I broke my usual Sunday pattern yesterday and practiced organ after church while waiting for Eileen to teach a Sunday School class. I am learning four variations on King’s Weston (At the name of Jesus) by Robert Lind. I purchased a bunch of his music for some reason i can’t remember. He has published a few volumes of chorale preludes on hymn tunes by Vaughan Williams. The one I’m playing Sunday is not bad. It seems to grow out of Vaughan Williams’ own compositional style. But it may be that Lind’s teacher Leo Sowerby is the influence. I think of it as nondescript.
I will play three variations as the prelude and finish off with the fourth as the postlude. The postlude has a bit of challenging running pedal part. Nothing virtuosic, but one I will have to practice. I spent a good deal of time with it after church yesterday.
Jen Adams my boss and Christian Baron one of our new curates are convening parishioners who work for Hope College (faculty and staff) tomorrow evening at a local bar to discuss ministry to the students.
I have decided not to attend. Jen didn’t ask me as music director. If I went it would be to listen to how Hope people see their relationship to the college and the church.
I see a lot of negative energy at Hope and Holland. I am willing to deal with it as a choir director and music director at Grace. But I don’t need to submit my waning energies to it if it’s not necessary.
I am reminded of my first taste of Hope College politics. I was hurting from the intense departmental politics at Notre Dame during my grad study. I was invited into the home of an English professor for an evening with Roger Davis who was then the organ prof at Hope. We proceeded to get a little drunk. Roger was extremely angry and negative about Hope. He also admitted to some dishonest editing of his own teaching manual (he copied from other anthologies without doing the research or giving credit). I resolved to keep a distance from Hope.
Now I experience a lack of rigorousness in many of the Hope teachers. I’m sure they’re pretty competent but they tend to a insularity and lack of a larger context. It may simply be that they choose not to talk that much to me and that’s fine. When Christian asked me if I was going to attend tomorrow’s gathering, I attempted to gently explain to him my position as music director for a church with so much of the music faculty present.
I mentioned my need to keep negative energy to a minimum in my life.
The poor guy probably has no idea what the fuck I’m talking about. Yesterday as part of his sermon he invited listeners to doodle their idea of god on a provided page of the bulletin. Later when he asked them to put it in the offering plate, I was a bit unhappy that if they did so they would be tearing off the second part of the closing hymn printed there. Oh well.
Plus I couldn’t help but not be too impressed with this. I’m not sure of course that there is a god and I don’t tend to anthropormorphize about god. But I’m trying desperately to be supportive of our new curates despite their lack of sophistication (which is probably inevitable in novices). I thought about the idea that I do sometimes pray to god and wonder if I’m heard at all. By this I do NOT mean that like some sort of genie god grants my wish. I just wonder if there’s anyone on the other end listening. Probably not.
I drew an ear. Then I noticed that fittingly my little drawing looked like a question mark. So I also drew a question mark around the ear. I labeled the ear in case any one were to look at it and not discern what it was.
There you have it.