Friday, August 21, 2009


Some years ago, I finally threw out my (old and well worn, but still functional) Organmaster shoes (the standard for classical/pipe organ pedaling). I resigned the church organ position in 1990 (in NJ) that I had held for 11 years prior. Did some subbing for awhile, and then determined to put my "organ days" behind me, devoting myself to the piano exclusively. This (general) determination was challenged some years ago when playing a run at the (Atlantic City) Showboat with the Midiri brothers. Someone (not me) got the idea that I should get my old cornet out the closet, work up my (questionable) "chops", and add it to the bandstand presentation (for schtick). After awhile I put it away, remembering the tug of the comittment to an additional instrument against my focus to develop as a pianist. Well, here I am, again - sort of. After attending the Presbyterian Church of Chestertown for some time (and planning to join this fall), I've succumb to the allure of the 3 manual Allen, and have begun refamiliarizing with playing (Way different than the piano. I used to say: "The organ is a box I content with - the piano is an extension of my arm"- still true). In a way; that the organ is so different than the piano, (as is the required skill set), is part of the draw. It is it's own unique experience, more like the effort and satisfaction of "building" something, rather than the ease (and satisfaction) of comfortable expression. So here's where I am today: have agreed to sub for Kate (the smiling organist) at church the next two Sundays. Am going over now to work in my new Organmaster shoes. Part of the fun will be that (until recently) no one (around here) knew I ever played the organ (let alone majoring on piano and organ together in college). Some may be confused. I may be chief among them, though. We'll see...

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