Connecting The Congregation and Organ Music by Beth Manus… Organist

Connecting The Congregation and Organ Music by Beth Manus… Organist

On Sunday, June 10th, I’ll be coming to play the organ at Old First.  In an effort to connect the congregation to the organ music and let people know when I play,  Michael Caine has asked that I share some thoughts about one of my selections.

The congregation may have noticed that I’ve already played some pieces by Alexander Schreiner.  I’ll be featuring one of his pieces again on June 10th,  “Prayer of Faith” , during the prelude.

When I first began playing the organ, my teacher at the time, David Spicer, gave me collections of pieces arranged or written by Alexander Schreiner . David was one of my earliest musical friends and mentors, and a fantastic organist.  I figured whatever he gave me to play would be quality music, and I haven’t been disappointed.  For many years I’ve played Schreiner’s pieces without knowing much about him, so I decided to dig deeper.

It turns out that  Schreiner , who lived from 1901-1987, was a very notable organist at the Salt Lake Tabernacle for more than 50 years.  Schreiner’s talents were recognized at an early age. At eight years old, he was called to be pianist for Sunday School, choir practice and other events at his local congregation,  later becoming the Tabernacle organist.   Schreiner also served as a missionary, after which he furthered his music studies in Paris with Charles Marie Widor, and Louis Vierne.

Schreiner’s “Prayer of Faith” that I’ll be playing, follows an unpredicatable path of harmony, seemingly without direction as to where the music will  end up. Since Michael plans to talk about our faith, how it can be tested,  “Prayer of Faith” seems to be a musical version of this idea. I think Schreiner is saying that though we feel uncertain about where life may lead us, we are asked to have faith in God to help us get to where we are supposed to be.

Thank you all for your  encouragement of my organ playing. I hope you enjoy the music on June 10th.

All Best,

Beth Manus