From The Organist’s Bench …

Stand Up, Stand Up For Jesus !

I suppose that I shouldn’t be surprised: I was warned of a certain Scottish tendancy to not wish to be though of as pushing oneself forward, as though seeking precedence or preferment. Most laudable, of course.

However, a competitive element as to who can be last to stand up at the beginning of hymns is a good bit beyond not pushing to the front of the queue at the Co-Op. it really isn’t shyness, is it, or fear that our brothers and sisters in the congregation may think badly of us? Perhaps it is the nearest suspicion that the pesky organist may play over the whole tune, twice even!

We organists have been somewhat in the news lately, with bemused accusations of sneaking alien tunes into services. One organist, having had a disagreement with the choir about some musical nicety, played an only lightly disguised variation of “Send in the Clowns” as they processed in. Naughty; but nice!

Of course, your organist would never so stray; well, hardly ever.

It’s been a little over a year since I joined Bothwell parish as director of music and I have to say I am loving it. The parish is busy, active, supportive and encouraging, though how Jim and Lesley in the parish office stay as sane as they are is beyond me; it is often frenetic beyond belief.

The choir have been lovely to me and very supportive, giving generously of time and effort, deploying their considerable talents and skills to great co-operative effect.

I would always try to welcome new, additional singers; at the moment we have spaces particularly for sopranos (preferable young, rich, pretty etc; but then, we can all dream!).

Oh, and yes, they would have to, like the rest of the choir, stand up bravely at the start of the introduction to the hymns. Do join them, for that at least.

Phil Hotham


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