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Celebrating the pipe organ, the King of Instruments

Mailbag: “When it's not your day job…”

December 14, 2012

Dear Michael,

My name is Chiduzie Madubata, and I'm actually a physician who practices in Rhode Island. I've also been playing the pipe organ for about 11 years now and I was interested in seeing if you had any idea about the percentage of organists out there who are involved in non-musical jobs the majority of the time.

Do you know if they pursue private studies on a regular basis? I'm listed as a substitute organist with the RI AGO and am looking for opportunities to play, but I've always been curious about how many people are like me, secret organists who happen to have other day jobs :-) I'd be very interested in your thoughts.



P.S. I've actually posted my playing on youtube. Here are two videos if you're interested (Toccata Brevis by Daniel Gawthrop and an improvisation on the Casavant organ of the Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul in Providence, RI); feel free to share with other people if you'd like :-)

Dear Chiduzie,

Sorry for the tardy reply. That Casavant in Providence is quite an instrument...a well-kept secret, I think. :-)

As for your query, I believe that most church organists (by percentage) are involved in non-musical jobs....computer programmers, insurance salesmen, accountants, etc. As for the number of 'secret organists' who play but are not involved in church work, I'm not certain that can be determined. There are plenty of members of the American Theatre Organ Society who would fall in that category.

To get a better idea about church musicians, you might contact the AGO. John Walker is Vice President, and in charge of the committee on the part-time organist:

John Walker - Committee on Musicians in Part-Time Employment…jw4700@gmail.com

Hope that helps.




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