Sunday, April 20, 2008


Spent Friday and Saturday night playing on and off at the Presbyterian Synod AGM. This involved several stints of playing hymns and other worship music for the various services that were held during the evening and day, as well as accompanying two or three singers (singing together) as entertainment during the meal, and presenting the world premiere of the three piano pieces I’ve written this year.

Playing these in public didn’t add anything to my savings accounts as yet, but at least it gave me a chance to test the water on the pieces and the general reaction was good. I found it harder to play them at this event, because the piano was one of those old uprights that had been put on large castors – the better to move it, my dear. However this meant that the pedals were way off the floor, and I needed a couple of chairs to sit at the thing, which didn’t give me the sort of security I have when playing on the wide piano stool at home. I wasn’t very happy with the performances, but several people came and talked about them with enthusiasm, so that was good.

It was a bit of a night: just as we were about to sing the ‘grace’ before the meal (we were still in the church at this point), the lights went out with a great bang. Seems that one of the three phases to the church complex had gone, and the only lighting was in the kitchen and large hall area outside it. This was fine, except that the dining room was in darkness, and some of the kitchen equipment had gone out as well. Dinner got delayed, so I finished up playing before the meal instead of after the main course, which was more satisfactory from my point of view.

We had the meal by candlelight, which was pleasant (although it made it a bit hard to see what you were eating). The lights were suddenly restored towards the end of the mains. There’d been a different and briefer bit of ‘excitement’ at the Brass Band Contest I played at last weekend. The cornet player was just heading towards a climax of one section when there was a bang and a light bulb fell from the theatre’s flies onto the stage where we were performing, missing us both, but giving us both a bit of a start. Seasoned pros that we are, we carried on playing.
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