Will Plays a Little Bach in the Afternoon

Will tried out the tracker organ in chapel at Wisconsin Lutheran College. He left his organ shoes at home, so he is in his sock feet! He had a wonderful time talking with Dr. Erik Ankerberg, head of the Honors Program, as well as Professor Bill Braun and several others.

6 thoughts on “Will Plays a Little Bach in the Afternoon

  1. Thanks, Kris. It was fun (and exhausting) to try to keep up today, but I am so glad I got to go and see the beautiful campus at WLC. Tom played in that chapel at its dedication years ago. So it is fun to see his son playing in the same places Tom has all over town. Young Will is a tornado, and we are doing our best to follow behind!

  2. I see Juanita Becker teaches keyboard at WLC, and is an harpsichord specialist. Does she instruct organ performance as well? Do students minor in organ performance, or is it an elective? Maybe I’ll give her a call Monday…

  3. Steve, Will was looking into their Honors Program, an alternative track there at the college which is unique. It’s based on the European (classical) model of higher education and very different, and I might add, attractive for our son who has had the classical model at the school he attends. They offer a music degree at the college, but do not have an organ major. Our son’s passion is organ, but he has other interests and is weighing what direction to take for an undergraduate degree. It’s a big decision, and Will is aware of the challenges musicians face. His dad knows that well. Above all with our kids, we can emphasize this: In all your ways acknowledge the Lord, and He will direct your path.

  4. My comment is not intended to discourage any young musician. Quite the opposite; what a great opportunity and blessing! Practice, practice, practice while you can. Just my personal opinion, but I would not recommend “majoring” in organ performance as an undergrad. I would take it as an elective and practice, practice, practice! As a DMA/Ph.D, Organ/Church music, absolutely!

    Here is the context of my earlier comment: The organist who is a member of our congregation wishes to retire, but there is no way we can replace her. We have 60-75 services/year and we pay a good fee, above union scale, but we cannot expect an accomplished organist to relocate to a smaller town and survive on a temporary, much less permanent basis. In a big city, a musician can support his playing habit through teaching, and by playing weddings, society gigs, etc., or work in another chosen field (day job).

    Here it is…Now if the synod(s) were to place journeymen musicians where needed, they could be supported for a time, and then move on to more self-supporting congregations as positions became available, as has been done with Vicars. And we would not have to deal with temporary, third-rate musicians who don’t particularly like the liturgy, or the Pastor, or confess the faith.

    Our congregation has been cared for, but think of the even smaller communities. When we leave a void, it will be filled with “youth ministry” rock-bands. (Not where I attend. I’ll teach them to chant the liturgy in a capella polyphonic organum if I have to).

    There is a lot here. Didn’t mean to hijack. You will not hurt my feelings a bit if you wish to move this to a new thread. This is “an emotional” subject for some, and a serious one in my oipinion.

  5. No, Steve, you’re right on. Will had the same advice from his teacher who understands the challenges out there and from other organist friends. You can do a double major or minor in music and major in something else and then go on at a graduate level with an organ focus if by then you want to focus on that. Being a well-rounded student is Will’s concern and our concern for him also. Totally agree with you! Thanks for your thoughts on this.

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