Robin Jéquier, our Development Director, gives us a glimpse into one of the ways he spends his precious free time outside of the office and the city.
Very many (too many!) years ago I began organ lessons on a James Binns two-manual organ in a Worcestershire village church, and it was the start of a life-long passion. Nowadays, one of my favourite Sunday tasks is playing on another James Binns organ coincidentally (and very helpfully) built to the same specs, although this one’s situated in Wiltshire.
Hard at work in Potterne church
One of the questions I face at each service is what kind of ‘quiet piece’ to play as background music during the act of communion. We have a small, enthusiastic choir that sometimes asks me to accompany a communion anthem (for which I get only a few minute’s notice before the service!), otherwise I’m simply required to select ‘something suitable’ to play.
A few Sundays ago I chose music to evoke the spirit of the changing season. As spring has arrived with its colourful burst of blossom, buds and flowers, I improvised on George Smart’s well known tune for the hymn, Through all the changing scenes of life.
Spring is sprung: Robin and friend
There is a subtle connection between improvised music and Development activity (my role with CLS), in that structure is key. Being inept at making things up as I go along I prefer to plan ahead – which music phrases to repeat and any key changes, thus shaping my improvisation in a systematic way. Careful planning is equally important in Development – detailed assessment of needs and identifying the most likely sources of support.
However, don’t read too much into the words from line two of Smart’s hymn: “……In trouble and in joy……”