Playing Guilmant

Last Updated on 2022-11-27 | Originally Posted on 2020-12-22

Introduction

Playing Guilmant is something any serious organist will have to and want to do at some point. Félix-Alexandre Guilmant (1837-1911) was an iconic composer in the romantic style for the organ. As a composer, he almost exclusively wrote for organ solo or for choir and organ.

He wrote some larger scale works, like his 8 sonatas, but he’s mostly known for the massive amount of short pieces he composed. They can be used for prelude, postlude, and everything in between! Many of these are part of the 18 books of Pieces in Different Styles, Pièces dans différents styles pour orgue. I play many of these pieces, but the following ones are special to me.

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Playing Dupré

Last Updated on 2022-11-27 | Originally Posted on 2020-07-27

Introduction

Playing Dupré is quite difficult. He had the proverbial silver spoon in his mouth from birth, at least in a musical sense. His father Albert was an organist in Rouen and good friends with iconic organ builder Aristide Cavaillé-Coll. The latter built a house organ for the Dupré family when Marcel was 14. He certainly must have used it, since by the time he was 18 he was studying at the Conservatoire de Paris with three organists/composers of historical importance: Alexandre Guilmant, Louis Vierne, and Charles-Marie Widor. Any musician would be lucky to study with just one of these gods.

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Say Hello to the Curious Squirrel

Last Updated on 2022-11-13 | Originally Posted on 2019-12-22

Connect with the Curious Squirrel

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Great Success and Utter Disappointment

Last Updated on 2022-11-27 | Originally Posted on 2019-05-05

Introduction

Great success and utter disappointment might be a slight exaggeration. However, it shows the range of emotions I felt after giving what I consider to be my best organ recital to date on Sunday, April 28, 2019, at First Methodist in Bella Vista. My playing was really pretty decent, really good at times. More, it was about the best I could have expected.

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Christmas 2018 Organ Recital

Last Updated on 2022-11-27 | Originally Posted on 2018-11-25

Introduction

I was really nervous but excited about my upcoming organ recital, when I was in full swing of practice at the beginning of December 2018. I had 29 guests for my last short organ recital. I was really pleased to have a mix of people attend from all three morning services, as well as guests who heard about the program via a listing in the local newspaper.

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Real Job

Last Updated on 2022-11-08 | Originally Posted on 2018-04-10

Introduction

It was a typical Sunday morning for me. At around 7:45 a.m., I rushed out of the choir room, having concluded playing for a short choral warm up. Before I got a chance to go into the sanctuary, climb the stairs to the chancel, and approach the organ bench, where I would put on my organ shoes, choir robe, and organize my music, I got stopped in the hallway.

It started innocently enough. A person with whom I’ve chatted on occasion jokingly said, “you showed up today.” I playfully retorted, “well I don’t get paid if I don’t show up.” I thought that was it, but then she continued by saying, “I’m sure you have a real job.” Ouch!

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