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ORGANS - Experiences that you have had or have playing in public, church, or home, your favorites

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  • ORGANS - Experiences that you have had or have playing in public, church, or home, your favorites



    I thought it would be interesting to learn about the various organs we play or have playedasmentioned in the heading of this threadOur experiences are all so varied from playing very nice organs or some that are not in the best shape at all.</P>
    <P mce_keep="true"></P>


    James</P>
    Baldwin Church Organ Model 48C
    Baldwin Spinet 58R
    Lowrey Spinet SCL
    Wurlitzer 4100A
    Crown Pump Organ by Geo. P. Bent, Chicago, Illinois


    Organs I hope to obtain in the future:

    Conn Tube Minuet or Caprice even a transistor Caprice with the color coded tabs
    Gulbransen H3 or G3, or V.
    Wurlitzer 44, 4410, 4420, ES Reed Models, 4300, 4500, Transistor Models

  • #2
    Re: ORGANS - Experiences that you have had or have playing in public, church, or home, your favorites



    James,</P>


    Good topic to lighten things up.</P>


    As I mentioned in the pump organ forum, I filled in at a church in Grand Falls, NB, and they had an Estey suitcase field pump organ as a substitute because their theatre organ wasn't working. The floor was slanted toward the front of the church, and as I pumped, it began to escape! I finally got it backed into a corner around the 2nd hymn![H] </P>


    I'll never forget that experience! At the time it was a bit humiliating, but such events are the birth of memories.</P>


    Michael</P>
    Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
    • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
    • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
    • 11 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 7 Pianos

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: ORGANS - Experiences that you have had or have playing in public, church, or home, your favorites



      Michael,</P>


      Thanks for your post. It has made my day. It is past time for me to lighten up and enjoy some good fun such as experiences. I am sure that was a most interesting experieces to say the least. Now that was a few steps down from a theater pipe organ to an Estey missionary organ. </P>


      I have had to play a few that were just pitiful. I will say two of the most pitful ones were Baldwin. One was a very old console a Model 5 which sounded like a coarse frog croaking in the background when certain chords were played. Then another one like the old Baldwin I have around here just to thump around on was in such condition that I could only use certain stops and play around the flaws. There was no proper bench for this spinet organ so a good Samaritian got a piano bench[:O] which you know is too short. Then the preacher brought me two pieces of two by fours to help prop up this bench. I had to be careful that not even one bench leg slid off the two by fours. I thought oh, woe is me. I named that organ "the old hull." It was pitiful. The former church that had once worshiped in that building had a nice Hammond C3 with a Lesile. </P>


      Then I went to a church, gosh I am trying hard not to call denominational names, and I was asked to play their organ. When I went up to the platform I was shocked to see a one keyboard outfit with chord buttons on the lower left. Then of all things a song was selected I did not know and there was no music stand to hold a book properly. Then the leader asked to "take off and play a little bit of this for us" and I was just lost. I don't remember what I did exactly since I experienced some emotions that were not fun I can tell you. I was most embarrassed to be honest. I think I said well if you know the tune just go ahead and I will try to follow you since I can't get that tune in my head. All of this was said right in front of the congregation. Yes, it was a very embarrassmentsituationfor me. I was known as playing a lot of songs by ear and if I could find the right key also. I think from some of my previous post you no doubt will get the idea of what kind of church this was, but I will say on the Full Gospel line. I was shocked that I was asked to play since I had gone to hear some good gospel singing, and did not plan to play at all. They had other musicians and they were doing just fine.</P>
      <P mce_keep="true"></P>


      I am sure I might be able to think of some more unique situations, but these two "take the cake."</P>


      James</P>
      Baldwin Church Organ Model 48C
      Baldwin Spinet 58R
      Lowrey Spinet SCL
      Wurlitzer 4100A
      Crown Pump Organ by Geo. P. Bent, Chicago, Illinois


      Organs I hope to obtain in the future:

      Conn Tube Minuet or Caprice even a transistor Caprice with the color coded tabs
      Gulbransen H3 or G3, or V.
      Wurlitzer 44, 4410, 4420, ES Reed Models, 4300, 4500, Transistor Models

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: ORGANS - Experiences that you have had or have playing in public, church, or home, your favorites



        [quote user="Tenor Trumpet 8'"]I was known as playing a lot of songs by ear and if I could find the right key also.

        [/quote]</p>

        Good news, Jame!!! I found your problem.
        You're supposed to use your hands to play--not your ear. I bet
        now that I've shared that, you'll find things much easier playing for
        that [denomination-not-named] church![D][A]</p>

        Michael</p>
        Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
        • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
        • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
        • 11 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 7 Pianos

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: ORGANS - Experiences that you have had or have playing in public, church, or home, your favorites



          My organ playing journey nearly came to an end about 10 years ago. I joined a church and went to play a revival on a Lowrey Genie 98. Not much of a church organ but I did it anyway. Later I was asded to play on a Sunday morning. One of the hymns was Wonderful Grace of Jesus which I thoroughly botched along with some others in fromt of 500 people. The piano and choir kept going. I said no more, never again. I almost let all of my organ training and experience go away. </P>


          I came back for another beating a year ago. There havebeen some embarassing moments along the way but I'm going to keep at it. I spend a lot of practice in the studly of classical organ technique. </P>


          Recently I went to play at a rec. center for a senior citizens lunch. The old Baldwin Orgasonic quitafter we dragged it into the dining hall. It was also making those frog croaking sounds. Fortunately I had my accordionand my recital turned into a gospel singalong. </P>

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: ORGANS - Experiences that you have had or have playing in public, church, or home, your favorites



            Michael,</P>


            I would love to hug your neck for your sense of humor.[:D] I should have said since my ears have to tell my fingers and thumb what keys to thump on. [H] I wish you had been there to help me at that time.[:)]</P>


            I have been in several messes caused by myself as well as plenty of help from others.</P>


            James</P>


            PS- I have to make corrections all the time in typing. I guess I type like the Rumble Boogie organist played in church. I do care, but she didn't give a damn.</P>


            Jas</P>
            Baldwin Church Organ Model 48C
            Baldwin Spinet 58R
            Lowrey Spinet SCL
            Wurlitzer 4100A
            Crown Pump Organ by Geo. P. Bent, Chicago, Illinois


            Organs I hope to obtain in the future:

            Conn Tube Minuet or Caprice even a transistor Caprice with the color coded tabs
            Gulbransen H3 or G3, or V.
            Wurlitzer 44, 4410, 4420, ES Reed Models, 4300, 4500, Transistor Models

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: ORGANS - Experiences that you have had or have playing in public, church, or home, your favorites



              Mark,</P>


              How interesting! It sounds like you are a good musician who always is trying to improve. Just keep up the goodwork. Aren't those old Baldwin Orga-Sonics awful?I don't know why I brought this one in from the tech shop. I guess I wanted it to thump around on since it would have no doubt gone to the landfill. You were better off with the accordian in my honest opinion. I hope that Baldwin went to the dump. I would send my two out of here right quickly if I could find something I liked quite well. However, the church Baldwin I have is much better than those old Organ-Sonics. I am sure you have ready my posts on here about hating them, and to me they have a brassy, buzzing sound which is horrible. My tech tells me that my church Baldwin is nothing but a Thomas under the hood. Well, both companies used the square wave to format their tones. I can see the similiarity. Well, neither of these is one of my favorites.</P>


              Regarding you first post you should have done like the old Rumble Boogie church organist I had mentioned who played a nice Hammond C2. You couldn't tell what tune she was playing since it sounded like someone hitting and missing, and she alsopumped the expressionpedal very similiar to a pump organ. God, it was the worse Ihave ever heard in a church. The other organist who was very vain played with one sound only. One for everthing, and all of hermusic was too soft, thin, and more funeral sounding than any organ I ever heard in a church. She was full of mistakes, and I to this day don't know why the church leaders put up with that mess.One lady said it made her so nervous she thought about leaving every Sunday when SS was over. She went on to say I can't play, but I could make bettermusic with a washtub and a big stick. </P>


              As one choir member told me, "James, we can't sing, you know that, and those two can't play the organ or piano, yet we just try to sing, and they just make a racket by plaing them anywaywhich I hope God finds ajoyful sound, but God, aren't we pitiful?"She went on to say and "whenchurch is over all we can say is that we had it." The other humorous part is the fact she said "someone came up with idea we needed choir robes, and she said they were just beautiful, but it didn't help matters one bit." What little I heard all of this it was like going to a show, and some of the members made fun of the Rumble Boogie, so as the old saying goes, "I ain't the only guility party who makes fun of junk that can go on in a church." I found it more entertaining than a movie. God, I just went to see and hear for myself. Such as that should be put on TV.</P>


              If I got into a big mess I made out like something went wrong with the organ was always one of my ploys.[:O] I could turn it off, or start making it sound something awful or almost close to the Rumble Boogie, and just shake my head as well as look surprised. Yes, I can be a mess at times.</P>
              <P mce_keep="true"></P>


              James</P>
              Baldwin Church Organ Model 48C
              Baldwin Spinet 58R
              Lowrey Spinet SCL
              Wurlitzer 4100A
              Crown Pump Organ by Geo. P. Bent, Chicago, Illinois


              Organs I hope to obtain in the future:

              Conn Tube Minuet or Caprice even a transistor Caprice with the color coded tabs
              Gulbransen H3 or G3, or V.
              Wurlitzer 44, 4410, 4420, ES Reed Models, 4300, 4500, Transistor Models

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: ORGANS - Experiences that you have had or have playing in public, church, or home, your favorites



                I have played severaldelightful pipe organs and even a few decent digital instruments. Theworst organ I ever played was a small pipe organ with an analog electronic pedal division by the now defunct (thank God!) F.W. Sullivan and Sons company of Los Angeles. Rather than elaborate on how utterly hideous it was, I would be curious to know if anyone else on thisForumhas had the misfortune of playing one of these vile contraptions.</P>

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: ORGANS - Experiences that you have had or have playing in public, church, or home, your favorites



                  My most embarassing organ experience was my neice's wedding. It was my first experiencewith an Allen. I had the program all worked out of the Thomas 855 Symphony we owned, but my neice wanted a church wedding and they had rented a beautiful little Luthern chapel that had been gifted with a new Allen organ.</P>


                  I tried to acquaint myself with the stops during the rehearsal the night before and had decided I could make the transition. Things were going well right to the end of my prelude program. Getting ready for the wedding march I set the registration to full organ and drew in a 16' I didn't mean to use. The rumble was horrible and I shook with nerves the rest of the wedding!</P>


                  My neice said an important guest was coming in late at that very moment and she thought I was just fooling around to stall for time. What a relief to know I didn't ruin the most important moment of her life! Needless to say, I try to avoid playing weddings. And I've ownedfour Allens in the last two decades so I know what to watch for now.</P>


                  Commenting on the Orgasonic, I learned to play on the orgasonic and still have a soft spot for those old Baldwins. Right now I have the last generation of the Orgasonic, a CT2.</P>

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: ORGANS - Experiences that you have had or have playing in public, church, or home, your favorites



                    I've done two concerts that have required the use of a soldering iron to fix a major problem.</P>


                    One was arecital of romantic music - the Swell to Choir coupler ceased to function, which had a large impact on most of the repertoire. Out came the soldering iron- smoke rising only a few moments before the start of the concert. The coupler was soldered permanently 'on', which didn't please me very much, but it was better than no coupler at all.</P>


                    The same thing happened at another concert in an exotic locale; sparks were flying when the organ was turned on, soeveryone was obliged to waituntil the solderingand rewiring couldfinish. It was a very ancient organ that had probably not been played in decades (except at the rehearsals). Naturally, it worked perfectly during the rehearsals.</P>


                    I'drather make the sparks fly myself, rather than the organ. [:S]</P>

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: ORGANS - Experiences that you have had or have playing in public, church, or home, your favorites



                      One embarrassing memory for me is the time I was supposed to play a duet with the pianist for the offertory. The service had not gone well and I was rattled. While the ushers were coming forward during the offertory hymn, my mind was racing so much that I completely forgot about the duet.When the prayer was finished I launched into something entirely different from what we had planned, and of course the pianist started to playthe planned piece! Fortunately, she realized after just a few notes that we weren't playing the same thing and dropped out. I really felt bad afterwards, because the dear lady was my neighbor anda very good friend.</P>


                      Another one that still makes me cringe is the time I played for a funeral on a Baldwin "Silent-touch" model -- one with a touch-sensitive strip where the pistons should be. The dots on the strip that represented pistons were so sensitive that the slightest touch by a fingertip or nail would activate that preset. I was playing "In the Garden" while a dear older couple sang a duet. I had hand registered a soft flute sound, but twice during the song a fingertip touched a preset and huge loud registrations came on. I nearly fell off the bench. I supposed the crowd thought I was a really "dramatic" organist!</P>


                      Even now, the crescendo pedal occasionally causes me grief. I often use it at the end of a particularlydramatic offertory, which will be the last thing I play before the sermon. If I fail to close the crescendo, I may forget that I left it on. Then when I return to the organ to playbehind the pastor's prayer preceding the invitation -- using only the flute celeste and the softest pedal stop -- my first note will be almost tutti! Needless to say, this sort of ruins the moment. Darned crescendo indicator is way over at the end of the coupler rail and not in my direct line of sight!</P>


                      John</P>
                      <P mce_keep="true"></P>
                      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

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                      • #12
                        Re: ORGANS - Experiences that you have had or have playing in public, church, or home, your favorites



                        Those are pretty intense stories, John.</P>


                        I couldn't help but wonder what sort of garden that must have been, with Tutti blaring every few steps. [:D]</P>


                        I've gotten in lots of trouble with the Manual Transfer (exchanges Choir &amp; Great manuals) on many occasions.</P>


                        Because I'm such a nut for French music I almost always put the Great on the bottom. Sometimes I will switch it in order to play some Bach, but occasionally I forget to switch it back.</P>


                        More times than I can remember I've accidentally played a giant chord on the Chimes. [:O]</P>

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: ORGANS - Experiences that you have had or have playing in public, church, or home, your favorites

                          Soubby, I shouldn't have to remind you, chimes are for single note at a time, maybe two notes, melodies, not for accompaniment, and certainly not for chords.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: ORGANS - Experiences that you have had or have playing in public, church, or home, your favorites



                            Yes, indeed, those big chords on the chimes can be nearly fatal! An unexpectedFestival Trumpet can be almost as deadly.</P>


                            Speaking of sudden dynamic level changes, the dear old lady who gave memy earliest organ lessons told meto always keep my foot on the expression pedal, especially when executing a registration change, lest the change be abrupt and startle folks!</P>


                            I think she had some influence on Yvonna as well. Fortunately, I forgot that advice promptly.</P>


                            John</P>
                            <P mce_keep="true"></P>
                            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


                            • #15
                              Re: ORGANS - Experiences that you have had or have playing in public, church, or home, your favorites



                              I thought the intent of some registration changes was to be abrupt and perhaps startling.</P>


                              David</P>

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