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Wedding And Funeral Fees?


tribunegallery

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Guest Patrick Coleman
You weren't

 

In which case, your point is not relevant.

 

I may express my own views in a public area, and you may take exception to them and take me to task. They remain my private views. If I write to the paper and express them, they are then explicitly addressed to the general public, as readership.

 

This forum's kind hospitality allows us all to learn not only about technicalities of our craft, but also about the joys and frustrations we suffer in pursuing it. Neither Mander's nor the contributors are selling theirs as the only view on an issue, and there is clear and intelligent guidance on what may or may not be posted.

 

To return to the case in point: if there is any defamation taking place, it has been on the part of the anonymous writer to the Church Times. Now I have said my piece and will remain silent.

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Having read the original comment (or rather my wife having read it to me) and not having seen the replies (yet), I would like to put forward my opinion. When I was a Director of Music, and now in a freelance capacity I have a simple policy with wedding couples. It is their day, and we will provide anything they want, provided it is both legal and moral to do so. I often suggest that if they want something that might be better from a CD, maybe they would like this, I have no objections to this (we get paid anway!) However, we have been required to sing and play all sorts of things, such as the choir singing Wonderful World, and Star Wars and Indiana Jones on the organ. I aim to offer an efficient and comprehensive service to wedding couples, albeit at a price (I have set fees, and they're not cheap!)

 

Jonathan

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I was most surprised to read a churchwarden in the piece calling this a 'very public forum'. At least I presume s/he meant this one. Hardly!

It would be difficult to imagine anywhere less likely to come to the notice of those mentioned. But just in case, I will not divulge the details of the music for a child's memorial service today. (Not surprisingly, an organist was not required for this.)

 

You never know who might be listening, and one would not wish to appear disgruntled or less than loyal....

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In which case, your point is not relevant.

I made a point and followed it with a supposition, neither of which was a snipe at you.

I may express my own views in a public area, and you may take exception to them and take me to task. They remain my private views. If I write to the paper and express them, they are then explicitly addressed to the general public, as readership.

You are of course correct, but my point - which I repeat as politely as I did earlier - is that while understanding that a fellow organist may be moved to 'sound off' on this forum (and, heaven knows, there is much I would like to get off my chest myself), an internet messageboard is not a closed club, and anything written here is available to the general public - even if it is not explicitly addressed to them. The moral of the Church Times saga is that one should think twice before pressing 'Send'. Anyone might be reading...

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The moral of the Church Times saga is that one should think twice before pressing 'Send'. Anyone might be reading...

Yes, indeed. It is this fact that decided me that I agree with those who would rather remain anonymous around here.

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Yes, indeed. It is this fact that decided me that I agree with those who would rather remain anonymous around here.

 

Yes, I agree, although not necessairly for that reason. What would happen if someone did say something libellous behind an anonymous name? Would our hosts have to divulge our identities to a legal 3rd party?

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What would happen if someone did say something libellous behind an anonymous name? Would our hosts have to divulge our identities to a legal 3rd party?

I suspect that it wouldn't get as far as that and that our hosts would have removed the item once alerted to it. It's in their interest because, as I understand it, both author and publisher, i.e. the hosts, would be liable.

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I have no idea anymore what's being talked about here (maybe I shall now read it all again!), suffice to add:

 

I have a simple policy with wedding couples. It is their day, and we will provide anything they want, provided it is both legal and moral to do so

Generally I am in agreement with that. You are offering a service which the couple are paying for. Sometimes I've had to play things I don't like or don't necessarily think are appropriate, but I think it would have to be exceptional circumstances for me to refuse outright to play a certain piece. I would rather try to work with the couple to provide what they want (for example, recommending that a piece might sound better on the piano, or possibly better if they had a recorded version). I might not like what they choose, but if it was within my capablilities and they were paying the fee, then I wouldn't object. I came across a couple who had dreadful trouble with their wedding music recently and I didn't think that what they were asking for was that obscure; possibly just not 'run of the mill' wedding music. Nevertheless, they had given their choice of music a great deal of thought.

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What would happen if someone did say something libellous behind an anonymous name? Would our hosts have to divulge our identities to a legal 3rd party?

 

It would depend on who the third party was, what libel had been said, and how quickly and appropriately we (Mander Organs) had responded to the first alert.

 

Webmaster, Mander Organs

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Guest Echo Gamba

I was booked last week, by a local funeral director for whom I do a lot of playing, to play next week for a funeral in a Congregational chapel with no regular organist. My wife took a call from the FD's this morning to say that "a chapel member has volunteered to play the piano so I can stand down, and the fee which I have been paid can count as payment for the next job I do for them." It is just as well that I had not turned down any other paid work on the basis of this booking! Obviously, had it been my "own" church I could have gone ahead and charged the fee. Being "unbooked" when standing in elsewhere seems to be a "grey area". What do other people do in these circumstances please?

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I was booked last week, by a local funeral director for whom I do a lot of playing, to play next week for a funeral in a Congregational chapel with no regular organist. My wife took a call from the FD's this morning to say that "a chapel member has volunteered to play the piano so I can stand down, and the fee which I have been paid can count as payment for the next job I do for them." It is just as well that I had not turned down any other paid work on the basis of this booking! Obviously, had it been my "own" church I could have gone ahead and charged the fee. Being "unbooked" when standing in elsewhere seems to be a "grey area". What do other people do in these circumstances please?

 

 

That sounds very poor. You have my sympathy.

With a bit of luck someone will notice that having their service accompanied by a volunteer at the piano is not quite the same experience. Unfortunately, however true this is, don't hold your breath waiting for someone to say it out loud!

 

I don't know whether different treatment/ways apply in different parts of the country, but up here I have found at each and every 'guest' venue the folks have invariably been appreciative of whatever I can do. Sometimes there is very little indeed to do, but I do it as well as I can. I will never forget my maternal grandmother's funeral which I attended at the age of 14 or so. I had been having organ lessons for two years by then and vividly remember thinking that I could have done a more decent and respectable job than the gentleman who officiated upon that occasion.

 

Organists are like furniture in that, if they do the job well, hardly anyone may notice. What you need is a situation where they have already had the chance to sample something well below your standard - then they'll be really glad to have you. Once bitten.....

 

Maybe you should get more churches to use their volunteer pianist for a week or two?

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Guest Echo Gamba
That sounds very poor. You have my sympathy.

With a bit of luck someone will notice that having their service accompanied by a volunteer at the piano is not quite the same experience. Unfortunately, however true this is, don't hold your breath waiting for someone to say it out loud!

 

I don't know whether different treatment/ways apply in different parts of the country, but up here I have found at each and every 'quest' venue the folks have invariably been appreciative of whatever I can do. Sometimes there is very little indeed to do, but I do it as well as I can. I will never forget my maternal grandmother's funeral which I attended at the age of 14 or so. I had been having organ lessons for two years by then and vividly remember thinking that I could have done a more decent and respectable job than the gentleman who officiated upon that occasion.

 

Organists are like furniture in that, if they do the job well, hardly anyone may notice. What you need is a situation where they have already had the chance to sample something well below your standard - then they'll be really glad to have you. Once bitten.....

 

Maybe you should get more churches to use their volunteer pianist for a week or two?

 

Thanks "Cynic" This often happens; I don't take it personally! I have only just thought of asking, seeing as this topic is fairly current

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Guest Echo Gamba

The best one I ever heard of was when the same FD I mentioned "un-booked" me for a Crem service, as "a family member who plays the piano is going to play". I subsequently learned that said person was an eight-year-old girl, who had never had a lesson, but a friend had "taught" her the opening of "Fur Elise" - the E-D#-E-D#-E bit, up to where the LH enters. This she apparently played over and over again (on what registration I know not!) :blink:

 

Then there was the "pianist" who played for a service at the Crem before one I was due to play for. I found that "my" stop on the Swell (Echo Gamba!) had been left "on" by this person. My service came in to a CD so my first contribution was "Jerusalem", with a full chapel, and registration to match. Unbeknown to me, our friend at the previous service seems to have played everything on the Echo Gamba, but had found the "master volume" control (on the underside of the keyboards, out of sight, and turned it up full to get some volume from their selected stop......... :blink: I've never seen so many people, myself included, jump so high!!!

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The best one I ever heard of was when the same FD I mentioned "un-booked" me for a Crem service, as "a family member who plays the piano is going to play". I subsequently learned that said person was an eight-year-old girl, who had never had a lesson, but a friend had "taught" her the opening of "Fur Elise" - the E-D#-E-D#-E bit, up to where the LH enters. This she apparently played over and over again (on what registration I know not!) :blink:

 

Then there was the "pianist" who played for a service at the Crem before one I was due to play for. I found that "my" stop on the Swell (Echo Gamba!) had been left "on" by this person. My service came in to a CD so my first contribution was "Jerusalem", with a full chapel, and registration to match. Unbeknown to me, our friend at the previous service seems to have played everything on the Echo Gamba, but had found the "master volume" control (on the underside of the keyboards, out of sight, and turned it up full to get some volume from their selected stop......... :blink: I've never seen so many people, myself included, jump so high!!!

 

 

You live long enough, you see it all. :blink:

Be grateful!

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The best one I ever heard of was when the same FD I mentioned "un-booked" me for a Crem service, as "a family member who plays the piano is going to play". I subsequently learned that said person was an eight-year-old girl, who had never had a lesson, but a friend had "taught" her the opening of "Fur Elise" - the E-D#-E-D#-E bit, up to where the LH enters. This she apparently played over and over again (on what registration I know not!) :blink:

 

Then there was the "pianist" who played for a service at the Crem before one I was due to play for. I found that "my" stop on the Swell (Echo Gamba!) had been left "on" by this person. My service came in to a CD so my first contribution was "Jerusalem", with a full chapel, and registration to match. Unbeknown to me, our friend at the previous service seems to have played everything on the Echo Gamba, but had found the "master volume" control (on the underside of the keyboards, out of sight, and turned it up full to get some volume from their selected stop......... :blink: I've never seen so many people, myself included, jump so high!!!

 

You gets what you pay for!

 

Jonathan

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Guest Nigel ALLCOAT

I played for a family cremation in Lincolnshire the other year and for some reason as I played for the 'exit', the crimson curtains enveloped the coffin area and for some unexplained reason another set (for I was a little to the left of the 'action' in an alcove just adorably made for a Viscount), parted me from the glorious company of my family in the body (sic) of the chapel. Some might say on this Board, it was an answer to a prayer.

No fee of course.

Good lunch at The Angel - heaven on earth.

N

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Guest Echo Gamba
I played for a family cremation in Lincolnshire the other year and for some reason as I played for the 'exit', the crimson curtains enveloped the coffin area and for some unexplained reason another set (for I was a little to the left of the 'action' in an alcove just adorably made for a Viscount), parted me from the glorious company of my family in the body (sic) of the chapel. Some might say on this Board, it was an answer to a prayer.

No fee of course.

Good lunch at The Angel - heaven on earth.

N

 

As I have said elsewhere, Viscount are now in a totally different league to a few years ago.

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