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Music Notes from Andy

So much has changed in the life of our church over the last two months. The church campus is closed, and we are all sheltering in place. But the worship life and music have continued through Zoom led by the expert guidance of Pastor Bruce!

I’ve been so grateful to continue my musical role by participating on Sunday mornings and with continued choir rehearsals on Thursday evenings. I was thrilled to finally play on Easter morning, having secured a good microphone and a laptop! Fortunately, I already had a fine electronic keyboard. With Don Fidler’s help, I was able to make the organ and piano sounds of the keyboard come through as clearly as possible to the listener on Zoom. It’s been a very different experience playing from my condo in Daly City, but I’ve come to realize that the experience has become more intimate. And it’s been wonderful seeing and hearing all the guest musicians we invite for special music as they play from their homes in different parts of the Bay Area or country. 

The choir has also continued to meet via Zoom every Thursday evening from 7-8pm. It is a challenge for us to sing together because of the delay. You probably noticed this delay as we all sang Happy Birthday for Bruce a few weeks ago! Because of these new challenges, I have begun a “music school” with the choir to cover a different skill each week – skills like sight-reading, rhythm, music theory, breathing, phrasing, and vowel production. Hopefully, by focusing on these different skills, the choir can pick up where it left off when we finally meet again in person!  

I’d also like to share a few musical links with you. This way you will be able to hear the sounds of the First Pres pipe organ and other First Pres musicians Jonathan Bautista and Elliot Franks. 

The first selection is from an organ recital I gave at First Pres in 2014 recorded by Don Fidler. I’m playing the French composer Louis Vierne’s Carillon:

The second selection is Herbie Hancock’s Maiden Voyage played by Jonathan Bautista and myself:

The third selection is the beautiful hymn Jesus, Thou Joy of Loving Hearts, sung by Elliot Franks:

 The final selection is Stanford University’s wonderful a cappella group Talisman singing Amazing Grace

I hope you enjoy these selections!