SALSA—Society of Awesome Latter-day Saint Accompanists
I am excited that we finally get to hear from someone on the other side of the country. Not to imply there’s anything wrong with people who live in the western part of the United States…it’s just fun to branch out a bit!
And speaking of branching out—John mentioned a couple of organists that I was not familiar with. I did a little checking around and found some YouTube recordings of them and have included them in this posting.
So, here’s John—our awesome Ohio organist. Enjoy!
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What was the first musical calling you received? How was that experience? The first musical calling was not long after I became a member, as one of four organists, so I played once a month. Loved it.
How long have you been playing the organ? Why did you start? I started playing the organ when I was around 10 years old. That would have been around 1966. We did not have a piano, and I found the organ fascinating. Then, after my folks picked up some records with people like George Wright and Leon Berry, I had to make that little organ sound like what they were playing. 🙂
Do you play any other instruments? If so, which instrument do you prefer? Played a Baritone in high school, and sometimes will play the piano. I prefer the organ, and more specifically, a theatre organ.
What is your favorite hymn? There is no one specific hymn that is my favorite as there are so many that are great. But to pick a few: Be Still My Soul, I Know that My Redeemer Lives, and For All the Saints would be among the top ones.
What is your favorite prelude or postlude piece? This is like the hymn question. I normally will pick one that goes with the topic of the meeting. But, one of them would be The Spirit of God.
What sort of things do you enjoy doing in your spare time? Computer gaming, photography, sightseeing (Haven’t done much of that lately—after having lived in Colorado and the Seattle area, Ohio seems a little boring scenery-wise.)
What is one of the challenges you face as an LDS organist? Readying two difficult to play songs for the same sacrament service. And a small organ with too few ranks.
What is one of the blessings you have received through accepting the call to serve as an organist? The spirit it brings while playing the organ.
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Check out these fun (but not-quite-prelude-appropriate!) recordings of George Wright and Leon Berry…
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