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    Organist's Attire

    I'm not sure if this is exactly the right spot for this thread, so if the moderators feel that there is a better location, please move it there.

    It has come to my attention that there are various liturgical traditions where organists and/or the choir wear a distinctive dress. I would usually wear my college student's gown as I play at my college. At my old church when I played some years ago I simply wore conservative dark trousers and a good shirt. I understand that different traditions may require a black cassock, or a mauve cassock, a surplice or any number of other different types of attire. So what is it that you wear?

    Me, wearing the student's gown and playing the college organ (I did get a haircut just after this was taken):

    Martin Hartley
    Choral Scholar at St Patrick's Cathedral, Parramatta, Australia
    Student at Campion College, Australia
    Assistant Organist at St Margaret Mary's Catholic Church, Merrylands, Australia

    The Novice Organist: http://noviceorganist.blogspot.com.au

    #2
    See Cameron Carpenter website for range of possibilities for sartorial splendor.
    Larry K
    Princeton, IL

    Hammond BV+DR-20, Mathushek Square piano from 1934
    Retired: Hammond L-102, M-3, S-6, H-112, B-2+21H+PR-40, B-3+21H, Hammond Aurora Custom, Colonnade.

    Comment


      #3
      Depends on the denomination. My background is Anglican, for which cassock and surplice is the norm. A double-breasted cassock is preferred, since you can just fling it back behind the bench: surplices can be made with split sleeves so as not to get betangled in stops, keyboards or whatever. In the Roman Catholic church, cassock and surplice is okay if (are you sitting down?) you are male! Not my rule, just the norms of the church. The various protestant denominations have, as far as I know, no hard and fast rule; local custom would prevail. Despite the fact that my choir (I work in, but don't "belong to," a protestant church) wears pseudo academic gowns I opt instead to wear a white shirt and black suit with my (black) MA gown. On occasions where the service and its music is along more traditional lines (not often) I also wear an academic hood. In my fulltime Anglican days, I always wore a hood.

      If you are playing in an Anglican/Episcopalian church I might add that there is nothing at all wrong with wearing an academic gown, such as that in your photo. In other words, what you normally wear is perfectly alright, although a jacket should really be worn underneath the gown. (Let's hope that it doesn't get too hot!)

      Hope this helps.
      Last edited by Mister Mirabilis; 07-05-2011, 02:11 PM.

      Comment


        #4
        I think most churches require the organist wear clothes. Other than that, it pretty much depends on the church and its tradition.

        At my present church, I can get away with wearing jeans and a polo shirt, if I wish, but others require the nice shirt and trousers you mentioned in your post at the very least (if not a tie). I dare say, not too many will require you wear French cuffs and cuff links as you have in your photo, however, I think that's a nice look to play in a robe and with a nice shirt!

        Best of luck working it out.

        Michael
        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)
        • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 4 Pianos

        Comment


          #5
          The main reason that I wore links with that shirt is that the sleeves are a bit on the short side for me, and I actually have a greater freedom of movement in my forearms like this than using the button. Rather odd that with two shirts from the same company, one fits well at the neck but the sleeves have shrunk, and on the other the sleeves are fine and the collar has shrunk.

          I believe (personally) that one should dress well for church on a Sunday and on any occasion that they are performing a liturgical function. So I also dress well for other masses where I am playing music or singing.
          Martin Hartley
          Choral Scholar at St Patrick's Cathedral, Parramatta, Australia
          Student at Campion College, Australia
          Assistant Organist at St Margaret Mary's Catholic Church, Merrylands, Australia

          The Novice Organist: http://noviceorganist.blogspot.com.au

          Comment


            #6
            And then, of course, there is the infamous (wardrobeless) Monty Python organist . . .

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Menschenstimme View Post
              And then, of course, there is the infamous (wardrobeless) Monty Python organist . . .
              Only you . . . .
              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)
              • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 4 Pianos

              Comment

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