Some Music that you may well hear on a Sunday at my Church

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Some Music that you may well hear on a Sunday at my Church

Postby RSPIll » Tue Aug 19, 2014 5:43 am

Hi folks,

Yes, I know that I'm uploading a bunch, but I am doing it here for listening and giving my PS friends an idea of what I do. While I love classical, I do enjoy more contemporary stylings, which is not necessarily what this site is about. Also, I figure that by posting these here, Monica and Chris don't have to worry about accepting them for upload in the library unless they deem them appropriate.

Now, I am a church pianist, playing in many styles. I have pretty much given up the organ. These pieces are more 20th century and pop than a lot of things that I play. I do play "classical" piano a lot. I have used Chopin and Beethoven and Mozart, etc. as part of my prelude, but most of the members enjoy the arrangements that I do that are similar to these. The church is an older church (which can be noted by the fact when I came back to town at age 54, I brought down the average age of the congregation). Even at almost 61, there are only about 3 people younger than me.

I am also the choir director (hence the title "Music Director" -- it is easier than saying "organist, pianist, choir director", and gives me some official control over what happens musically).

All of that said, here are some of the types of music that I play regularly. They are not traditional "church" music, but they resonate with many people. We are in the 21st century and the church goer at my age grew up with a completely different style of music than what we think of as the "traditional" church music. Being from a more mainline denomination (United Methodist), I do have to balance "traditional" with "new". They have kept me for 6 years so I guess that I am doing OK.

Anyway, here is the stuff. Please listen, comment (several pieces I actually want to re-record because my concept has changed), and give them some praise for what they are. I can always use the strokes.

Tell Me The Stories of Jesus
Morning has Broken
Rock of My Salvation
Wayfaring Stranger
Rise Again

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Re: Some Music that you may well hear on a Sunday at my Church

Postby techneut » Tue Aug 19, 2014 4:20 pm

Scott - refresh my memory. Is this the first time we are hearing you on piano ? I think so but I'm not sure.

I mostly rather like these jazzy pieces (except Rise again and Morning has Broken, which I find rather boring and New-age-y). You seem to have a very good feel for the idiom. I think this is very well played even if it could be a bit more assertive and spiky in places.

I'm surprised your elderly audience appreciate this music. I've also played piano solo during service but would never have contemplated pieces like this. The most adventurous thing I tried out was Solitude by Ornstein. I had the impression they liked it but you never know with these people ;-)
I think these sound good and could go on the site - just wondering where to put them. I guess it would be the Various page. I wish we did not have this categorization system and could just dump stuff without worrying where it "belongs" . ..
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Chris Breemer

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Re: Some Music that you may well hear on a Sunday at my Church

Postby RSPIll » Tue Aug 19, 2014 5:13 pm

Hi Chris,

I have a Kuhlau sonatina up and a Samuel Cooleridge-Taylor piece up, under various. These could possibly go under "Pop" since they are contemporary christian.

I HAVE to play "Rise Again" every month. I use it for communion along with Wolaver's arrangement of "Thy Word". Those two generally cover the right amount of time. I always have the hymnal then ready for "Let us Break Bread Together" in case I need a little extra. The reason that I have to do "Rise Again" so often is that our church secretary loves it and she gets upset with me when I don't play it. One thing that you never want to do is get your church secretary ticked off at you.

As you can see, most of the arrangements are by Mark Hayes. He does do some good work, though after a while you start running into certain musical patterns over and over. I think that "Poor Wayfaring Strange" is one of my favorites. It is fun to play, has great harmonies, and rather good "progressive modal jazz" feeling. "Almighty" is also just fun to play. I love incorporating a bit of R&B into the service. I have to laugh at times. Every so often someone will come up to me and, almost with guilt, "I was tapping my feet while you played." I've been trying to convince Methodists for years that it is OK to move during a service.

My older folks just love this time of music. One old guy complains if I don't play at least one thing upbeat and lively, which sometimes will happen during Lent or Advent.

I discovered "Tell Me the Stories of Jesus" and other arrangements by Charity Book Putnam a few years ago. She does some nice stuff, some jazzy, some gospelly.

Anyway, thanx for listening and if you think any are worthy for the site, great. Currently I'm working on one of the sonatas by Lodovico Giustini. His set of 12 sonatas are the first known works ever written for the piano. They were written in 1732. Silbermann was just building his first pianos in Germany that year.


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Re: Some Music that you may well hear on a Sunday at my Church

Postby pianolady » Sat Aug 30, 2014 2:52 pm

Hi Scott, or should I say, Hi Jazzman.... :)

These are very nice. You have a real knack for playing jazz! I didn't know that before. I especially like "Tell Me the Stories of Jesus". It reminds me of growing up and singing it often in my Methodist church. Not that jazzy though.... :wink:

The six recordings are on the site. I took your lead and put them in our "various pop" page.
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Re: Some Music that you may well hear on a Sunday at my Church

Postby RSPIll » Fri Sep 05, 2014 2:44 pm

Thanx Monica,

I actually need to redo the "Tell Me the Stories of Jesus". There is actually a major slip where I lose the R.H. for a moment. It works in the arrangement, but it is better with those notes.

I have loved jazz of all sorts ever since I can remember. I had older parents whose music was from the 20s, through the Big Band era, so I heard a lot of that stuff growing up. I wish that I were better at improvising, though.

I'm known in my church and in the area for not letting hymns drag and for jazzing up or gospelling up the hymns that need it.


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