Today’s blog is going to be musical. I’m uploading audio files from yesterday.
Avondale United Methodist Church, where my family attends, is a very musically strong church. It is one of the things that attracted us there. Yet in the last year it has lost both its director of music and church organist/accompanist, the first to a job at a larger church, the second to retirement. Both had been with the church for more than 10 years each. Yesterday we finally had both slots filled again.
We were fortunate back in the fall to hire Aaron Redburn as our new Director of Music Ministries. Aaron is from Louisburg, Kansas, and is a double major in vocal performance and choral education at UMKC (University of Missouri-Kansas City). Aaron has experience directing and forming musical groups, as well as composing and arranging. He plays several instruments, including keyboard, guitar, tuba, and drums. Lead roles in various musicals are also part of his outstanding resume, along with excellent ratings in many vocal performances.
Yesterday we were fortunate have Seth Bott perform as the new Church Organist and Accompanist for the first time. Seth is a graduate of Brigham Young University with both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Organ Performance. He is currently studying at KU for his doctorate in Organ. During March 2009, Bott won the local American Guild of Organists (AGO) Competition for Young Organists, held in Salt Lake City, which qualified him to compete in the Regional Competition for Young Organists, a bi-annual competition held during the regional conventions of the AGO. Bott won the 2009 competition in Phoenix and then performed a solo recital as part of the convention.
I had the good fortune to be doing special music Sunday, and get to have him accompany me. I’ll put more of that in a later blog. Suffice it here to say that as an accompanist he picked up and adapted to the expressions and nuances I wanted fastest of any accompanist I have ever had.
For today I want to upload two music clips, of the prelude and postlude.
For the prelude he did the song whose tune I recognized as “The Water is Wide” from when I sang it during my college days. Doubtless the tune itself has its own name, but I don’t know it.
As the substitute organist, I have played the same organ, but I never got those particular sounds out of it. The simple, lyric, melodic piping. I had to look at which stops he was pulling to create it. It looked such a simple combination, yet with his touch it sang.
For the postlude he did “All Creatures of Our God and King.” If the prelude showed the lyric quality of our organ, the postlude showed its grandeur. I could try to describe it, but since I have the audio clip, it is probably best for you to listen.
Remember, these are clips of live performance, people coming and leaving the service. Regular service music. That’s why the chatter in the background.