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Messages from Organists 2

Church Music in a Lockdown World

We asked about how church music is faring in these circumstances and many of our members have explained the why and how their communities have arranged the delivery of music for services.

The answer is there are two clear methods – One is to broadcast live services including the music, and the other is to pre-record music and most of the service, and put it online at or before service times.

A score of members told us that they were involved in music for services, and most are doing this as recorded music, in pre-recorded services,

Surprisingly only two have had live services all the way since lockdown, Utilising tech-savvy young people able to setup for live streaming from day one.

Pre-recording has its trials - mostly getting good quality sound, and mastering video editing. Live streaming has its limitations - the internet failing after 15 minutes. But mostly the experiences are affirming, as people find they can master new technology, and pre-recording a small group of musicians develops a new sense of community, striving for “that perfect take”.

Live streaming develops new skills also - facial expressions during and after the Postlude need to reflect the organist’s enjoyment at playing, and perfecting that final smile to the camera.

But when the time comes to return to church with a congregation - there are rewards - “first service in the church in over three months - just 10 people. It was a repeat of the (already) recorded service, but it was so nice to be physically back in the church and playing the proper organ again.”

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