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Lucia Aiche

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Hi there, organists,

 

I would be very grateful if I could receive some advice or guidance how to get into performances, how to start, where to go, who contact etc.

I'm preparing for professional performance diploma, and would like to start performing on public, but I've been living in the UK only for 4.5 years and have no idea where to start. Please, help me. I love organ so much and I want other people to hear its beautiful music, and I love performing (I was doing it a lot in my childhood, performing on the accordion).

 

Lucia

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Hi there, organists,

 

I would be very grateful if I could receive some advice or guidance how to get into performances, how to start, where to go, who contact etc.

I'm preparing for professional performance diploma, and would like to start performing on public, but I've been living in the UK only for 4.5 years and have no idea where to start. Please, help me. I love organ so much and I want other people to hear its beautiful music, and I love performing (I was doing it a lot in my childhood, performing on the accordion).

 

Lucia

 

Dear Lucia,

you don't say explicitly that it is The Organ for which you are taking a performing diploma, but in the answer below I will assume that it is.

 

To a certain extent, you only learn about performing by doing it, but here are a few tips:

 

1. Regularly play to a tape-recorder and make a point of hearing it all back with the score. You will gain (hopefully) confirmation that your playing is as you intend it to be. Sometimes you will learn more from this experience than by attending expensive lessons. The commonest discovery you will make at this stage is that your speed in some pieces (or parts of pieces) is not quite what you thought it was.

 

2. Search out chances to play in front of other people in a small way first. Playing the occasional voluntary somewhere (even if you're not the official organist) is a good way to start. So is joining an organists' association* and attending meetings. Very often these will visit organs of interest and keen members (not all those attending by any means) tend to line up to have their 'go' as part of the proceedings. While you're new, take your place at the back of the queue. Hearing a few rather rough performances before you will do wonders for your self-esteem, but try not to pass comment. Folks may be quite legitimately past their best or real 'amateurs' (in the proper sense of that word) who just like to make a noise for themselves.

 

3. Once you're pretty confident that you can hold your nerve, you can try offering your services somewhere where there are regular recitals. A comprehensive list is at www.organrecitals. You should (if you're keen on the organ) be looking out chances to hear others play, and attending recitals gives you a very good idea of repertoire, presentation (various styles, some more successful than others) and general competence. Do not assume that mistakes you may hear are down to lack of practice. Sometimes, the business of playing an unfamiliar organ can be stressful, as can that of managing with an unfamiliar page-turner.

 

4. Sooner or later, a chance to present your own recital will come up. At the risk of repeating myself in this forum, when you come to choosing your programme I strongly believe that playing for long stretches either too loud, too modern, or too much in one key can really jeopardise a balanced programme. Others may disagree of course. My ideal recital is like a good meal, something for everyone, and not too much heavy-going stuff as the main course. When you prepare for your first recital, be sure to have a musical friend with you to assess balances etc. during rehearsal. Once again, it is very common for organs not to sound the same down the church as they do at the console.

 

Good luck and stick at it!

Performing well-chosen music to others (if decently done) adds to the sum of human pleasure.

 

* I very strongly recommend this.. apart from everything else, by attending meetings you will find that the organ world is less of a ghetto than it sometimes feels. That and older members frequently like to make gifts of scores to keen youngsters.

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Hi there, organists,

 

I would be very grateful if I could receive some advice or guidance how to get into performances, how to start, where to go, who contact etc.

I'm preparing for professional performance diploma, and would like to start performing on public, but I've been living in the UK only for 4.5 years and have no idea where to start. Please, help me. I love organ so much and I want other people to hear its beautiful music, and I love performing (I was doing it a lot in my childhood, performing on the accordion).

 

Lucia

 

Whereabouts are you based? I'm sure there's a few people on this forum who might have church posts near you who'd be willing to let you play a voluntary or even a recital?

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Whereabouts are you based? I'm sure there's a few people on this forum who might have church posts near you who'd be willing to let you play a voluntary or even a recital?

 

 

Hi, thanks for your message. I'm based in East London. I performed on East London and Stratford festival this Monday, a recital class, got a CLESO cup and a certificate with 1st distinction. Would be very happy to perform somewhere else.

 

Lucia

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Dear Cynic (I wish I could know your real name), thank you so much for your advice and tips - they are really useful. I will follow for sure. This Monday I already performed on East London music festival and got a CLESO cup (I'm also a member) and 1st distinction certificate, and very positive comments from the adjudicator. And, yes, I can hold my nerves. I will be also performing on Pursley and Coulsdon music festival in Croydon on 12 March. Thank you one more time again, for sharing your knowledge and experience.

 

Lucia

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