Tuesday, August 17, 2010


This past Sunday the Kenwood Players joined the service down at Macedonia Christian Church once again. We were five, two Eb tubas, soprano sax, trombone and me on horn and guitar. Crawford preached as well as playing the tuba. The Friday before we rehearsed with the church organist so she could get a feel for playing with us and for seeing the hymns in different keys and arrangements from what's in the hymnal.

Besides preludes and a postlude, we accompanied the organ and congregation in all the hymn singing, which went very, very well. There was no line between audience and performer, just a group of people making music together. The singing was particularly good on the hymns I'd dropped down a step or three, but was good on all them. I have to think the pleasure of singing with the Players blending in encouraged more involvement by the congregation.

The one thing I wish I could do over would be taking the small amp for the guitar. I was furthest from the organist and facing away from her, so she didn't really hear the guitar. Between that and not having percussion, my strumming had no effect on the rhythms or tempos. Until I figured out what was going on, it was a very weird sensation. 

One great benefit of this has been the need for me to finally face trying to format keyboard music for what we're doing. As a music therapist, I've always used a guitar to lead groups because you can move around to connect closely with individual players. Playing a keyboard puts a physical barrier between you and the rest of the group. So I've never really worked out playing the keyboard as a chording instrument, much less figuring out how best to notate that way of playing.

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