As Christmas is fast approaching, I'm sure most of my readers are busy preparing for it. And I not only mean planning family celebrations or gift ideas but also increased workload for church organists with additional Advent services and choir rehearsals. In order for your Christmas celebrations to be even more creative, special, and remarkable this (or next) year, today I'd like to supplement your ideas with a few of my own.
1. Hymn Fest with classic Christmas carols where your entire congregation can sing along.
2. Your own organ recital with some of the best Christmas music.
3. Improvisational story-telling around the theme of the Nativity.
4. Organ demonstration for the kids of your congregation.
5. Prepare some large-scale choral work (not only Handel's "Messiah") with your choir, soloists, and organ.
6. Invite a guest organist to give a Christmas-themed recital.
7. Record a video musical Christmas greeting and share it with your community.
Choose any or all of the above ideas and begin to make preparations for one of the most important celebrations of the year. If you communicate about them to your congregation in the most enthusiastic manner in the form of text, pictures, audio, or videos, it will help to create a sense of a mission in your community which they will be gratefully part of. Your musical experiments and the stories about them will create a core group of evangelists who will help attract even the outsiders to your cause.
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Drs. Vidas Pinkevicius and Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene
Organists of Vilnius University , creators of Secrets of Organ Playing.
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Don't have an organ at home?
Download paper manuals and pedals, print them out, cut the white spaces, tape the sheets together and you'll be ready to practice anywhere where is a desk and floor. Make sure you have a higher chair.