A Blessing to the Church
Written by Donald Moro   
Sunday, 26 October 2014 16:04

After services today one of the church members approached me and thanked me for filling in while the church searches for a new organist.  "You're a blessing to our church in that you're always there when we need you!" she said.  That comment had me thinking about a few qualities necessary to be successful in the business of supply organist: consistency, amiability, quality.

That an organist can be available consistently, show up on time, and do that required job builds an enduring reputation.  I try not to overbook myself so that I can be available on late notice...or at least a few weeks out.  I'd like to be known as a consistent performer, ready to get the job done.

I keep hearing horror stories about egotistical organists who run roughshod over the choir, dominate the clergy, and generally impose their will on everyone.  I just can't believe that as a group, organists have this reputation...but we do.  So, I try to be the exact opposite and get along with everybody.  I am humble, open to suggestion (and criticism!), and flexible enough to change course when needed.

Above all, organists must deliver a quality performance.  I have found that the music played does not have to be complicated, but it must be played well.  Practice is important, and I have spent a lot of time working on my practice technique.  I write in fingerings, work on hard passages, and keep the music "in my fingers" all week long.  Maybe I am superstitious, but if I don't run through my music on Friday or Saturday, I don't feel confident on Sunday.  It's just a thing I've learned about myself.

So if you are doing what I do, try being a blessing to your church.  Step back and ask yourself if you are consistently available when needed, if you are a ministering friend to the congregation and clergy, and if you are delivering quality time after time.  Do these things and you can't help but be flooded with calls for work.