Now that the organ has been refurbished, renovated, renewed, improved, and all kinds of other good adjectives, it seemed appropriate to give it a nice re-dedication ceremony. Someone suggested breaking a bottle of wine over the console but was informed by our business director (the one who allocated the funds) that that might not be such a good idea. So instead we're going to have a concert.
The concert is going to be a bit unusual. I thought about the circumstances of this auspicious moment and decided to think outside the old cliched box. Our church is a diverse place and we have, in addition to three more or less "traditional" services, a "contemporary" service in a different sanctuary at which the organ isn't present. Many of those folks hop around from service to service, appreciating both styles of worship and not minding thinking of the organ as a boring old relic of the past at all, but then some folks are more doctrinaire about it, and probably don't want to be caught dead going to an organ concert. But they've helped pay for this, too--even if it wasn't voluntary.
It seemed to me that this concert ought to be as friendly to as many people as possible, particularly to non-organ fans. So Bach's complete "Art of the Fugue" is going to have to wait. Instead, I've invited some friends to join me, including a jazz saxophonist, a conga player, a narrator, and a violinist. There will be some improvisation, some innovative approaches to old music, some music that is very new, and even something based on a Beatle's tune. The remaining surprises are things I don't want to reveal yet.
Since there are about 400 people in worship on a weekend, and about 150 or so other choir members and their parents who will be getting invitations, there is a chance the sanctuary will fill up nicely. Usually we don't draw more than 100, but this is not a typical concert. It offers a chance to see the organ console for the first time out in the center of the floor, since the new connection with the pipe room allows portability. You will be able to watch me select stops, press buttons, move my hands and feet, and a few other things. It will be a bit educational in that sense.
And an awful lot of fun. Bring the kids.