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The Forth in Praise Organists' Blog

The personal views of a Catholic parish organist

December 1, 2010

The Anytoun Old Kirk emails (4)

evelyn @ 4:59 pm

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Evelyn to Andrew Sunday 30 July

WEEK 3

Today turned out to be the most relaxed of the three, although earlier in the week it was promising to be the most disastrous. The big question was: did Leonard actually exist? By Wednesday, after getting nothing but a rather peculiar answering machine, I started to worry and phoned Keith, who had also been unable to make contact. Keith, bless him, finally drove round to where Leonard lived and interviewed the neighbours. It transpired that he was on holiday but would be back on Thursday. And sure enough, I then got a phone call from a very pleasant gentleman, who said he had chosen all five hymns from Songs of God’s People. And guess what, I already knew three of them! It turned out I knew four, because Keith phoned to say one of them was always sung in that church to ‘Picardy’. Then I discovered the fifth one went to the tune of ‘All through the night’. Even though two of the hymns were ‘Bind us together’ and ‘Walk in the light’, it was a small price to pay for the knowledge that I could cope easily.

Before the service, in a senior moment I gave the choir the wrong hymn number for the Picardy tune, which caused them to surround the organ rather menacingly to tell me ‘we can’t get the words to fit’, but after I had cleared that up, all went well. For the first time ever, in a Church of Scotland service, I was able to give some attention to the sermon instead of moving music around and planning the next hymn. Finally, I even improvised a special last verse accompaniment to ‘All through the Night’. That’s a first for me; one can’t normally do it in a Catholic Church because the singing isn’t strong enough and it would put them off.

So all’s well that ends well. Thanks for a most interesting three weeks. Oh, and I’ve been paid.

Best wishes

Evelyn

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