Position Opening for Tabernacle Organist at the Mormon Tabernacle

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Position Opening for Tabernacle Organist at the Mormon Tabernacle

Here's your chance to be the next tabernacle organist!

Here's your chance to be the next tabernacle organist!

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir is looking to hire an organist!  I've played this instrument a number of times.  Can't imagine how amazing it would be to have that as your "regular gig." 

Details Below:

Posting Info

Posting Dates: 05/23/2017 - 07/18/2017

Job Family: Arts, Design & Media

Department: Tabernacle Choir Department

Purposes

·         To provide missionary and public relations service through daily organ recitals and through performances with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, including telecasts, recordings, tours, concerts and other appearances.

·         To provide organ support for approved Church (and occasional non-Church) functions held primarily on Temple Square.

·         Customers include the conductors and administrative staff of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Church members world-wide, and the general public, as well as particular entities that are sponsoring or being served by the efforts of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and/or the Tabernacle organists.

Responsibilities

·         Participate in daily organ recitals, Tabernacle Choir rehearsals, broadcasts, recordings, concerts and tours as assigned.

·         Perform for General Conference sessions and other Church and non-Church functions on and away from Temple Square as assigned.

·         Prepare for the above to be performed at the highest professional standard of artistry.

·         Fulfill non-musical functions (public relations, correspondence, interfacing with other entities, etc.) responsibly and professionally.

·         Complete composition/arranging projects as assigned.

·         Work cooperatively with colleagues to see that keyboard instruments at Church headquarters are maintained to highest mechanical and artistic standards.

·         Keep abreast of contemporary trends in church music.

·         Maintain exemplary professional image in performance and all other aspects of the work.

·         Percentage of time devoted to the above will vary as circumstances require.

Qualifications

·         Should have an established reputation and significant record of achievement as a soloist and accompanist on the organ and also be proficient on piano.

·         Doctorate in Music with emphasis in organ performance, plus several years of professional experience preferred.  Master’s degree in Music with strong emphasis in organ performance, plus substantial professional experience will be considered.

·         Fellowship certification from the American Guild of Organists (or comparable) is desirable.

·         Must be a sensitive accompanist and compelling soloist and have a broad background in many styles of music.

·         Must have strong sight-reading skills and be able to learn new music quickly and securely.

·         Improvisational skills are essential.

·         Must be completely reliable, able to prioritize and plan work effectively.

·         Must have congenial personality with excellent written and verbal communication skills.

·         Must be able to work cooperatively and constructively with colleagues and others.

·         Composition and arranging skills a plus.

·         Experience using music notation software a plus.

Worthiness Qualification

Must be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and currently temple worthy.

Posting Notice/More Info.

Please Note: All positions are subject to close without notice. 

Find out more about the many benefits of Church Employment at http://careers.lds.org.

I think I look "right at home" don't you?

I think I look "right at home" don't you?

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Advent Organ Recital 12/13/2016

Brian Ebie Organ Recital

Brian Ebie Organ Recital

I'm honored to play on the Advent/Adoration Recital Series at St. Sebastian Catholic Parish in Akron, Ohio next Tuesday, December 13, 2016 at noon.  St. Sebastian's is a lovely church building with one of the finest pipe organs in the area.  Laura will join me on flute. The program will last about a half hour and is free and open to the public.  Please come and join us!

Program:

Fantasia on Veni Emmanuel – Alec Rowley (1892-1958)

Pastorale per Organo, 1615 – Girolamo Frescobaldi (1583-1643)

Chorale and Variations on Freu dich sehr, o meine Seele – Johann Pachelbel (1653-1706)

      (Comfort, Comfort Ye, My People)

In Dulci Jubilo – Peter Crisafulli

      With Laura Hoopes Ebie, Flutist

Huron Carol ‘Twas in the Moon of Wintertime – Denis Bedard (1950)

I Saw Three Ships – Richard Elliott (1957)

#pipeorgan #flute #stsebastian #Advent #brianebie #livemusic

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The Last Songs of an Old Friend -- Pipe Organ Removal

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The Last Songs of an Old Friend -- Pipe Organ Removal

The Last Songs of an Old Friend -- Pipe Organ Removal

By Brian Ebie

It's all too often the way of things these days.  Congregations age, worship styles change, members move away and churches find themselves struggling to adapt, retain membership, and attract new members.  Such is the case at a local church I service, a congregation who has served their community for nearly 190 years.  I was once part of their membership and served as music director and organist, and I have serviced their pipe organ for the past 26 years.  And so it was with great sadness I watched their decline, and although no longer a member of that faith community, nonetheless felt a spiritual kinship with their people and history. 

The church was a pioneer in small town Ohio.  Founded in 1827 by the founders of its faith, the early members first met in a home, then a barn, and finally erected their first building in 1832, followed by a second building in 1850, and their present edifice in 1925.  By the 1950’s the church was filled to capacity each Sunday and active in the community. 

Music was always important to this congregation.  The early singing school met there and singing hymns by lining out was part of their early practice.  There’s an oral tradition that a small pipe organ from “out east” was installed in the 1860’s in the second church building, and a reed organ from that building (“pump organ”) built locally, survived and was finally sold in the 1980’s at a church rummage sale.  In the new 1925 building a space was made for a pipe organ and one was installed in 1929.  A WurliTzer Theatre Organ.  Purchased from a movie theatre in a town many miles away, the organ became available when both “talking pictures” and the Great Depression hit the local theatre with significant financial troubles.  The mighty WurliTzer was installed, complete with the toy counter (sleigh bells, drum, car horn, harp, and castanets) in the space made available.  How exciting it must have been to have that sort of organ power in the new building.  This instrument served reliably until 1977.  More on the 1977 organ in the next post.

Sadly, the pipe organ must come out of the building now before the church closes.

In the coming days I'll be blogging the process of removing this wonderful pipe organ through pictures and video, and sharing a bit of history along the way.  I hope you enjoy. 

Below is a short video I made on the day we began removing the instrument.  This is the last time the organ would play. 

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All in the Family: Uncle Christoph Built an Organ

The Aebi Organ in St. Georg, Switzerland

Aebi Organ in Ernen-Schweiz

Aebi Organ in Ernen-Schweiz

It's hard to imagine a 335 year old mechanical music instrument.  Harder still is imagining that this music instrument still works.  But that's exactly the case with the historic Christoph Aebi organ in the church of St. Georg in Ernen, Switzerland.  First built in 1680 and repaired only minimally, and with very few modifications over the years, Aebi's pipe organ looks and sounds much as it did when he built and installed it in the beautiful town church.
 

Pfarrkirche, St. George, Ernen

Pfarrkirche, St. George, Ernen

Aebi Organ Keydesk

Aebi Organ Keydesk

Christoph Aebi, organbuilder from Solothurn, was contracted to build an instrument for the church in 1680, with the first delivery of parts occurring that year. The table or tablet of the organ where the pipes would eventually stand was delivered first.  We might today call that the windchest.  Eventually an instrument of one manual and pedal with 11 ranks, and in a beautifully painted gothic case would take shape.

The organ plays regularly for church services and programs.  A seminal 2011 recording by Hungarian composer Zsigmond Szathmáry on the Ars Musici label, entitled Die Historische Aebi-Orgel in Ernen-Schweiz, highlights the beautiful sound of theChristoph Aebi pipe organ.  Featuring works by Buxtehude, Pachelbel, Sweelinck, and Frescobaldi, the instrument beautifully renders each piece with a sweet sound, from the softest 8' Coppel flute; but with enough power to support even the largest passages.

The organ has mechanical slider chests and a mechanical stop action, with one pull-down manual to pedal coupler. 

The organ stoplist as it is today:    

Manual I, C - d''' 
Prinzipal 8 ' 
Coppel 8 '
Oktave 4 '       
Flöte 4 '       
Quintflöte 2 2/3 ' (addition)
Superoktave 2 '      
Hörnli   2 ' + 1 3/5 ' (addition)
MixturIII 2 ' 
Quinte 1 1/2 ' 
CymbelII 1/2 '

Pedal, C - d'      
Subbass 16 '     (addition)
Flötbass 8 '  
Posaune 8  

 
I hope someday to play this organ built by my great, great, great, great, great, great, great uncle, Christoph Aebi.  I own the recording and have studied as much history on the instrument as I can find, and know this to be a beautiful example of his work. 

This page will give, in German, a fantastic history of some of the modifications over the years.

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A Pipe Organ Desk

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A Pipe Organ Desk

recently created a board on Pinterest called Random Old Organ Pipes.  I got the idea from a picture I'd seen of a birdhouse made out of two old wooden flute pipes. (Whether or not making a birdhouse from an organ pipe qualifies as a travesty is a topic for later discussion...)  Well, it's surprising what people have dreamed up.  An organ pipe shelfAn organ pipe knife holderAn organ pipe ribbon rackOrgan pipe benches.  And my favorite, the aforementioned organ pipe birdhouse.

But it was the Kagen Sounds pipe organ desk that really grabbed my attention, for, not only is it beautifully crafted desk with organ pipes about; it's also a sort of puzzle!

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Rally 'Round the Flag!  Some Pipe Organ Fireworks for the 4th of July

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Rally 'Round the Flag! Some Pipe Organ Fireworks for the 4th of July

This iconic song of the American Civil War was at one time so popular that the publisher's 14 printing presses ran around the clock and could not keep up with the demand from the public for copies of the sheet music.  Written by George Frederic Root in 1862, it was to become one of the most popular songs of the period.  It is estimated that over 700,000 copies were produced.

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Brian Ebie:  A Checklist for Organ Practice

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Brian Ebie: A Checklist for Organ Practice

The study of the pipe organ (and its electronic imitation), its composers and repertoire, and the art of playing it, can occupy a lifetime. This outline looks at the art of practicing with activities to stimulate learning and retention from pre-practice to follow-up and assessment. I hope organ students young or old use these techniques to advance and find fulfillment in their improvement.

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"Songs My Mother Taught Me" by Antonin Dvorak Played on the Mormon Tabernacle Organ

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"Songs My Mother Taught Me" by Antonin Dvorak Played on the Mormon Tabernacle Organ

As I've watched my wife teach our daughter little songs, it has made me remember back to my own mother and grandmother teaching me songs of all sorts.  I still have some of those music books and we use them now with our daughter.  Watching her sing these little melodies is amazing.  We are overwhelmed thinking about her eventually passing them on to her family in the futur,e as we did to her and as was done for us.  Music truly passes through time, generations, boundaries, cultures, and hearts.

In this video Mormon Tabernacle Organist Richard Elliott performs his own setting of Antonin Dvorak's lovely "Songs My Mother Taught Me."  It is the fourth of seven songs in the Gypsy Songs cycle B. 104, Opus 55.

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Brian Ebie:  Flute and Organ Concert Sunday, May 3, 2015 at 3:00 p.m.  Historic St. Joseph Parish Randolph, Ohio

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Brian Ebie: Flute and Organ Concert Sunday, May 3, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. Historic St. Joseph Parish Randolph, Ohio

For the past year, I have been restoring the pipe organ at St. Joseph's Historic Church in Randolph, Ohio.  It hadn't played in years, so there was a lot of work to be done to bring it back in to playing condition and tuning. Though I have made huge strides, the work is ongoing. But to show off the work that has been done and give parishioners and community members a teaser on what they've been missing, we are playing a springtime concert highlighting the progress thus far. Church members have assisted me in various stages of the work, beginning with a work party to remove all of the pipes from the main chests of the organ for cleaning, dent removal, and minor voicing work for a handful of non-speaking pipes!

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