This weekend I had the good pleasure of visiting Mother and Father Edit in California. It's always nice to go home, and even nicer when it means you get a break from playing the organ. Not that I don't like playing the organ, mind you--in fact I rather enjoy it--it's just nice to get a break for a change.
My pleasure at not playing the organ vanished quickly, however, when the organist began playing the introduction to the opening hymn: I could barely hear it. The organist sounded good, she was hitting all the right notes and everything, she just needed to turn up the volume.
When I complained to Mother Edit that the organ needed to be louder, she pointed out that this was not their usual organist. Small consolation.
The problem with a quiet organ is that in order to stay in pitch with it, you need to sing very softly. And the problem with singing very softly is that most people don't. They just sing however they sing.
By the middle of the first verse I was cringing, and at the end of the first verse, Queen Tuffett (who is back in America now--HURRAY!) and I glanced at each other in alarm.
"We're like 50 cents off!" she whispered.
"I know!" I whispered back. I thought it was closer to a half step, but anywhere between 50 cents and a half step is way too much.
I didn't really sing the rest of that hymn. I mostly just listened to see how far off we'd get, and whether or not the organist would increase the volume. She never did.
Alas for the soft organ, as it defeated the purpose of the hymns. I ended the sacrament hymn laughing, the rest hymn cringing, and the closing hymn nearly crying. Well, ok, maybe it wasn't quite that dramatic, but it certainly didn't get any better throughout the meeting.
And I had so been looking forward to a break from the organ...