jbuck919 and The Organ: A Love Story

Your 'hot spot' for all classical music subjects. Non-classical music subjects are to be posted in the Corner Pub.

Moderators: Lance, Corlyss_D

Post Reply
IcedNote
Posts: 2963
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2006 5:24 pm
Location: NYC

jbuck919 and The Organ: A Love Story

Post by IcedNote » Thu Jan 07, 2010 12:17 am

Well I'm sure as hell not going to be the one to tell it, but I figure John might by answering these questions. :mrgreen:

How did you get into playing the organ? Did you ever perform regularly? Have you played on any particularly incredible instruments in equally incredible venues? Did you ever play organ in a military band? :shock:

Curious,

-G
Harakiried composer reincarnated as a nonprofit development guy.

Corlyss_D
Site Administrator
Posts: 27663
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 2:25 am
Location: The Great State of Utah
Contact:

Re: jbuck919 and The Organ: A Love Story

Post by Corlyss_D » Thu Jan 07, 2010 3:30 am

IcedNote wrote:Did you ever play organ in a military band? :shock:
Mmmm. John and his little portative organ in a marching band. Now there's a thought to conjure with!
Corlyss
Contessa d'EM, a carbon-based life form

jbuck919
Military Band Specialist
Posts: 26867
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 10:15 pm
Location: Stony Creek, New York

Re: jbuck919 and The Organ: A Love Story

Post by jbuck919 » Thu Jan 07, 2010 10:10 am

IcedNote wrote:Well I'm sure as hell not going to be the one to tell it, but I figure John might by answering these questions. :mrgreen:

How did you get into playing the organ? Did you ever perform regularly? Have you played on any particularly incredible instruments in equally incredible venues? Did you ever play organ in a military band? :shock:

Curious,

-G
Thought you'd get my attention with that subject line, didn't you, Garrett? Well--you were right. :)

I started organ lessons at 15 (piano was from 7) at the behest of my father who was the organist at my church (Catholic). Let's say that organ was not his first instrument. I had good instruction in high school and college and have, with some interruptions, earned a portion of my living for most of my life as a church organist. The worst organ I ever had to play regularly was that first one, a Rodgers electronic of an early generation, and the best was the organ at Princeton, an Aeolian Skinner that has since been rebuilt by the Mander Organ Co. Upon the (mandatory) retirement of Carl Weinrich after my freshman year, the university decided not to replace him with a single university organist, but auditioned a number of students to share the duties (years later they restored the position, which for a while was held by long-time Princeton organist and famous recitalist Joan Lippincott). So for two years I played something like every sixth service in the chapel, and I guess that has to be deemed the high point of my career in terms of prestige.

The most important part of my post-scholastic career was serving as organist for a Methodist church in Ellicott City, Maryland, where I tolerated an Allen electronic organ. Since moving to New York, I am playing two identical Estey reed organs, which are fine for their space and offer key resistance to keep my fingers in shape. I am not unhappy with this appointment.

I have never been in a military band--that was my father's career. And I have never heard an organ perform with one, though it is inconceivable that somewhere along the way some subset of the West Point band has not done concert work in the chapel in conjunction with its famous organ (which I never played).

I would not exaggerate my importance as the "organ person" on CMG. I serve for want of better. When I first joined there was a member called "organist extraordinaire" who is still on the list, I believe, and he knew far more than I do. I would welcome the addition of other organists to our active membership and would, where appropriate, defer to their superior knowledge and experience.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

IcedNote
Posts: 2963
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2006 5:24 pm
Location: NYC

Re: jbuck919 and The Organ: A Love Story

Post by IcedNote » Thu Jan 07, 2010 7:05 pm

Ah, very interesting!

So do you ever get to hop on an organ when you're traveling through Europe and razzle-dazzle the tourists? 8)

-G
Harakiried composer reincarnated as a nonprofit development guy.

jbuck919
Military Band Specialist
Posts: 26867
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 10:15 pm
Location: Stony Creek, New York

Re: jbuck919 and The Organ: A Love Story

Post by jbuck919 » Thu Jan 07, 2010 7:13 pm

IcedNote wrote:Ah, very interesting!

So do you ever get to hop on an organ when you're traveling through Europe and razzle-dazzle the tourists? 8)

-G
I'm the guy who slides onto the organ bench and slides off the other end. :)

Seriously, I can neither memorize nor improvise--deficiencies not compatible with impressing others off the cuff.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Marc
Posts: 320
Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2007 4:45 pm

Re: jbuck919 and The Organ: A Love Story

Post by Marc » Thu Jan 07, 2010 7:24 pm

Therefore I feel that all churches with good historic organs should at least have the complete Bach at hand! :)

If only I made that piano to organ switch when I was 15. I wanted to play the organ, but a good instrument was too expensive .... so I went to piano lessons, wasn't very good and became a passive music lover in the end. Do not misunderstand me though: I'm very happy with that (I wasn't that talented after all). A year ago I rediscovered the organ, as a listener. And now I can say (quoting Mozart): oh, my beloved Königin der Instrumente! :D

jbuck919
Military Band Specialist
Posts: 26867
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 10:15 pm
Location: Stony Creek, New York

Re: jbuck919 and The Organ: A Love Story

Post by jbuck919 » Thu Jan 07, 2010 7:57 pm

Marc wrote:Therefore I feel that all churches with good historic organs should at least have the complete Bach at hand! :)

If only I made that piano to organ switch when I was 15. I wanted to play the organ, but a good instrument was too expensive .... so I went to piano lessons, wasn't very good and became a passive music lover in the end. Do not misunderstand me though: I'm very happy with that (I wasn't that talented after all). A year ago I rediscovered the organ, as a listener. And now I can say (quoting Mozart): oh, my beloved Königin der Instrumente! :D
In case we have any members who know a young person who might be interested in taking up the organ, people without connections often assume that they need a home instrument as they would for the piano. This often leads to great expense to acquire an instrument that is not really adequate even for instructional purposes. The only good way to learn the organ is to find a church organ and a teacher who comes along with it, or vice versa.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 57 guests