You know the three “R”s, don’t you? Reduce, Reuse and Recycle — well, now that I’m a free-lance organist, I am definitely doing my part. Since I am playing for different “congregations” throughout the week, I am using the same music over and over for different situations. In fact, I counted up five — count ’em — five separate “congregations” I’m playing for this week:
On Monday, I played for the 7th and 8th graders at Iolani Chapel, and I played Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) lovely setting of “Rhosymedre” for the prelude and Dale Woods (1934-2003) rousing “Pisgah” for the postlude.
On Tuesday, I played for the 9th and 10th graders at Iolani Chapel, and played the same Vaughan Williams and Dale Woods pieces.
Later that day, I played the chapel service at St. Andrew’s Priory (substituting for John Renke, who is recovering from surgery), and played the same Vaughan Williams and Dale Woods pieces for the prelude and postlude on the 4-manual Aeolian-Skinner organ.
On Thursday, I will play the same Vaughan Williams and Dale Woods pieces for the prelude and postlude at the 11th and 12th grade Iolani chapel service.
On Friday, I would have used the same pieces at the Lower School Chapel (grades K-6) except that chapel has been cancelled for that day.
On Sunday, where I will be at Holy Nativity Episcopal Church, you guessed it, I will be playing “Rhosymedre” by Vaughan Williams and “Pisgah” by Dale Wood on the Casavant organ.
Pretty boring, right? No, I’m just being practical! This week while I’ve had to practice three pieces for the University of Hawaii concert, I wanted to maximize my practice time by keeping the same repertoire for the different church/chapel services. So what I’m doing is:
Reducing the number of pieces that I have to practice.
Reusing the same pieces in different situations with different congregations.
Recycling the pieces over and over — and nobody will be the wiser!
I looked around YouTube and was surprised to find tons of performances of Vaughan Williams’ “Rhosymedre.” Originally written for pipe organ, it has been arranged for string orchestra, string quartet, wind ensemble, brass ensemble, flute ensemble and even clarinet ensemble! But here is one of the most unusual performances by Nancy Kirkner. She plays the soprano line on solo English handbells, accompanied by Janet Anderson on piano.
Here is Mormon Tabernacle Choir organist Andrew Unsworth performing “Pisgah” by Dale Wood.