Seminar for Church Musicians

 

For the Novice Church Organist:

Making the Organ an Effective

Instrument for Worship


It's something we hear frequently.  Many church organists would like to be more effective as musical leaders for worship, but have not had enough (or any) pipe organ training.  They are confronted with an array of controls that one member of a church board once told me "look like the cockpit of a 747."  Oftentimes, they just use the presets that previous organist had set. Sometimes they don't change them for years.

 

Mozart called the pipe organ the "King of Instruments."  No workshop can replace years of training, but what we CAN do is give you some tips and tricks, and point you toward music that can help you grow.  Once you know how the organ works, you can work toward improving your skills and can have a lot of fun while you're at it!

 

The Seiminar is entitled "The Organ for the Novice Church Organist."  It will be conducted by Martin Ellis and Thad Reynolds at 10 am on Saturday, May 21.  It is being sponsored by the Episcopal Church of the Ascension in Bardstown, Kentucky, as part of their celebration of their newly rebuilt pipe organ (see article below). 

 

Martin Ellis is principal organist and Associate Director of Music at North United Methodist Church in Indianapolis.  He serves as organist for the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and accompanist and staff arranger for the Indianapolis Children's Choir.  He has many published choral and instrumental works, and is a busy concert artist on both classical and theater organ.  He is a frequent performer on the Sanfilippo organ in Chicago, the largest theater organ in the world, and recently returned from a seven-week concert tour of Australia.  Mr. Ellis will be performing in concert on the "new" organ at Ascension the Friday evening before the seminar at 7 pm.

 

To learn more about this great opportunity to develop some new skills (and to meet people who are trying to do the same), please check the .pdf description for the workshop HERE, and the invitation from the church and the registration form HERE.  The cost is only $30 per person, and includes lunch.

Here's an even better idea!  Come to the concert, stay for the seminar, and make the weekend a mini-vacation in one of the most scenic and interesting places in this part of the country.  Great places to eat, excellent and unusual shopping, "My Old Kentucky Home" (the actual one!), and the Bourbon Capital of the World!  What could be more fun?!?

 

Places in the seminar are limited, so act quickly!

 

UPDATE:  The Seminar was a great success! About 30 people attended, and the feedback we received was very positive.  We discussed how to lead hymn-singing from the organ, approaches to accompanying choirs and soloists, and finding and selecting appropriate and playable solo organ selections for the worship service.  Special thanks goes to the church for an excellent lunch, and to the attendees who were willing to play for us.  Also, to Lorenz Corporation for providing us with a huge amount of sample music to look through.  And, of course, to Martin Ellis for being willing to share his knowledge and experience with us. 

 

An interesting side-note is that many of our attendees were church choir directors.

 

We hope to do more of these workshops.  There is clearly an interest in them!

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