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!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sunday Song: Praise the Lord with Drums and Cymbals

Praise the Lord with Drums and Cymbals (Festliche Musik alla Händel) by Sigfrid Karg-Elert performed on the 62 rank A. E. Schlueter pipe organ of Briarlake Baptist Church in Decatur, Georgia by staff organist, Jason Payne.

Oops! There were three verses?

Today in our worship service, the congregation was singing along, ready to begin the final verse of the hymn, but the organist was done, and not looking at the music director.  After what seemed like a long time, but was only a few seconds, the music director realized that the organist wasn't planning on another verse, so she sat down.

Has this ever happened to you?  I know as a beginning organist, when I was so worried about playing the right notes that I couldn't follow the verses very well (especially on hymns with a chorus, or with a music director who followed the organ's entrances), I was terrified that I would stop playing the hymn a verse early, or begin playing an extra verse that wasn't there.  Fortunately, changing registration after every verse, and writing those changes in at the end of the hymn can help a beginning organist feel more secure that this won't happen to them.  Also, it's important to watch the music director until you are sure the hymn is over!

While this experience has never happened to me, thank goodness, there have been times in my playing when I was watching the music director very nervously, wondering if the chorus I was playing was the final verse, or if I needed to play one more.

Today's experience made me curious: Has this ever happened to you?  What's the most embarrassing playing experience you've had?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Sunday Song: Olympic Fanfare and Theme

Organist Sean Jackson of http://www.seanjacksonmusic.com plays a slightly abridged version of John Williams' Olympic Fanfare and Theme in celebration of the 30th Olympic Summer Games, London 2012. The audio includes some percussion from the score which Dr. Jackson added using Logic Pro and EWQL Symphonic Orchestral samples.

Enjoy!