If Organists Wrote the Wedding Columns

Source Unknown, taken from Internet
From AccompaList, a Resource for Church Accompanists
AccompaList Home Page


(ED. NOTE: This tongue-in-cheek account is sure to bring a smile to your face! It was received in an e-mail message to AccompaList. --R.H.)

On Saturday, the third of August, well past the stated time of 2:00 p.m., Ann Jones and Bob Smith were married at Our Lady of Sorry Acoustics. The delay was attributed to the late arrival of an aunt of the bride and was deftly covered by organist Reginald Laudfuss (now celebrating his seventh month at the church), who improvised on an original theme for well over ten minutes. This improvisation was accomplished in all minor keys without the use of the organ's wholly unnecessary transposer. Mr. Laudfuss gives thanks to the church's wedding coordinator, Ima Thority, for flashing him a series of hand signals during the crisis.

Mr. Laudfuss chose a lightweight summer robe of shimmering burgundy to conceal his cutoffs and T-shirt. The organist's shoes, in tasteful traditional black, were by Organmaster, accessorized with upgraded laces from Thom McAn. They are his third pair in about fifteen years, and enable his playing "sole music." The wedding party wore the usual wedding attire.

The organ is the fourth or fifth rebuild of what was originally a dreadful 1920's theater organ from the old Roxy Theater. It now contains additional pipework from an Ox tracker, salvaged after a mysterious fire in an organ practice room at the University. Other stops have been added according to the tastes of organists who have come and gone. The Great Harmonic Flute was voiced by Harrison and purchased from Cathedral of Perpetual Ostentation during their 1977 project. The Wurlitzer Brass Trumpet (now temporarily residing in place of the Swell Oboe) is the envy of the city. It is rumored to have been stolen (all 61 pipes!) from the now-shuttered Palace. The organ's combination action, unfortunately, is unreliable.

There were a sufficiently large number of attendants to build a lengthy processional upon, but despite last night's rehearsal, they heedlessly hurried up the aisle, resulting in a drastic compression of the "Prince of Denmark's March." This critical number was therefore performed with no repeats, and Mr. Laudfuss pointedly ended on the dominant in protest. (In worked better in theory and in practice than in actual performance.)

However, the 8' Tuba (purchased pre-voiced over the internet and the central feature of the March) was a resounding success as could be measured by the smiles that spread throughout the congregation during the processional.

After a few minutes of talking by a clergy type, the organist played the first four phrases of the Schubert "Ave Maria" (in E-major to avoid a pulled pipe) on the shimmering Choir Gemshorn 8' (no tremolo) while the couple did something.

Later, somebody's female relative breathily sang "The Wedding Song." It appeared that this person's usual venue was a country-western bar, and some tension occurred during the solo. The soloist attempted to continue singing during the interludes. Mr. Laudfuss responded by trying to cover her error with cues from the Swell Trompette 8' (Wicks, 1940's, revoiced by Gantt in the 1958 rebuild) but she continued in her own misguided way forcing the organist to shuffle his music loudly. This contretemps prevented the congregation from enjoying the subtle chiff of the Choir Gedeckt 8', which would have been the only bright spot in a notoriously boring song.

The recessional was the Mendelssohn, chosen despite Mr. Laudfuss's counsel to the contrary. It was played on a satisfying plenum in A B A B A form to fit the available time. When the wedding party was finally out of the way Mr. Laudfuss presented the Widor Toccata as the postlude. The guests inconsiderately talked throughout the number, but the organist added stops as the noise level increased, masterfully maneuvering each drawknob, coupler and piston without missing a single note of the Widor. The sforzando button unexpectedly brought the Brass Trumpet into the ensemble but by now there was no turning back and the Widor ended breathtakingly. This noble feat did not go unnoticed by the congregation, who responded with audible sighs. The melody lingered as long as the cipher continued; the sighs ended in a simultaneous release when the melody at last faded.

The bride and groom went to college somewhere, but they apparently did not take any music. After their honeymoon they will blend into suburbia where they will produce children with no music appreciation. The highlight of each year will be the replaying of Mr. Laudfuss's work via a wedding video.

It is said of Mr. Laudfuss' performances that he was great, swell, and no rank amateur. Although a wedding performance is manual labor for many organists, he consoles himself that it is a labor of love for him.