Being an organist can be a rather dull job at time, no doubt. You sit through funerals, often playing the same ten hymns we suspect, and wait, idle, as another 'here today, gone tomorrow' pop hit is played on the CD player.
Apart from our solo singing spot that gives us and the organist the chance to remember we're musicians who enjoy working together, the organist's main time to shine is at the start of the funeral.
Often they can play whatever they wish, as mourners arrive, but our presence seems to inspire some organists to put aside the Bach and reach for the Puccini!
And the temptation to hum along is huge, especially when we've heard The Pearl Fisher's Duet, O Mio Babbino Caro, and greatest hits from oratorios, from Where Ere You Walk to O Rest in the Lord. In fact, we could sing along with nearly every one, and most mourners seem to appreciate the variety of music. You can see on their faces that they are trying to remember what that tune is, as many of them are familiar yet in a subconscious way.
So, organists, take the plunge. Play some opera, some oratorio, some choral as an instrumental, and know that we are not alone in listening and appreciating your music.
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