Welcome to The LDS Organist Blog

The purpose of this blog is to help pianists learn to become true organists. Many individuals believe that if you play the piano you can play the organ, but the instruments differ greatly. While this blog is specifically geared towards members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, much of the information shared can be utilized by all. I hope that the information I share here will help you become an effective organist in your ward, stake, or other congregation.

Feel free to browse and search this blog. It was started in January 2010 and while new posts aren't added very often, this blog contains a wealth of information and is a wonderful resource for all organists. If you're a new reader, you can find the first lesson here: Before We Begin: Acquiring the Essentials. Also, please "like" the corresponding facebook page, which is updated more often. A link is provided on the right sidebar, or you can click here.

Thanks for visiting!

Monday, July 30, 2012

BYU Organ Workshop

Every year about this time, Brigham Young University puts on an Organ Workshop that is absolutely amazing!  This year's workshop begins this afternoon from 3:00-7:00 p.m. with a preworkshop seminar: “A Survey of Latter-day Saint Hymnody: 1835 to the Present” with Douglas Bush.

If you haven't preregistered, it's not too late! You can register tomorrow morning from 8:00-9:00 a.m. in the Harris Fine Arts Center at BYU for only $290 for four full days of organ instruction.

I attended the workshop the past two years, and I can tell you that it's worth every penny! This year the participants will also have the opportunity to play a Temple Square organ on Wednesday evening.

If you can't make it this year, start saving so that you can attend next summer. It will expand your view as to what the organ can do, and it could quite possibly change your life for the better.

If you happen to be in or around Provo, UT this week, there are a few activities that are open to all:
  • Monday, July 30: Pre-Workshop Seminar -A Survey of Latter-day Saint Hymnody: 1835 to the Present, Dr. Douglas Bush, 3:00 to 7:00 p.m., Madsen Recital Hall, BYU
  • Tuesday, July 31: Organ Recital - Dr. Don Cook, 7:30 p.m., new BYU Multi-Stake Building, 900 E 300 N, Provo
  • Thursday, August 2: Hymn Sing: Celebrating 175 Years of Latter-day Saint Hymnody, Dr. Douglas Bush, 7:30 p.m., De Jong Concert Hall, BYU

Unfortunately, for multiple reasons I am unable to attend the workshop this year. I'm still hoping to attend the Hymn Sing on Thursday evening, and highly recommend it. My first hymn sing with a trained organist was one of the most spiritually exhilarating experiences of my life!  I had no idea how effectively a trained organist could capture and share the spirit of the hymns.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sunday Song: Octaves by Demessieux

For today's Sunday Song, Paul Jacobs plays Octaves by Jeanne Demessieux. This video was taken at his November 16, 2011 performance at Church of St. Ignatius Loyola in New York City.


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sunday Song: Lead Kindly Light

Today's Sunday Song is Robert Hebble's Lead, Kindly Light.


Monday, July 16, 2012

Summertime Crazies

It has been far too long since I've posted on this blog!

It seems like every summer I enter a time warp when my kids stay home from school for summer vacation.  We have been incredibly busy with life.

As I've shared before, this blog has a great archive of resources for perusal.  Hopefully you will find what you need there.

I have some exciting news for my readers.  Many of the organ pictures on this website are of an Allen 282-C:




Allen 282-C


This is an organ I purchased about six years ago, and it was just wonderful for my needs.  However, it is about as old as I am, if not older, and the sound quality isn't nearly as good as what is currently available.  I'm so happy to announce that I recently purchased a used Ahlborn SL-300.  It's smaller and fits in my home better.  Plus, it's a 3-manual organ with internal speakers, and it's not even as old as my marriage, so the sound is so much better.

Here is the only picture I have of them together.  The Ahlborn was being delivered, and the Allen was purchased very quickly, so it left almost as soon as the new one was here:




Allen 282-C and Ahlborn SL-300


Here's the Ahlborn right after delivery:




Ahlborn


In other news, a lot has been going on in my life. Just on the organ front, I'll be serving as the secretary in my chapter of the American Guild of Organists for the next two years.  I was introduced to Wayne Leopold's Learning the Organ and Learning the Basics method books, and am going to start teaching the organ to children.  My oldest four got their first lessons today.  Also, I began playing the organ in my local LDS Temple, and will be playing there two or three times a month.

I'm hoping to start posting regularly again soon, fingers crossed!

Thanks for visiting!

Edited 7/22 to add:  I was also released as Stake Music Chairman today after 4 1/2 years of service.  I couldn't post that until it was official.