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  • Hi, I'm new to the forum (and to playing the organ)

    Hi all,

    I'm new to the forum, and wanted to introduce myself. My name is Cam.:-)

    I'm an aspiring organist, and I'm lucky enough to have a congregation of grateful Episcopalians to play for each Sunday. I have only been playing the organ for about 6 months, but used to play the piano when I was young (ages 8 - 18). I stopped playing altogether in college, but when I heard that the organist from the church that I grew up going to had passed away, I was inspired to call up and ask if I could help in any way. He was in his eighties, and basically played right up to the end. Now, after more than 15 years of not playing, I practice 1 - 2 hours a day during the week, and 3 - 4 on the weekends.

    Most of the year, I share the bench with another part time organist (and fellow St. Mary's parishioner) who is a very accomplished musician (harpsichordist), and we are learning to play together. Currently, he is away for the summer in Italy, so I am playing the full services. It is quite a bit of work to prepare all the hymns and service music!

    I have a Conn 645 Theater Deluxe at home (newly acquired, and needing some TLC, but all in all pretty good).

    At the Church, I play an 1836 E. & G.G. Hook Bros 2 manual tracker with a straight-flat 27 note pedal board (Opus 26). It happens to be the oldest extant manual tracker organ built by the company, and is quite beautiful (sounding and looking), if not the biggest. It seems quite well suited to many baroque tunes, although a little weak for some of the bigger pieces (like BWV 565). Very nice for Hymns though, which is its principal function. Here is a picture of the Organ, and some interesting links to information about the organ.



    http://database.organsociety.org/Sin...p?OrganID=1031
    http://database.organsociety.org/awa...Hook.Award.jpg

    I'm looking to advice on easy pieces for preludes, interludes, and postludes, or whatever else you think might be pertinent. I am eager to learn more, and I really have no idea what I am doing, other than trying to play beautiful music for others enjoyment or inspiration (or both).

    What do you all think?
    Attached Files
    “There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.”
    “What I have achieved by industry and practice, anyone else with tolerable natural gift and ability can also achieve.”
    Johann Sebastian Bach

    (at Home) Conn 645 Theater Deluxe
    (at Church) 1836 E. & G.G. Hook Bros, Opus 26

  • #2
    Arthur,

    First, welcome to the Forum. I hope your time here will prove profitable.

    You neglected to mention whether your church has a Classical music tradition for organ music, or Hymns. If the organist is expected to play Classical literature, you can begin with what's often listed as Bach's 8 Little Preludes and Fugues. Many of them are nice to begin with. Marcel Dupré's 78 or 79 Chorales (I can't remember the number), as well as Bach's chorales and compositions from the Orgelbüchlein.

    For Hymns or arrangements thereof, I find Donald Hustad's Complete Organ Works, published by Hope Publishing to have some quite easy pieces. Perhaps a little more advanced would be Paul Manz's Ten Chorale Improvisations in 10 volumes published originally by Concordia. Personally, I like sets 3, 5, and 6 best.

    And finally, I get to tell you that I officially hate you! You get to play one of the earliest extant organs by Hook. They did nice work, and the organ looks WONDERFUL! Congratulations on your opportunity.

    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)
    • 11 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 7 Pianos

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks for the suggestions

      Originally posted by myorgan View Post
      You neglected to mention whether your church has a Classical music tradition for organ music, or Hymns.
      Well, the former organist was apparently failing for quite some time, and had stopped playing preludes and postludes altogether. I recall he played classical pieces when I was younger, but mixed it up a bit, sometimes just playing some slow moving chords that modulated nicely. Phil (the other organist) has been playing classical pieces exclusively, and has been working his way through the well-tempered clavier. It seems to go over well, but I think the congregation is not too picky. I prefer classical for the extra-curriculars, as there is a strong use of hymns during the service. Usually five hymns and three pieces of service music. I looked and found a copy of 8 little preludes & fugues in the sacristy buried in a veritable treasure trove of other music. Thanks for the suggestions!

      Originally posted by myorgan View Post
      And finally, I get to tell you that I officially hate you!
      LOL, I think. I see you are in New England. If ever you are traveling to Central Vermont, send me a PM and we can organ crawl a bit. I have access to a few other organs as well as this one, and you are welcome to come and play anytime.:-)
      “There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.”
      “What I have achieved by industry and practice, anyone else with tolerable natural gift and ability can also achieve.”
      Johann Sebastian Bach

      (at Home) Conn 645 Theater Deluxe
      (at Church) 1836 E. & G.G. Hook Bros, Opus 26

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by ArthurCambronne View Post
        I looked and found a copy of 8 little preludes & fugues in the sacristy buried in a veritable treasure trove of other music. Thanks for the suggestions!

        If ever you are traveling to Central Vermont, send me a PM and we can organ crawl a bit. I have access to a few other organs as well as this one, and you are welcome to come and play anytime.:-)
        Be careful what you offer! I might just take you up on that.

        Did you know you can find most public domain classical pieces for free online at IMSLP? Hope this link helps.

        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)
        • 11 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 7 Pianos

        Comment


        • #5
          Welcome to the club. No doubt you are as idiosyncratic as the rest of us!

          If I remember correctly, there was a thread a little while back on repertoire for new organists. Can anyone post a link to that here?

          I was being lazy. Here's the link, although the discussion doesn't have as much to it as I had hoped.

          http://www.organforum.com/forums/sho...r-new-organist
          Last edited by Sathrandur; 05-27-2014, 08:48 PM. Reason: Found the link

          Comment


          • #6
            Welcome from a fellow newbie organist! :) Can I say how jealous I am that you get to play that beautiful tracker? WOW. Talk about inspiration to practice! The church organ is a nice digital Allen, and mine at home is an older Allen. I wish the church organ was a pipe organ! How fun would that be! You're very lucky!

            I have only been playing since January, and took 8 years of piano lessons as a child. Like you, our church was in need of an organist, and I had only had two organ lessons under my belt before they asked me to play for services. It really is a lot to learn and practice for an entire service, so I feel your pain (or pleasure) there. I have found it is both a pain and a pleasure, lol!

            Are you still looking for easy arrangements? If so, I have a few I could list that I have found especially helpful as I am learning to play the organ.

            Best wishes!

            Patricia

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Sathrandur View Post
              Welcome to the club. No doubt you are as idiosyncratic as the rest of us.
              Now, don't start name-calling already!:devil:
              Originally posted by pmorris View Post
              I have only been playing since January, and took 8 years of piano lessons as a child. Like you, our church was in need of an organist, and I had only had two organ lessons under my belt before they asked me to play for services.
              WOW! You had piano and organ lessons before playing for your first church service! I was dragged into playing organ for my first church service with only 2.5 years of piano lessons. It definitely motivated me to practice and learn more, though. I just couldn't give up the challenge--I had to master that instrument if it killed me!

              I join y'all in being jealous of the tracker, though. The tracker I regularly played at one church was always so easily repaired--no expensive repair bills--just tuning.

              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)
              • 11 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 7 Pianos

              Comment


              • #8
                Yeah I agree. The only thing better than a good instrument with mechanical action is a bigger mechanical instrument with Barker levers!

                Comment

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