Monday, April 01, 2024

Easter Sunday

Miriam and Rachel stayed for all three sacrament meetings at our building today. First they attended the Spanish ward, where Miriam is the organist. Then they stayed for the next ward because their friends from seminary were singing. And then they attended our meetings where...

  • Miriam played the organ for prelude and hymns
  • Benjamin passed the sacrament
  • I conducted the primary children in singing He Sent His Son
  • Alexander and Zoë sang with the primary children
  • the young men and young women sang Gethsemane; Benjamin and Rachel sang with the choir while Miriam played the piano, which we didn't know about! We were looking for her and wondering where she was. It took an embarrassingly long time to realize she was sitting at the piano rather than standing with everyone else!
  • Zoë, Benjamin, Miriam, Rachel, and I sang two numbers with the ward choir (this meant that I was on the stand for most of the meeting, while Daddy sat in our pew with Alexander and an unhappy, mommy-wanting Phoebe)
  • Andrew and Miriam played an organ and piano duet for the closing hymn (that Miriam did some arranging for—mixing Holy, Holy, Holy with Christ the Lord is Risen Today) and I conducted the music so that I could bring the congregation in for Christ the Lord is Risen Today at the right time (since I was privy to their practicing sessions and had the sheet music and the chorister...was not)
  • this meant that Rachel had to leave the choir stand to sit with Phoebe when Andrew came up to the piano (and this made Phoebe extremely dissatisfied with her worship experience, so thank goodness it was almost over at this point)
Their duet went well, which was a good thing! They didn't have a lot of time to rehearse because (a) they didn't know they would be doing it until last week,  (b) Miriam hadn't even arranged the piece yet, and (c) they didn't know it was supposed to be a congregational hymn.

Here's what happened:

The music director for our ward asked interested parties to petition her with pieces they might like to perform during Easter—small groups, solos, and so forth. Overall this was a marvelous idea! We had some fresh faces sharing their talents, which was lovely! Andrew and Miriam also offered to play an organ duet, but the music director simply...never got back to them. So they assumed that was less thing to worry about.

But then last week at choir practice, the music director was going over the Easter program and announced that "our grand finale will be a piano-organ duet by the Heisses!"

Miriam was like, "Oh. Ummm...excuse me...yes...which, uh, which piece did you want us to play?"

"What do you mean which piece?"

"Well, we sent you two to look at. One really short one and one a bit longer..."

"The Easter one, of course!"

They were both Easter pieces, so this wasn't helpful.

"Okay, so Christ the Lord or..."

"Yes! That one—do you have it ready?"

"Oh, yes..." Miriam...exaggerated. 

Although Miriam and Andrew really liked the Easter duets in a book they'd found, they were all rather short, so they made the executive decision to combine both of the pieces they had sent the music director into a medley. They practiced this a few times and felt pretty good about it and then on Saturday evening the ward clerk sent out Sunday's program and the piano-organ duet was listed as the closing congregational hymn.

This added a level of complication that they had not previously considered when making their arrangement. They'd assumed they would play to end the program and then we'd also have a closing hymn. They quickly decided that after playing Holy, Holy, Holy they would play the first "verse" of Christ the Lord twice (giving it two verses) and then move on to the second (now third) "verse" of the arrangement. That way the congregation could sing the three verses in the hymn book. The only problem was that someone would have to bring the congregation in to sing at the right time.

They called me downstairs to practice conducting a few times and then we simply talked to the chorister about not conducting the closing hymn (because coming at the right time was complicated). So I conducted the closing hymn and everything went well. 

Here's some of Miriam's postlude, as captured by a sister in our ward—Judith. Whenever I call her Sister So-and-So, I'm met with blank stares from Rachel and Miriam, who...for whatever reason...recognize her only as Judith. It's not even because they know her well (I don't think they do); it's just from looking at the ward directory.

"I didn't take this video," I told them. "Sister So-and-So did."

Blank stares.


"Oh!!! Judith! Of course! Judith!"

It was a good—busy—Easter morning!

1 comment:

  1. Wow! You guys were so busy! Wish I could have heard that piano/organ/congregation work!