Happy Halloween

Every Halloween, my heart always breaks a little bit.  Somehow, the organ has been established as a Halloween instrument, evoking images of gaunt hunchbacks with pasty skin and fanged teeth flinging back a cape to break into the Bach d-minor toccata.  <sigh>  Yet, each year, I hop on the bandwagon and play the organ for the trick-or-treat festivities with the nursery school hosted by CathedralLite.

This year, I tried a few other pieces to avoid getting trapped into a one-hit wonder Halloween.  I had a group of about 15 four-year-olds, and after the obligatory spooky stuff, I tried out some other pieces that evoked costumes.  I played a pirate song and asked if there were pirates in the group (there were).  I played a ballerina song and asked if there was a ballerina in the group (a princess sufficed).  I am full of ideas for next year: the bridal march, Star Wars theme, spiderman theme and fairy sounds (hello zymbelstern) would round out a program for that age group.  Four-year-olds have an attention span of 45 seconds, and I can play any theme from any action movie for just that long.

So, hook them with the d-minor toccata and then switch to show everything else that the instrument can do.  The best kind of bait-and-switch, and take every opportunity to have some show and tell time with the instrument.

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