11-12-2010, 05:19 PM. Reason: TMI
      John
      ----------
      *** Please post your questions about technical service or repair matters ON THE FORUM. Do not send your questions to me or another member by private message. Information shared is for the benefit of the entire organ community, but other folks will not be helped by information we exchange in private messages!

      https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

      Comment


        #4
        There are very strong feelings on both sides of this issue but I do not believe a person should associate themselves with any church they are not in full doctrinal agreement with. You might decide it's okay to accept a job at a church that teaches heresy but your neighbor sees your car parked in their lot Sunday morning and decides it's a good place because you go there. It's an issue I will not compromise because the consequences are eternal and you don't know who it's going to effect. Do you really want be be seen as helping to spread what you know to be false teachings? Not me.
        "The employment of the piano is forbidden in church, as is also that of noisy frivolous instruments such as drums, cymbals, bells and the like." St. Pius X

        Comment


          #5
          I think what I was trying to say in the long-winded post (that I later deleted) is pretty much what you're saying Snowbandit. In my own case, I stayed far too long in a church where I did not believe much of what was being preached, even though it was the denomination (SBC) I was raised in, and had been my home church for 17 years. It was where I raised my children, and where some of my dearest friends still attend.

          I stayed because I'd help build the building, helped get the organ I'd always wanted to play installed, built a choir, and enjoyed the role of chief musician (even though it was a volunteer position, no pay at all). And to be honest, I enjoyed the weekly words of appreciation from many fine folks in the church. Maybe I enjoyed those words a little too much!

          So, my advice to LibraryGuy might be summed up: If moving to the UMC would cause you conflicts over theology or other vital areas, then don't do it. On the other hand, if staying in that SBC church causes you grief because of the music, don't hesitate to look elsewhere.

          It's the next step that is fateful and difficult -- choosing where you will go to church. Probably there are too many of us who will accept a paying (or even non-paying) musical post regardless of denomination. If one is able to see it merely as a job and the church is OK with your feeling that way, I suppose there is no harm done. But we all need to consider our spiritual needs as well as our financial needs and (perhaps as prominent) our need to make music that satisfies us. Any church job that harms one spiritually, no matter how satisfying musically, is surely not a good idea.

          And that is what I held onto for so many years. My wife and I were being slowly suffocated spiritually, but were getting enough satisfaction from making music that we let the spiritual situation slide. Now we are paying the price, as we are both somewhat jaded and discouraged.

          So, before we commit to another church, whether we join for fellowship, or for the spiritual food, or because of an opportunity to play the instruments, we will certainly consider the spiritual atmosphere. We can't afford to join somewhere if we are going to be strangulated spiritually by a pastor who thinks he is the main attraction, or by a gaggle of folks who spout bigotry and hate while claiming the name of Christ. A healthy spiritual environment is one in which God alone is glorified, and the Scripture is central to the act of worship.
          John
          ----------
          *** Please post your questions about technical service or repair matters ON THE FORUM. Do not send your questions to me or another member by private message. Information shared is for the benefit of the entire organ community, but other folks will not be helped by information we exchange in private messages!

          https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

          Comment


            #6
            It is seemingly a three-legged stool:

            Unchangeable things you hate about the church's music
            Unchangeable things you hate about the church's doctrine and preaching
            Unchangeable things you hate about the church's pay.

            It is up to each of us to balance the stool in our own lives, hopefully in accordance with scriptural teachings about greed and doctrine...

            Comment


              #7
              Good luck on your new church job, going from organ to piano will be a challenge since it takes a while to develop a good piano touch and tone, but it isn't impossible. Start with easier to play anthems and work your way up. I'm fairly liberal as far as denominational differences between protestant churches go. Having spent a lot of time in the military I've attended a lot of general protestant services, by protestant ministers of most backgrounds. As long as they believe that we are saved by the grace of God, through our faith in Jesus (or something to that effect), I can overlook the other minor doctrinal differences. If you haven't heard anything that you would consider heretical coming from the pulpit, and they are teaching the gospel, and you enjoy what you are doing musically it should be a good match for you. One of the Lutheran Churches I attended actually had a jewish organist (who was spectacular) for a long time. We all knew he didn't believe the same thing we did, and was there for the money and the music. He didn't criticize our beliefs, and we didn't try to convert him and everything worked out.

              Comment


                #8
                Philip,

                If I were to compare a church to a three-legged stool I'd say the three legs are:

                (1) Spiritual environment, which is to say what a church (or its pastor) preaches and teaches about the foundations of faith -- Jesus as the Son of God, his atoning death and resurrection, salvation by the grace of God alone, the Bible as written guide to belief and practice -- but also the spiritual "attitude" of the church -- is unconditional love truly in evidence, or is there a thinly disguised disdain for those who don't quite fit the mold or fail to live strictly by the preacher's interpretation of the Bible -- and whether Scripture truly is central to the church's teaching and worship, as opposed to a place where the Bible is merely used as a prop for proof-texting what people already believe.

                (2) Fellowship -- Is this a church where I can become a part of the family, where I can immerse myself in a brotherhood of faithful folks. This might include the question of location, that is, is the church near enough to my home to allow me to participate regularly and throughout the week in the life of the church, beyond simply attending on Sunday morning.

                (3) Worship style, including the choice of music and the way it is presented. But also, what the church views as central to the act of worship. In some churches there is a "song service" which is often just a collection of songs chosen without regard to theme or purpose, and which is viewed as merely a "warmup" for the real reason people are there -- the preaching..... I didn't realize how deeply ingrained that concept is in many churches, particularly Baptist, until I got out of the box. What I have discovered in worshipping in so many different places of late is that a great many Christians do not view their Sunday gathering like that at all. A worship service can be an orderly arrangement of hymns, scripture readings, prayers, anthems, solos, ordinances, and perhaps other elements, most of them selected as part of a thematic interpretation of the scripture passages of the day (Lectionary), with the sermon as only one piece of the whole. In worship services of that kind, I've found that the pastor sees the sermon as a vital part of the service, but not the "main attraction" to which everything else is but an opening act. Sermons in this kind of church also tend to be short and to the point. (And therefore much more memorable, and almost never boring!)

                Neither my wife nor I feel that we should join another church until we are satisfied that all three legs of the stool are solid! Not to say that we are seeking a "perfect" church, because one simply doesn't exist. But a serious shortcoming in any of these three areas would be a red flag to us, as we sure don't want to get into a situation anything like the one we just got out of!

                If we were to find a church like this, and as a bonus we could serve as instrumentalists, it would be a true delight. But right now we'd feel blessed to find those three legs all on the same stool.
                John
                ----------
                *** Please post your questions about technical service or repair matters ON THE FORUM. Do not send your questions to me or another member by private message. Information shared is for the benefit of the entire organ community, but other folks will not be helped by information we exchange in private messages!

                https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

                Comment


                  #9
                  How very right you are!! I agree with all your points and long for the good aspects of #3. I was attempting to create a crude analysis from the business side, but you did a much more graceful job.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Please forgive me for bumping my own thread. My first paid organist position in a no-go. I have to confess that I am disappointed that it didn't work out. It is a long jump from musically and theologically a fundamentalist church to a liturgical one. I just could not play well enough for their needs.

                    I had to admit that part of the problem was my own fault. I was the one who let my abilities slide away due to years of no practice.

                    There is a silver lining though. the organ is going to be put up on a stage with the piano so perhaps all can hear and I won't have to play so loud.

                    Comment

                    Working...
                    X