May. 18, 2016
Fraternal Organ Playing, Part II
(con't from Part I)
It's sometimes necessary to hire an organ for a fraternal event held in a large venue if the organist happens not to bring his own equipment with him, or maybe when the usual organ he expects to play isn't working.
Here are some tips for those who have to do this, often at short notice:
Fraternal meetings and ceremonies need an instrument capable of providing ceremonial music, rousing marches for processions, fanfares when very high ranking officers are received, volume for encouraging good singing, and the contrast of quiet background music for setting a tranquil atmosphere.
Try, if possible, to avoid bringing in small home organs and those intended for the entertainment industry with lots of buttons and lights.
Organs of this type have automated rhythm gadgets that are unnecessary, and insufficient selections of the sounds needed for Masonic purposes.
Try instead to hire an organ with a "church" type of specification and pedalboard.
This will enable the organist to play both the majestic music needed and the quiet background music that sets the scene.
There are very many makes and models available.
Names like Allen, Rodgers, Viscount, Content, also some of the newer digital Hammonds, are all widely available and very suitable.
If the work is on the dramatic side, such as that found in the Cryptic Rite (photo shows the collar and jewel of the General Grand Musician, General Grand Council, Cryptic Masons International), and it demands orchestral sounds and sound effects as well as pipe organ sounds, a sophisticated, state-of-the-art digital stage piano like the Roland RD800 with a couple of Roland keyboard amps [See menu bar, Photo Album 2] would work even better.
Expect to pay upwards of $300 or more to hire a suitable organ; the price may be lower however if you have a friendly dealer who holds membership in the fraternity.
The price is not based on the size of the instrument; the main costs arise from delivery and collection.
Don't be put off however by the costs involved; fraternal ceremonies need dignity, and there are standards to maintain in music as well as in the fraternity.
(con't in Part III)