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Beware the wrath of an organist

Beware the wrath of an organist

Do not offend the organist says an article in The Telegraph:

…if new research is be believed, behind the quiet exterior the humble church organist is not someone to be crossed.

While charged with providing spiritually uplifting music to worshippers, it seems many also seize the opportunity to extract subtle revenge on clerics who have displeased them or simply play pranks on congregations.


Among examples cites was that of the organist in Scotland who had fallen out with some of the elders in the Kirk but got his own back by inserting a thinly disguised rendition of “Send in the Clowns” as they processed in for a Sunday service … In one decidedly high church congregation, an organist punctured the mood of reverence as an elaborately dressed clergyman processed back after the gospel reading – by playing the theme tune to The Simpsons.


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Donna Hicks

And then there’s the person who used to play the Mickey Mouse theme on a university carillon during exams.


When I was leaving my parish in Rochester, our wonderful Director of Music, Stephen Kennedy, did an improvisation based on the song “Laura” (“is a face in the misty light”). Very touching.

I also remember (though not exactly when) a very long postlude that ended with an elaborate version of the theme from the Flintstones. But really, when you get music like that, why would people want to leave the building?

Laura Toepfer


Also, The Liturgical Mysteries series is an abundant place for great humor about all this. Author is Mark Schweizer,

Thanks for the musical giggle today!

[Thanks Betsy – next time sign your whole name when you comment. ~ed.]

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