OrganRep Now Coming to You from the Flip Side

It’s been a while – with a lot happening in between.  Last year, Mr. OrganRep and I decided it was time to leave the Left Coast.  (Really, who wants a steady diet of daily sunshine, beautiful people, and trendy restaurants?)  With me as an organist, and Mr. OrganRep as a computer programmer, we decided for me to lead the way with the job search, and search we did.

In February, we bid adieu to Cathedral Lite and were welcomed by The Mount.  My job now encompasses children, Christmas pageants, bell choirs, regular choir, starting a boys choir, and the full compass of joys and sorrows found in of a life in church music, and I’m ready to report on it all!

Help Yourself: Filing Templates

I struggle with keeping all my music in order and knowing how to file it.  Should I combine hymn arrangements and free harmonizations?  Should Leo Sowerby’s arrangements go under ‘art music’ or ‘hymn settings’?  If I am not careful, I am going to waste one of my five questions when I get to heaven on something like, “Where should I file an anthology that has some hymn arrangements, some art music, and is mostly Christmas repertoire, but has a few Easter pieces in there as well?”

At any rate, I’ve settled on the following categories for my music filing.  Using this system, I can file and access all of my library with ease.  It takes a while to get things organized, but it streamlines the process of being music librarian.  The following link is a pdf of my labels that can be printed out on a standard mailing label (1″ x 2 5/8′) sheet.  Hope it helps!


Help Yourself: Planning Pages

I suppose I’m picky, but I’ve never been able to find the planning resources that I want. They are either too detailed, or too vague, or have too many spots to fill in that I don’t need. At CathedralLite, we use our denomination’s resources. It’s a calendar with scripture on one side; the second side is about 200 suggestions of hymns and anthems and songs and bell resources. And, we never really use it. How could someone sitting at ReligionCo better understand the hymns my congregation likes to sing, and anticipate the anthems at the difficulty and interest levels of my choir? Not to mention, we’re only on liturgy about 50% of the time. Resources put out by publishing companies are even more skewed to emphasize their offerings. I’ve tried doing the online thing that everyone updates, but the problem is that my computer is not always in the same area as my practicing and music storage.

So, I’ve started to make my own, and I offer them to you as well. I find that I need 2 planners. The first planner is a general overview. I take this to meetings and plannings and refer to it any time I need high-level scheduling. The second planner gets the brunt of my week-to-week details. Hope they work for you too.

They’re available below and also posted on my site under the church music page (look under “Music Planning Sheets”).

Download 4-Sundays-per-page planning sheet

Download 1-Sunday per page planning sheet

Hello, Organ World!

“Begin at the beginning…..and go on till you come to the end:  then stop.” / Lewis Carroll
Getting started at the organrep blog.  Trying to define what I’m about while avoiding the following words: musings, reflections, and ramblings.
About me: I’m an organist at CathedralLite – my congregation is musically enthusiastic, my director is demanding, and the bar for performing is high.  I’ve been there five years.  And for five years, I’ve sought a web resource for the following:
– demonstrate great service music outside the context of publisher-driven advertising
– post documents that I could actually use for planning and organization
– address aspects of church music which are ignored in church music academia
– spark ideas and feed my enthusiasm for my calling – church music can be isolated
So, a toast to The Art of Organ Playing!  Here’s to hearty hymn singing, lush celestes, perfectly timed bridal marches, and a wellspring of ardor for the King of Instruments in the service of the King of Kings!  Cheers!