For years and years, the LCH Music Department struggled to find suitable storage for its music library. Not only did we have to deal with a lot of mismatched file cabinets stacked on top of one another, but all the drawers were absolutely crammed to the gills — it was nearly impossible to take anything OUT as well as to put anything IN. We had stuffed the file drawers so full that we even put octavos in the sides! You add the roaches, the silverfish and the geckos — and it was quite a disaster! Did you know that cockroaches love to eat paper?
About a year ago, the church purchased a rolling filing shelf system, thanks to some large memorial gifts and concert proceeds. The system consists of nine 8′ high lateral shelves on a rolling track, with large drawers on the bottom of the cabinets along the wall. It’s absolutely amazing — with all the music we have accumulated over the past 37 years, we still have room to grow in the new system. I’ve even been able to store all the organ music I’ve collected.
With all the Bach cantata scores, the hundreds of choral octavos, and the organ music (some of which has been donated from organists who have retired or passed on), you could say that this music library could be called one of LCH’s crown jewels. It’s a virtual treasure trove of the finest choral and organ music ever written.
I’ve taken on the responsibility of replacing all the dog-eared and cockroach-chewed file folders with sturdy file pockets, and labeling all the files so that they can easily be read from the side. Allen Bauchle, our assistant choirmaster, has taken on the enormous task of electronically cataloguing everything in a database so that we can do “smart” searches. For example, we could look for anthems by titles, or scripture reference, or composers, or by keywords. We also plan to enter information such as the date a piece was performed, for what occasion, and for which Sunday in the liturgical year.