church report



Church went pretty well yesterday. I taught my Gloria to the congregation. It was well received, I think. The singing was pretty extraordinary. I even noticed the spoken responses were delivered with gusto. Always a good sign.

There was applause during announcements when Jen thanked me for the Gloria. Wow.

Also many birthday wishes.

That was nice.

When I was rehearsing the Gloria before church, Jen wanted to quit rehearsing before I did. I had broken the Gloria up into sections. I had the congregation echo the choir singing it. But we hadn’t done it all the way through at the point Jen wanted to move on.

She quickly agreed to let me do it one more time. I told her we could can the prelude.

This actually gave us the time to run through it once more.

I had the people stand for this pregame run through. When we were done, I asked Jen if we could just go on and sing the opening hymn. When she said yes, I announced the hymn before people could be seated.

This is not the way I would want to do this usually. Liturgist say that this can lead to a sort of weird practice then play syndrome where the music in the service feels as much as a rehearsal as prayer. This didn’t seem to happen yesterday.

The choir sang the anthem well.

I kind of bombed on the closing hymn organ accompaniment. The hymn was “Savior like a shepherd lead us” (also the text of the choral anthem for the day). We sang the lovely “The King of love my shepherd is” as our second communion hymn. I had the (too) clever idea that the short closing hymn (2 verses) would benefit from an interlude based on the communion hymn.

This didn’t go so good. “The King of Love” is in three. “Savior like a shep” is in four. This was not insurmountable. I realized I would need to play “The King of Love” melody in duple meter to make it fit. But it just didn’t work. Oh well. That’s the nature of the way I improv. If I insist that I take chances in my music, if the risk is real, then sometimes inevitably I will fall flat on my face.

This I did. But we went on and they sang the last verse with no less conviction.

I did manage to get through my postlude pretty well (an excerpt of Parry’s chorale prelude on HANOVER “O Worship the King” – the opening hymn for the service).

After church, Charles Huttar talked to me about my nomination to The Guild of Scholars of the Episcopal Church. Chuck mentioned to me this summer that they had a meeting coming up and he would like to nominate as a member.

I was flabbergasted when he did this. They meet annually (here’s a link to their current info page which seems to be about last year’s meeting, they don’t seem to up to speed interweb wise which is kind of surprising).

Chuck said he would be interested in a couple of papers I could possibly give to this organization: one on Healey Willan and one on African-American music in American Episcopal worship.

I don’t think of myself as scholar but maybe by current standards I might barely qualify since I, you know, read and stuff.

I’ve used up my morning time doing upcoming psalms for Eileen to proof. I did figure out how to recreate the pointing using Finale. Here’s what it looks like:


The problem with this is that the person who puts together our weekly bulletin would not be able to correct mistakes in the psalm. Consequently, I mean to work even further ahead to give Eileen (and Chuck who also proofs weekly) a chance to find mistakes.

She is quite good at that.

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