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Virtue wonders….

by | Oct 2, 2020 | J. S. Bach, Virtue, wonder

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One of the Virtues instilled in me since I can remember is the power of Relationships.  Watching the college kids when I was little, I noticed how much the enjoyed talking and being with each other, and actually let me feel a part of that community.  Observing the many different parts of the church family support each other, and singing in choirs all gave me places to belong.  My first corporate job came through those relationships as I have talked about before, and it continued with my early mentors driving it into me, both when I did it well, and more often when I didn’t 😉  To this day, I am known for connecting people and seeking out relationships as ways of working through challenges and opportunities.  Today you are in for a real treat as result of that. I stalked a person for a year….. who now is a good friend, and more importantly, a master Organist… and knew some Bach works that I should feature… 

… to say I had no idea what I was doing when I started this new career was an understatement.  It is that moment when all small business people realise “I am working 100% commission”.  To make it go, I had to start finding some work in the Charlottesville area where we had recently bought a “vacation” house that quickly became much more than that.  The town was dominated by really only a couple of big employers – UVa and another business that was in the Financial Services business… which I had 2 tours in, so bingo – my target. Found their web site, head of HR, perfect… but remember this was 2008 so internet/LinkedIn/Facebook were not QUITE as pervasive 😉  But I did run the internet after all (sorta) so after a few searches, I found an email…. for a church organist…. could that actually be him??? 

I love organ music, but to honest, I am Hammond B3 guy mostly (think Booker T)  Formal organ music while interesting was a little beyond me in terms of how to listen to it, what to listen for, etc.  This piece of music was explained to me as a “canon” – remember singing “rounds” as kids?  The first voice goes, and then the second voice starts, and before you know it it is all going at the same time, in different directions…. kinda like me 😉  I picked this for today because you can see the wonder of how complex PLAYING the organ is.  Watch for the foot solo – seriously… The music starts at about 1:40 – but the feet – 2:30.  And keep watching as both hands and both feet all are going simultaneously throughout the rest… 

Sure enough, it was him… and I opened my cold-call email with my own musical background from church… and for whatever reason, he took the meeting.  Turns out he was leaving (DAMN!!!) but no matter as he was a relationship person himself, and is almost the informal mayor of the town, and we have done work together over the last 13 years through multiple organizations. But more importantly, he has been a great friend and confidant and also has allowed me to come to see him play the organ and direct the choir at his church. He hosts a radio program – for over 25 years – about the Organ – The King of Instruments – to show how to listen to the organ.  There are many wonders in my life, but this is one that I treasure and do not take for granted. – the mix of Virtue and Music is hard to find…. All from making relationships a priority… 

We actually had an organ when we had the College Kids at the house – Dad built it as a Heathkit.  I really never saw anyone play it, but the wonder of building an organ now gives me chills 😉  My friend actually had an organ commissioned to be built – and it turns out there is a world-class organ builder right here in Staunton!  We got to see it demonstrated for the first time – without all the skin on it – so you could see all of the pipes, the solenoids – the physics was just incredible. I wish my Dad was still alive to see it.  And to see him play it, and all of the movements he went through to create the music was a wonder I will never forget.  For today, wonder about your own Virtues, and your own relationships, and how they can serve you and others as we listen to another masterpiece:  Toccata in F Major.

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