The Liturgical Organist: Strategies for Supportive and Creative Service Playing
As organists, we are invited to enter the lives of our churches and synagogues as worship leaders. This workshop explores the many of the avenues to enriching both our personal musical skills and the musical components of our communal worship experiences. Using figured bass and hymnody as a basis for developing our improvisatory skills, we look at ways in which those same skills can be used to enliven our musical liturgies through registration, re-harmonization, chordal re-voicing, and improvised organ solos.
Bruce Neswick is associate professor of organ at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, having come to that post from the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York City, where he served as director of music and conducted the Choir of Girls, Boys and Adults. He is a graduate of Pacific Lutheran University and of the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, and holds Fellow certificates from both the American Guild of Organists and the Royal School of Church Music. His teachers included David Dahl, Margaret Irwin-Brandon, Gerre Hancock, Robert Baker, and Lionel Rogg. A winner of three improvisation competitions (including the Guild’s first National Competition in Organ Improvisation, held at the 1990 national convention in Boston), he is also a published composer of organ and choral music. He has performed and taught at many regional and national conventions of the Guild and is represented by Truckenbrod Concert Artists.