aefenglommung (aefenglommung) wrote,

Accompanying the accompanist

I played for the Sunrise Service. The youth led the service. As usual when I am the principal organist, I placed my little stuffed monkey on the console. He is named for Guido of Arezzo and makes a chittering noise when you squeeze his tummy.

I bought him years ago when the Spurgeon UMC was dithering over buying a new organ. They eventually decided not to, but before they sent it back, I decided to show them what it could do. I played Christmas carols on it. And I told them, with a deadpan delivery, that there are two schools of organ playing among professional organists, known colloquially as the "with" and the "without" school, depending on whether one plays with or without the monkey. Nobody laughed. So the next week, I showed up with Guido and told the same joke again. Nobody laughed then, either. "Tough room," was all I could say.

He is a reminder to me that I am only an accompanist of last resort. As much as I love music, I can only do so much, and I don't really have the time to stay in practice even to the level I once attained. I'm not an organist, just an organ grinder. But such as I am, I will serve God with what I've got. Guido keeps me humble.


Guido on the organ console
Every organ grinder needs a monkey

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