what am I bitching about?


Eileen helped me get ready for today’s recital. I set her up at the office computer with information to make the program. yesterday afternoon She also printed up the poster for the next recital and hung them around the church for me. While she did this, I practiced organ. I had a very productive rehearsal, finding some better ways to play the piece by Calvin Hampton I am learning.

I still haven’t heard back at all from Huw Lewis regarding the recital and the proposed February recital of his students. I did receive an email from Peter Kurdziel, which he sent to several other Episcopalian organists in Holland, Grand Haven, and Grand Rapids notifying us of a choral evensong which Huw and his St. John’s choir from Detroit would be leading at the installation of Grand Rapids AGO officers.

I’m sure many AGO types would be thrilled about this. But I’m not one of them. I see the Anglican Choral Evensong as a beautiful work of art. I also see it in tension with the 1979 Prayer Book which encourages congregational participation in what liturgists and church musicians sometimes call the Office (Daily Prayer).

The Roman Catholic church seems to have moved away from the Vatican II notion that liturgy is the work of the people (more participative) and back into a hierarchical understanding of prayer. I’m not too informed about this since (regressive?) reform was instituted about the time I left off working for Roman Catholics.

Now here’s my buddy, Peter, who is dean of the Grand Rapids Chapter of the AGO, choosing a very (in my view) baroque notion of church prayer for the AGO service. It may be that he, himself, sees these moves as coherent and worthy of support. People do change.

But it’s hard enough for me to support liturgy that is coherent and has content, let alone the precious practices of the Anglican church of the early 20th century.

But it’s not a big deal really. I don’t have to be involved. I think I will send Peter’s email along to Stephen White in Kalamazoo whose choir regularly sings these services. He will be interested.

I also received an odd invitation from Robert Batastini for my choir to sing in some Holland Reformed/Roman Catholic celebrations of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation.

I think it’s slightly odd that I wasn’t asked to be part of this sooner as a planner and performer. I think I’m a good church musician. But I suspect once again that I’m a bit out of step if not altogether invisible in this situation.

My friend Rhonda will apparently be playing as will Peter in some of these services. I emailed Bob Batastini that I wanted to talk to my boss before responding. I can’t understand why he and the committee is interested in my few singers when my choir is so small and apparently not on the radar of others in the town.

This is mildly troubling. But I realize that I’m a bit thin skinned about this stuff and try to ignore my dismay. it’s not that deep any way. It’s not like I want to be more involved. So what am I bitching about? I think I’m a bit glum and cranky probably because of Elizabeth and Alex flying away. Who knows?

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