Jump to content
Mander Organs
Sign in to follow this  
Andrew Butler

Is it just me....?

Recommended Posts

Is it just me, or is anyone else having serious concerns about their organ playing in the current situation?  I have a piano at home, but access to any of the four church organs I play regularly is not allowed in the lockdown.

Is it possible to maintain organ technique purely at the piano ("pretend" pedalling etc) or is it best to just  not try, and hope for the best (or start again!) if and when we get back to normal?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been thinking about this too. I have a Casio keyboard at home and have been practising, or to be more accurate, playing through various pieces just to keep my fingers supple. Pedalling is ignored! My thought is that muscle memory will kick in when we are allowed back into a church to get going properly and things will get to normal in this respect at least fairly quickly.

I do wonder about this restriction though while stressing that I am complying fully. I am a keyholder to two of the three churches at which I play regularly and could thus guarantee that no-one would be be able to access the buildings if I were to go in by using an old iron latch inside the doors to lock up behind me.  I do also wonder about the health of organs, especially large and complex instruments, that are being left for extended periods. Is there a derogation for places such as our cathedrals where the organist may live nearby and can access the organ without using public access? Places such as St Paul's can be entered from the other side of the road via a tunnel into the crypt which would allow an organist to enter and leave safely and to play the organ for its well-being in safety (and without vacuum cleaner accompaniment) and I'm sure that others have a similar arrangement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Regarding access, I have been told by "The Powers That Be" at one of my churches that, as most people would think of the organist as a "parishioner" they would be upset that I had been allowed into the church and they weren't.  At another church it was pointed out that it would be difficult to provide a convincing argument for my being out of lockdown.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the Roman Catholic church the clergy are allowed into church to say Mass which is, often, live-streamed via the Internet. I have seen Masses said/sung with the aid of a curate or server. My understanding, I think I read it in the Church Times, but I might be completely wrong, is that the Archbishops of Canterbury and York recommended but did not instruct, that churches should be closed. Perhaps your incumbent is being very cautious! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
52 minutes ago, S_L said:

In the Roman Catholic church the clergy are allowed into church to say Mass which is, often, live-streamed via the Internet. I have seen Masses said/sung with the aid of a curate or server. My understanding, I think I read it in the Church Times, but I might be completely wrong, is that the Archbishops of Canterbury and York recommended but did not instruct, that churches should be closed. Perhaps your incumbent is being very cautious! 

My main church is RC - it is an instruction from the Bishops' Conference rather than a recommendation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Mike K, that is very useful and has answered my query. None of "my" organs is large or mechanically complex.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Andrew Butler said:

My main church is RC - it is an instruction from the Bishops' Conference rather than a recommendation.

 

The Instruction from the RC Bishop's conference is as follows: "Priests (parish priest and assistant priests) who hold parochial office should continue to celebrate Mass in a church within their parish without the faithful on a daily basis. Other priests (i.e. retired from office or entrusted with a non-parochial ministry) may celebrate Mass without the faithful in a church, chapel or their private home." - which is why clergy are saying Mass in their churches and live-streaming on the Internet

The second part of my comment concerned the Church of England and, reading the C of E website it is a requirement "Our church buildings are therefore now closed for public worship,  private prayer and all other meetings and activities except for vital community services until further notice" 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have just had an email from an Anglican Priest friend of mine. As well as degrees in Music and Theology he also holds the ARCO.

He tells me, in his own inimitable style, that: "The Church of England has now decided that church organs need to be started up and the notes pushed down …. so we are doing organ practice now"

It may be just Diocesan (Birmingham Diocese) or it may be national - I don[t know!

Hope that might help some readers!

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From  the current CofE advice pages (as of today)

Can I access the church for organ practice?
Organ practice cannot be considered as essential activity under the government guidance and does not justify a separate journey. Please be aware that a building in which someone who may have the coronavirus has been is considered ‘dirty’ (i.e. may contain infection) for 72 hours afterwards. This means multiple keyholders must not access the space, even if this is done one at a time. In any event, surfaces and door fixtures need to be sanitised in line with Public Health England guidelines.


Can I perform weekly maintenance of the organ when the church is closed?
For a cathedral or church with a larger or mechanically complex organ prolonged lack of use will result in long-term problems with its performance. If an organist is available in the neighbourhood to keep all the action parts moving it is appropriate for them to do so. The purpose of this is to run through all the stops on all keyboards, and the pedalboard to keep leatherwork from sticking and keep electrical contacts clean. . Please be aware that a building in which someone who may have the coronavirus has been is considered ‘dirty’ (i.e. may contain infection) for 72 hours afterwards. This means multiple keyholders must not access the space, even if this is done one at a time. In any event, surfaces and door fixtures need to be sanitised in line with Public Health England guidelines.

iain

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, IainStinson said:

From  the current CofE advice pages (as of today)

Can I access the church for organ practice?
Organ practice cannot be considered as essential activity under the government guidance and does not justify a separate journey. Please be aware that a building in which someone who may have the coronavirus has been is considered ‘dirty’ (i.e. may contain infection) for 72 hours afterwards. This means multiple keyholders must not access the space, even if this is done one at a time. In any event, surfaces and door fixtures need to be sanitised in line with Public Health England guidelines.


Can I perform weekly maintenance of the organ when the church is closed?
For a cathedral or church with a larger or mechanically complex organ prolonged lack of use will result in long-term problems with its performance. If an organist is available in the neighbourhood to keep all the action parts moving it is appropriate for them to do so. The purpose of this is to run through all the stops on all keyboards, and the pedalboard to keep leatherwork from sticking and keep electrical contacts clean. . Please be aware that a building in which someone who may have the coronavirus has been is considered ‘dirty’ (i.e. may contain infection) for 72 hours afterwards. This means multiple keyholders must not access the space, even if this is done one at a time. In any event, surfaces and door fixtures need to be sanitised in line with Public Health England guidelines.

iain

 

I read that some time ago! If it is still the case I can't understand why my friend, a Parish Priest, would communicate the information he did to me!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...