best laid plans or more than you want to know about the dang organ committee meeting yesterday



I was planning to practice yesterday after the organ committee meeting. Rev Jen, two parishioners, and I met with our architect. We went over plans to prepare the back of the church for the installation of the new organ next year.


This includes some radical changes. The air conditioning units are to be boxed in over the chapel. This is where they now sit. But in the summer one cannot hear anything but air conditioner in the music area and back of the church when it is on.

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In addition the wall of the chapel will be reinforced and made harder by the addition of layers of plywood under the present type of veneer. This is expedited by the fact that much of this wall will need to be altered anyway. To the far right facing the chapel there will need to be a small closet protruding from the wall to house the sound system. This will be accessible from the chapel but the hum of this unit will not longer be able to be heard in the room.

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The present door in the middle of the wall is to be moved to the far left. All of this entails changing the wall anyway so it will be a good time to reinforce it to be a reflective surface as well.

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The front of the choir area is to be converted to three small steps all the way across presented in a slightly curved manner.

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There was much discussion about the piano in the room. One parishioner was particularly resistant to moving some pews to accommodate a larger area for a decent baby grand. She couched her objections in language about it not being a concert hall. Rather quickly there after the architect pointed out that the design would actually be more like a concert hall.

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I also had to present my case for a baby grand versus an upright.

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It looks like I pretty much lost this in this meeting. They decided to house the piano (an upright) directly behind the organ bench in the front of the choir area. It would actually be inset in the stairs. There are also plans to create a collapsible section of stairs that would be housed behind the piano. This would enable the piano to be moved out and the stairs pulled out to create an unbroken three steps across the choir area. Presumably this would be another step in which we would consider purchasing and finding a place for a baby grand.

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During the discussion of the sound system, the committee considered putting a sound proof door over the sound system in the chapel. This created the problem of not having ventilation for the amplifiers. Instead of a sound proof door there, why not turn off the system when the chapel is being used. Can it be turned off? wondered some of the committee. The rest of us pointed out that loss of power would certainly cause it be turned off.

Later when we were in the church visualizing changes, the power went off. The sound system started beeping frantically in the dark. A young man in a yellow electrician’s helmet and uniform came in and asked us to move our cars because “we had a situation.”

So much for practicing organ.

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