Christmas Gifts for Church Organists
Christmas is a great time to treat your church organist to a gift, or if you’re an organist you can treat yourself. Here are a few ideas to help you select the perfect gift.
T-shirts, mugs and knick-knacks
You just can’t go wrong with one of the many knick-knacks available for sale on the Internet. Just type ‘Christmas Gifts for Church Organists’ into your favourite search engine to get started. The Zazzle website has quite an interesting selection. For example, every organist who’s ever played for a wedding will relate to the sentiment expressed on this mouse mat that states “Keep Calm and the bride will turn up”.
Books are always a good option at Christmas. The book Everything Else an Organist Should Know would suit the organist who is just starting out on their career. It provides useful advice on a wide range of topics. And for the organist who is starting to direct a choir, there is How to be a successful choir director. Established organists will enjoy Resounding Body: Building Christlike Church Communities through Music – Sacristy Press by Andy Thomas about starting a choir and the effect it had on a parish church.
Hats, Scarves and Fingerless gloves
Churches can be cold places to practice, especially mid-week when the heating has been off since Sunday. That means any gift of warm clothing will be welcome. You’ll find a selection of Pipe Organ Sweatshirts at redbubble.com. For those particularly cold churches, organists sometimes resort to fingerless gloves. You can buy a pair at any online store, or you could go one step further and knit a pair using this free pattern by Mrs. Buttons.
Hymns: New, Low and Alternative
If your church has not yet adopted the Church of Ireland supplement to the hymn book, then a musical edition of Thanks and Praise is a great way to introduce a few new hymns.
The Kevin Mayhew website provides a selection of hymn books. Hymn Tunes in Lower Keys is useful for those of us who have difficulty transposing music. 200 Last Verses for Manuals provides alternative arrangements for many popular hymns. Any organist will enjoy exploring these arrangements and using them to add a little extra on those special occasions.
Buying an organist sheet music can be tricky as choosing music can be very personal. You also need to take into account the level of experience of the organist. Here are a couple of suggestions for organists who are just starting out.
Old English Organ Music for Manuals provides some nice pieces that don’t require using pedals, it includes Charles Wesley’s Pastorale.
Just Beautiful contains 25 slow organ solos chosen by Kevin Mayhew and is suitable for an organist who is starting to use the pedals. It includes Largo from ‘Serse’ by George Frideric Handel, a stalwart in every organist’s repertoire.
And finally, if money is no object, every organist would love to have their own pipe organ at home. Mixtuur is just one of the sites showing beautiful pipe organs that can be installed at home. As my mother used to say… “You might as well dream here as in bed”.