For those of you who are musicians for religious groups (or even some secular groups) you know that Christmas begins sometime around September. Aside from a few services that I will be playing for Shalom, and I believe one for my LDS ward, I have two big programs that I am working on this year.
The first is the annual AGO Choral Festival, which will be held this year at the Central United Protestant Church (CUP) in Richland on December 4th, 2011 at 4 PM. I am co-chairing the event with another lady from our local chapter, and it has proven to the most difficult program I am putting together to date. Basically, we get a bunch of congregational choirs together from around the Tri-Cities and sing our hearts out (and finish with the Hallelujah chorus from Handel's Messiah). However, about five letters were lost in the mail, causing confusion and delay (I sound like Sir Topham Hat). All is well, we have eleven choirs set up. I will be playing prelude music and the first congregational hymn. I think I will play "Wachet Auf" by Bach for prelude (still undecided) or "Angels We Have Heard on High", an original arrangement. I will be accompanying the congregation on "O Come, All Ye Faithful". We are donating all proceeds from the offertory to the local food bank.
The second is an LDS program where we wanted to bring in classical music back into the church. For the past several years (you can read my earlier Facebook rant) more Sally DeFord has popped into our services, let alone the old standby Janice Kapp Perry, and much of the classical repertoire has been lost to the ears of the average LDS congregationalist. We put together a program, reaching into a variety of music, along with two congregational carols and scripture reading, to bring classical music back to the ears of the listeners. I have put this program together with three other musicians, one a cellist in a local symphony, one with a master degree in piano performance, and the other with her undergraduate degree in flute performance. I will be playing the opening congregational carol, again "O Come, All Ye Faithful", and assisting the other organist on the final carol, "Silent Night".
For the LDS service I will be playing the first three short pieces from J.S. Bach's Das Orgelbuchlein (I don't have the titles in German in front of me): "Now Come, Heathen Savior", "Lord Christ is Coming", and "Lord Christ, God's Only Son", I will play "Sleepers Wake, A Voice Calleth" from the Schubler Chorales by J.S. Bach, and the Bell Symphony (along with his trumpet tune in C) by Henry Purcell.
If you are interested in attending the LDS service. It is at 7 PM on December 18th, 2011 at the Richland LDS Thayer Building. I don't have the address, but the cross street is Thayer and Sunset.
Hope to see you all there!