Oh, the Things You Will Do!

An account of an accompanist's Sunday!

By Richard Huggins
From AccompaList, a Resource for Church Accompanists
AccompaList Home Page


This Sunday, all across the world, you will do these things:

You will gulp down one more chug of coffee and fly out the door with toast crumbs on your lips, wishing you had time to wake and dress your child but having to be at church early to rehearse with the soloist . . . because you are an accompanist!

Brushing up against the instrument well railing, you will snag your clothes on a nail left there from the Christmas pageant. You will think things, but you won't say them . . . because you are an accompanist!

You will get your music all ready to go but then wait upon the soloist, who overslept (just like the last time he sang), and your mind will wander back to that cup of coffee you now wish you'd finished . . . because you are an accompanist!

Soloist at last in place, you will skillfully and artistically envelope him in a bed of notes designed to support and enhance his song, never getting in the way . . . because you are an accompanist!

Flying into the choir room, you will reach for your robe and then, putting it on, remember too late that you meant to have it cleaned, thus causing you to take the w-i-d-e route to the rehearsal piano . . . because you are an accompanist!

You will oblige the alto who has asked you to play her notes on page 7, and the tenor who asks you what the hymns are this morning, ignoring the bulletin he just picked up . . . because you are an accompanist!

Hearing in warm-up that the altos are struggling to get that section on page 7, you will devise ways to modify the written accompaniment so that you can help them. . . because you are an accompanist!

You will stop and listen patiently to Miss McGillicutty as you head toward the sanctuary, even though you have precious few seconds to spare. . . because you are an accompanist!

As you begin the prelude you will tell yourself, as you have so often before, that surely, SOMEwhere, SOMEone is listening to you play. Then you'll recall that there's One who always listens. . . because you are an accompanist!

You will attempt a scale that won't quite work or you'll miss an easy note, and you'll mutter to yourself. . . because you are an accompanist!

You will let fly with majestic registration or incendiary octaves on "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God," and then five minutes later be lightly basting the refrain of "Sweet Hour of Prayer" . . . because you are an accompanist!

You will make sure that the sopranos get their entrance from a note you clevery have added to the anthem introduction, and the altos that page 7 spot, all the while keeping artistic grace and passion in your playing and making the director look great. . . because you are an accompanist!

You will welcome a 30-minute time of reflection and edification from the Pastor, even though you may fight to keep your eyes open at times. . . because you are an accompanist!

You will play ever so tenderly the sweet refrains of "Just As I Am," which by this point in your career you can play backwards, in any of seven keys, with a sock on your hand, while washing your dog or while eating a sandwich. . . because you are an accompanist!

But also you will be reminded of the privilege of seeing people come to know Christ, and of having some small part in helping that take place . . . because you are an accompanist!

After a choir room chat with Mildred and Johnny, and maybe a quick run-through of Suzy's solo, which is still 6 weeks off but about which she's already worried sick, you'll head home, there to try and grab a prize more precious than gold, that Sunday afternoon nap! And you will deserve it . . . because you are an accompanist!