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The Forth in Praise Organists' Blog

The personal views of a Catholic parish organist

November 2, 2011

Bridal chit-chat (10)

evelyn @ 7:07 pm

… and this one is of the organist, demanding to be paid ’.

For the first time, I reckon this disgruntled organist has featured in someone’s wedding photographs.

The church was some distance away, which makes collecting forgotten fees difficult. With this in mind, I had asked the couple, when I met them in the church to go over their music, to leave my envelope with the priest at the wedding rehearsal and I would pick it up from him on the day. I phoned the priest about this, and he was perfectly agreeable.

But when the wedding was over, and all the photographs going on outside, the priest told me they hadn’t left my fee with him, but that an usher had it. Ushers! The most unreliable element of any wedding. Envelopes entrusted to ushers get lost in their sporrans and found by the kilt-hire company weeks later.

That afternoon I’d already had a run-in with one hoity-toity usher over the orders of service. Added to that, the ‘organ’ was one of those beastly electronic pianos. The bride having arrived half an hour late, I had had to play the wretched thing for nearly an hour beforehand, the piper unusually having decided to take things easy.

So when the priest told me the location of my fee envelope, something snapped.

The open front door of the church was blocked by a line of kilted backs, obviously part of a group photograph. ‘Are you an usher?’ I asked one of the backs. ‘No, they’re over there, but they’re having their photos taken’ was the reply, in a they-can’t-possibly-be-disturbed tone of voice, which made me even madder.

I went out by a side door and round to the front. An usher was pointed out to me, and I marched over to him, completely disregarding any photography going on, and said as loudly as I could, ‘Excuse me, I’m the organist and I haven’t been paid’. I tried to say it with a smile, and it got a general laugh. Usher, only now remembering his duty, dives into his sporran and produces a whole bundle of envelopes, including mine. It was nice to think that I was saving other people’s fees from the dry-cleaning machine as well.

Maybe the word will go round now – ‘you don’t want that bad-tempered organist’. And do you know, I don’t mind if it does.

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