Sexist pigs slobbering over females, and the sexist women who enjoy being slobbered over.

The Sexist Women of The Male Patriarchy. These women say, “He’s just being a gentleman.” Ugh. No, he’s just being a sexist pig. Real “gentlemen” — a word I never use — are not sexists.

Hola a todos. Ah yes, the classical music tradition’s inherent sexism. Where does one even begin with that? Well, it’s not about to go away. In fact, things appear to be going backwards. Some progress that one thought had been made over decades is now being erased in many areas, in many ways as things go back to the way they used to be, to the delight of the rabid far-right conservatives. And in many cases, I’ve noticed that the fake-progressives and Establishment fake-liberals are taking part in this return to the past.

As I completed this article, I saw a performance of a piano concerto. The piano soloist — who shall remain nameless — was of the Millennial generation. He felt the need to slobber over the hand of the First Concertmaster (a female) when he approached the piano before his performance and then again at the end of the performance. But the Second Concertmaster (a guy) only merited a handshake. Poor guy. So this Millennial pianist has been brainwashed very early-on with sexism. The First Concertmaster clearly appreciated his sexism. Does she share the Male Patriarchy mentality? She became all smiles and acted giddy and was slightly bouncing around in her seat during the bows smiling broadly at the piano soloist just because this young kid/guy had kissed her hand and — after the performance — kissed her cheek when he also shook her hand as representative of the Orchestra. Honestly females, are you really that desperate for affection/to be kissed? It would seem so. So it’s not just the older generation who engage in this sexism. Some in the younger generations are just as bad in this regard that I talk about in this article, and their sexist behaviour will continue to promote it.

Sexism and the Male Patriarchy mentality does indeed seem to be inherent to the classical music genre. What’s known as “the greying audience” sees absolutely nothing wrong with it because that’s the generation that was heavily brainwashed with this generational sexism. Societal brainwashing teaches men to cater to women (with women being submissive to men) by men opening doors for helpless her, pulling out chairs for helpless her, buying needy her flowers, buying needy her expensive dinner$ and buying her expensive gift$. As my heterosexual neighbour — who hasn’t had the best luck with females — has told me many times: “You have to empty your credit union or corporate bank account on ‘the little lady’ (as they’re called) as entrance rights into that stinky vagina.” I’ve heard that from other guys. And that’s the bottom line of all this when the truth be told; I mean let’s tell it like it is here. This no time or place to mince words.

Mi amigo/My friend asked: If men were not intensely brainwashed by society and subjected to intense peer pressure that they are supposed to be into slimy/mucous-y vagina, would they really like it? I suspect not. He told me that when he was in the US military that the Black guys absolutely refused to engage in cunnilingus. They were not about to go down on some female because of the rank smell. Only some of the white guys did that but only after buying a can of whipped cream and filling her vagina with it and covering the outside with whipped cream to make it more “appealing” and to camouflage the stench (the smell of estrogen?).

Men are indeed brainwashed to let these helpless creatures called females go first ahead of the guy. You’ve heard that outdated “Ladies go first” pabulum haven’t you? These guys talk about their “the little lady” on Tuesday night with their guy friends, and then by Thursday night he can be seen and or heard engaged in domestic violence of “the little lady” as he slaps her upside the head or elsewhere having become fed up with her constant nagging of him. His hypocrisy is noted, and all of his catering to needy her is temporarily suspended.

The sexist female apologists among us rush to justify and condone the sexism by saying: “He’s just being a gentleman.” Translation according to the Male Patriarchy Mentality: Gentleman = a sexist pig who caters to women and who holds to the societal-brainwashed Male Patriarchy mindset. And apparently these sexist female apologists are all for that because they were brainwashed with that thinking too, so let’s tell it like it is shall we? Sexist females seem to be desperate and needy for constant attention from guys.

Yes, the guy is being a male chauvinist and a sexist and many people see nothing wrong with it, per their conformist societal brainwashing. And some/many females are the first to defend sexism, chivalry, and misogyny. These sexist females lash out at the #metoo movement, as one example, because in their minds no man can ever sexually assault a female. According to the sexist females, it’s always the female who is at fault. They call any evidence the female presents “hearsay.” Instead, the woman is always lying and making up bad stories about the men who allegedly came on to her or sexually assaulted/raped her. Sexist females are some of women’s worst enemies. I’ve read comments from sexist females, and they really come across as anti-women. Or they say, “her purpose is to serve men” meaning she’s “on call” whenever he chooses for sexual favours. But don’t try to talk to sexist women rationally because you’ll get nowhere. Sexism is as brainwashed into people as their partisan politics or religious beliefs.

They were talking about this subject in the Conservatory recently which is one of many reasons why I decided to write about it. Awhile back I wrote another article speaking to the inherent sexism in the classical music tradition. In that article, (which you can read there) I wrote about the piano soloist in a piano concerto who was given a bouquet of flowers from orchestral management during his bows. Well, less than 5 seconds later, Mr Ungrateful Piano Soloist had dumped those flowers on one of the female violinists near the back of the stage as he walked to the stage door. Naturally, the look on her face was that of: Why did he just give me his flowers? They were just given to him less than 5 seconds ago? Do I look like his garbage can? Did he even look at them?

If orchestral management had wanted the violinist to have his flowers, they would have given them to her to begin with, and not to him. Unfortunately, it appeared that flowers threatened this male pianist’s delicate and fragile masculinity. Who knew that flowers had that much power? Well there was something called “flower power” during the 1960s but that’s another topic. Someone in the comments under that performance remarked about Mr Ungrateful’s sexist decision to use a female as his trashbin for his flowers and noted the sexism involved in his thinking. Note that he didn’t give the flowers to another male musician, or to the First Concertmaster (a guy) who represents the Orchestra if he (Mr Ungrateful Piano Soloist) felt that the Orchestra was more deserving of the las flores/the flowers. Then, as expected, all of the commenters under that video supported the sexism of the pianist and their language spoke of heavily-brainwashed generational sexism and the Male Patriarchy mentality where the female is to be catered to at all times by the man. Some even went so far to say that the piano soloist was interested in the female violinist romantically. Apparently those sexist idiots never looked at the pianist’s hands while he was playing — where were they looking ? — to see that wedding ring on his right hand fourth finger, meaning that he’s either married to a female or to a guy. The sexist commenters stopped short of saying “a woman belongs barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen” but they came close to that thinking in their comments.

On another occasion, at the end of a symphonic choral performance at the BBC Proms, I saw conductor Donald Runnicles double-kiss both female vocal soloists. He did not kiss the male soloists at all which gave the impression that he didn’t feel that the male soloists performed as well as the females. Or does Donald hold to some outdated generational thinking that “guys don’t kiss other guys” as a friendly gesture? Well, at that time — before the majority of UK voters became insane and installed the far-right Tories and Boris as Prime Minister — the UK was a member state of the EU, and guys certainly do kiss each other in the EU as a friendly gesture. I think most men in the EU are more secure with their sexuality and masculinity than the men in the dis-United States with their fragile masculinity. All that Donald did with the male soloists was a stereotypical “guy handshake.” The message he sent was that of outdated thinking and that of generational sexism which is: “Men only shake hands with each other, but men are supposed to kiss women.”

As for females, I could never live with a female, I can tell you that from experience! I just could not put up with her. Females can flip on a dime. I do not know how men — who have been brainwashed by our heteronormative society that they are supposed to be with a female and who are living with or married to females — put up with females quite frankly. Especially in crisis or semi-crisis situations, females just melt down. They’re so damn emotional. I’ve seen this from every female in my apartment building. They become syrupy — what I call — “drippy pussies.” Completely emotional-based, rather than rationale, sane and reasonable-based. And often the guy that a female is in a relationship with, he has been “womanised” by her. He’s just like her when it comes to a crisis. He becomes a syrupy “drippy pussy” too because of her influences on him and of her control of him. These women do indeed control their men and most men allow that it seems. It has to do with entrance rights into that smelly slimy pussy when the truth be told. Some people are probably saying, “I don’t believe what I’m reading here.” Well you should believe it. The truth hurts doesn’t it?! Come out of your damn denial.

From my experience with women just as friends, the friendships have been quite unpredictable at times and rocky. I’ve learned that one has to be very careful with females. Or just not bother with them at all! That’s even better. You’re much safer with that route. I know from experience. You never know what you’re going to get with females and their unstable emotions which seemed to be controlled entirely by their hormones, and sexual plumbing. It’s as if they have multiple personalities or persons all in the same female, but they seem unaware of that. And you never know which personality you’re going to get at any given time. Not all females of course, but most females — the majority — from my experience. I had a close female friend at the Conservatory and I never knew what her mood was going to be like from day-to-day or minute to minute. She was unpredictable emotionally. It was as if she had at least two personalities in her and I never knew which one I was going to be subjected to each morning in class or throughout the day when I’d see her. Mi amigo/My friend said: That does seem to be the case; two or more personalities come with each female. My friendship with her could best be described as difficult. The same for her unpredictable roommate and she was one of the orchestral musicians I accompanied (piano). They were both a piece of emotional work. Saying that their emotional state was like a roller coaster is an understatement. With most females I’ve encountered, one never knows what mood they will be in and their mood can change like a light switch five or six times an hour. Guys are much more stable emotionally, much more reasonable and rational. Guys/dudes/bros are much, much better than females. Guys don’t have meltdowns. Guys come wired for disaster. We just deal with it as it comes. We’re just used to it. And too often it has to do with some fucking female. And syrupy “drippy pussy” females can interpret the most benign and meaningless gestures as something much more than it was intended. One should not be surprised to hear from a female, “But you kissed me on the cheek twice out there on stage during the bows, and that told me you love me. I love you back.” I’ve had experiences where females completely misinterpreted my benign and innocent gestures with them as something as more than just friends, which left me scratching my head asking, “How on Earth did she come up with that interpretation of the situation? Loca.” They’re all fucking loca with few exceptions to that. As I said, I really don’t know how guys put up with them.

I’ve been especially reminded of this thing with females during these early days of the COVID-19 pandemic and the “shelter-in-place” order for San Francisco and other major cities. Nearly all the females mi amigo and I have come in contact with or know have been in emotional meltdown, dire crisis mode. The guys? Much calmer and taking it all in stride. No emotional meltdowns. Mi amigo saw one older female today — an acquaintance — and he said she was an emotional wreck and looked like she had been crying for days because of this virus. Jesus fucking christ. What is it with females? Get a fucking grip! He said he tried to talk with her rationally and reasonable but she was clearly panic-stricken like your typical melt-down female. Always needing or craving some drama in their lives.

Note to conductors: What I’m about to say should be “common sense,” but unfortunately “common sense” doesn’t seem to be very common these days. Instead, stupid is in: Conductors, watch who you kiss unless you welcome trouble. Well these days, you shouldn’t be kissing anybody other than the people very close to you who you already know. Even a hug with a female can be treacherous and interpreted differently than intended. With some of these male conductors, kissing the female musicians after the performance, it almost looks like the female is saying, “I certainly enjoyed our time together this afternoon in the hotel as well. Thank you again. Maybe you’ll request me as a soloist next time and we can have another rendezvous? I’d look forward to that. I really get off on the ‘power of a conductor’ penetrating me.” The prudes among us are gasping because I wrote that. Oh stop your damn gasping. Get out more! And don’t think what I wrote hasn’t happened or doesn’t go on routinely, people. Don’t be so damn naïve. It’s called “politics” in music and there is indeed sex in music politics, and politics of some sort run throughout music genres. I’ve known some concert venues where one can get to perform a certain piece that someone else was going to play if one performs sexual services for the concert manager. Absolutely.

But there’s no wonder that classical music is dying when you have these outdated and sexist gestures so inherent in a genre.

So when will older sexist male conductors stop slobbering over female musicians? Get a room somewhere if you’re that desperate, Mr Conductor! And why do you feel the need to do that, you sexist pigs? (No disrespect to pigs intended). These sexist conductors seem to think that just because they’re the conductor — and the power granted in that male-dominated position — that it gives them the licence to “have their way with any woman they want.” I think it is indeed a generational thing. I don’t recall younger conductors doing this nonsense. It seems to be the older male conductors only. And I don’t remember seeing the few female conductors that there are kissing anyone on stage.*

So what can be done about this sexism? Nothing really. Well, orchestral management could set guidelines on conductors’ behaviour — such as “a conductor is not allowed to kiss any musician on stage” just as management could say “all male musicians are required to keep the flowers we give them; none of our female musicians are your trashcan, understand?” — but I don’t see orchestral management writing such guidelines. They would say, “We don’t want to offend any conductors by writing such guidelines.” Translation: We prefer that the sexism continue rather than to offend a sexist celebrity-conductor. We don’t really have a problem with it. In fact, we sort of approve of it and condone it because we were also brainwashed with that mindset. It’s so engrained in the culture and we don’t really have a problem with it. And we suspect that many in our audience see these sexist gestures as “he’s just being a gentleman and catering to the little lady.” (Male Patriarchal mindset) That was one of the excuses in support of this sexism that one of the sexist Neanderthals wrote in the comments under that video. Those comments demonstrated that sexism is very much still with us and septic, as if the feminist movement never existed.

There was a time where only females were given flowers at the end of a performance, but I pointed out the sexism of that on BBC Radio 3’s message forum. Sometime after that, things changed in this regard, not that I had anything to do with this change. Although maybe someone read my comments about that and said: This person makes a good point. This should be changed. Well it looked odd to give the females flowers and the guys were left standing there and were given nothing in gratitude for their performance, other than their fee which is given to them from their artist management. But I don’t remember anyone supporting me when I wrote comments about that on Radio 3’s message forums. As usual, I don’t think anyone supported me. They usually don’t. I’m usually a lone voice with no support from anyone. I’m used to that. Most people go along with and rabidly defend the status quo. The classical music audience is quite conservative and, I think, mostly supports generational sexism of the Male Patriarchy mentality.

But again, this sexism is so engrained in the classical music culture. We’ll just have to wait for a certain sexist generation to die-off, and then we might see more equality in performances and not see male conductors oooohing and aaaaahing over females as if they’re some sex object doll waiting to be kissed, fawned over and later penetrated just because she sang a solo.

******** Well, really, it’s the culture in general having been brainwashed with the Male Patriarchy mentality. It’s not just the classical music culture. San Francisco’s new residents are mostly “him and her” Millennials having arrived as a result of the tech invasion. They are some of the most unfriendly and miserable-looking people you’ll see anywhere based on the constant frown they wear. They have no real social skills but probably think they do because they waste away their lives on Orwellian-named “social media.” “Social media” is just a slick marketing term for a website where one can type to people and show them pictures of your breakfast, lunch and dinner, and write silly-little sayings. As if anyone cares what someone else is eating! People addicted to “social media” frantically type with their thumbs on a screen as if their life depended upon it. Typing on a screen is not an example of social skills. Being able to talk fluently with people in person is an example of social skills. If these lobotomised and cultureless techies had to smile I think it would break their face. I guess that tech job is not all that they thought it was going to be. Tough luck. No one invited you to move here to begin with and there are planes leaving hourly for one to go back to the conservative cesspool where one came from. And these straight couples are perfect examples of sexism and male-domination over the female. Female submission to male domination. The needy female constantly requiring him to hold her hand in public. Is she that insecure with her guy whom she sees as “daddy?” And, as the good little submissive, she’s been brainwashed to walk one-half step behind her guy to show she’s not his equal but rather he is the dominant and “Head of the Household” and she is his submissive little girl. When they are not holding hands, her hand is on his arm like she’s on a leash connected to him. These Millennials have been completely brainwashed with the Male Patriarchy mentality. As for feminism? It doesn’t appear they’ve ever heard of that (or birth control for that matter) judging by their 1940s-1950s style behaviour.

The same goes for most of the classical music genre from what I’ve observed from their behaviour. Chau.—el barrio rosa

Is the AGO a religious organisation?

The AGO (American Guild of Organists)

Hola a todos. Can I write about the elitist clique known as the AGO without raising my blood pressure? Well, I’ll try. I’ve been meaning to write this article for some time.

I don’t have anything positive to say about the American Guild of Organists. They should more accurately be called the US Guild of Organists since they are mainly about the US and Canada, both of which are in North America. North America includes México. And there are three Americas: North America, Central America and South America. They (the AGO) appear to have no chapters south of the dis-United States border. Again the US is in North America. But the US arrogantly stole the name of the entire hemisphere “America” as its name and the word “Americans” as the name of its people. USians is more accurate. Because in reality, anyone living in the Americas is an American, not just USians.

The AGO is a US national organisation (based in New York City) of academic, church, and concert organists. The AGO is geographically divided into seven regions and 298 chapters. In recent years, they added international chapters in Kenya, Finland, Barbados, and Shanghai. And the European chapter is the oldest international chapter. Their governing body and system of governance is of an elitist style and rather hoity-toity. They’re big on the word “Councillors.” Such as this:

The National Council is the main governing body of the American Guild of Organists. The four National Officers, three National Councillors with committees in portfolio, and the Chair of the Board of Regional Councillors (selected by the seven Regional Councillors from among their number) are members of the National Council. The Executive Director is a non-voting member of the National Council.

Oh, so they have three National Councillors with committees in portfolio, Dahling? Well good lord! Can they make it any more complicated and pretentious? All of that for a conservative organisation — of people who believe in a Floating Cloud Being — that seems to do little or nothing to help organists who are not part of their clique or to help the dying organ field? They seem to be more about structure and wasting time with (useless?) committees than they are about actually helping people, except for their “celebrity” organists. They are another essentially useless organisation that most people have never even heard of.

The National Officers of the Guild consist of a President, a Vice President/Councillor of Competitions and New Music, a Secretary/Councillor for Communications, a Treasurer/Councillor for Finance and Development, and a Chaplain. The Chaplain is an honorary national officer and not a member of the National Council.

They need a “chaplain” do they, in a supposedly secular organist organisation? WTF?

Oddly, for me I had a far better experience with church organists before I trained in pipe organ than after I trained. My fondest memories of church organists are as a child and growing up in High School with local church organists who were very nice to me and welcomed me to play the organ in their church, in part perhaps, because they knew I was the piano accompanist for the High School Chorus and the pianist for the local Rotary Club, as well as the church organist and I guess they had heard me play somewhere. In hindsight, I seemed to have had a good musical reputation in the area but I was unaware of that. Well, I knew it to a degree I guess because I was always busy with something musically and someone asking me to do something such as accompany them or to play for some Liturgy, but I didn’t walk around with my nose in the air. And I can’t stand people who do! Although I had not studied organ at that time. I was working on achieving a good piano technique first at the recommendation of my piano instructor — who helped get me into the Conservatory where I trained — who was also Organist-Choirmaster at the local Episcopal/Anglican parish. One of the local church organists in town had me fill in for her on occasion and that was a thrill because that church (it was Presbyterian) had recently installed a new, large pipe organ up in the back of the Nave. I thoroughly enjoyed playing there. It was a beautiful pipe organ. The local Baptist Church — which oddly observed the Liturgical Year; I’d never known a Baptist Church to follow the Liturgical Year and my dad told me they were a member of the Southern Baptist Convention but they surely didn’t act like it when it came to their music (I guess they could have been called High Church Baptist, if there is such a thing) — but they also had a nice pipe organ. Their organist knew of me from the High School Chorus so she welcomed me to play the pipe organ there on occasion. I also served as piano accompanist for one of that church’s choral ensembles one Summer. The organist left the key to the organ in the church office for me. I never met her in person, unfortunately. She also served as organist for funerals and on occasion asked me to fill in for her at some funerals. She was well-trained and played beautifully. I stood outside the church one Summer evening while she was practising the organ when the windows were open. Lovely sounding pipe organ, and I later enjoyed playing that organ, that had I heard from outside through the windows.

After I trained in organ — I minored in organ for three years — at the Conservatory, I dealt with nothing but difficult organists. I learned to approach them with “kid gloves” from bad experiences with previous organists. Over time, I began to lose patience with church organists but I tried not to let that show. I kept asking myself: What is wrong with church organists? Why do they act the (belligerent) way they do towards me? I haven’t done anything to them. They are unlike any other musicians I’ve ever dealt with. They are such assholes to me. Why? Thinking back on it, even most of the organ majors in the Conservatory were difficult to be friends with for some reason. I never knew why. They were not like most of the other students or like the many musicians that I accompanied. It was almost as if they thought they were better than others, and I can’t stand people like that. They were stand-offish and quite conservative. That seems to be part of “the church organist” stereotype. I only got to know one of the organ major students as a friend (sort of) and she was — like many, if not, most females — an emotional mess most of the time. Similar to my experiences with other females as friends. Although most females don’t seem to know that about themselves.

A bit about my experience with females: They’re so emotionally-driven and “drippy with love,” and their overuse of the word “love.” They’re also prone to crying on a whim over the most trivial things. Guys don’t behave like that. Then some females turn the waterworks off the moment they get their way. They’re very manipulative. I’ve asked female relatives about that and they seem oblivious and or in denial to their erratic, unpredictable moods. With most females, you never know what mood or moods she’s going to be in at any given moment. I’ve found that to be true with female friends as well. A female can change her mood like a light switch minute by minute and are completely oblivious to it, and it’s often connected with her female plumbing and hormones. Most guys know exactly what I’m talking about. They refer to “the bitch.” The females pretend not to know what I’m talking about. It’s the females who choose denial about themselves. Not all, but I’d say most. And another thing: Why does a female require that her guy always hold her hand in public? Is she that damn insecure in their relationship or does she see him as “daddy” and needs for him to protect little dainty her like daddy did and hold her hand crossing the street? And why does she walk one-half step behind the guy — often with her hand latched on to his arm like it’s a leash — as if not his equal? When she goes to kiss her guy, why does she put one foot up behind her and stand on the other? Isn’t that intended to “be dainty?” Damn odd. I once asked a PhD level psychologist about this and his experience in psychotherapy with females. All he would say was, “Oh they’re different” and he didn’t say it in a positive manner or facial expression as he rolled his eyes, comparing them to guys. Part of the reason I brought this up is because most of the difficult organists I’ve dealt with have been females.

After graduation from the Conservatory and when I no longer had a church job (by choice), no one would allow me to use the church organ to practise even when I offered to pay the church, including churches whose organist I knew to be a member of the local chapter of the AGO. I mostly got silence as a response from them. How’s that a way to treat your fellow organist and a fellow musician? And do you all pretend to be Christians since you’re organists in Christian churches? That’s who I contacted. Yet your behaviour towards another organist does not demonstrate your supposed Christian beliefs and of your living the life of Jesus. I don’t think Jesus would ignore another organist and outcast him and essentially tell him to “Fuck Off.” That’s not the way Jesus worked from what we know about his life from learned theologians. I suggest that most of you organists are Christian frauds, like most of the fake-Christians in the pews. Christian in name only. People call themselves anything these days, but that doesn’t make it so.

I remember having this accompanying job where I accompanied a singer. He performed in a church on one occasion and I played their organ. Well, when I met with the organist before the Mass, she launched into this lecture of what I should and should not do on “her” organ. I thought to myself: Another fucking piece of work. Having received that lecture many times, in a resigned manner I calmly responded to her by saying, “Yeeeeeeeees. I’m well aware of all that. I trained in organ at the Conservatory where I studied.” I wanted to tell her to piss off. As Our Rose said in the British comedy Keeping Up Appearances, “Some women can be bitches.” After this organist heard me say, “at the Conservatory where I studied” that seemed to shut this woman up. Sigh. I swear, I’ve had enough of these people! What dreadful people many/most? church organists are. They are a special breed of assholes quite frankly and I still don’t understand why. Why do they act like such disgruntled, miserable people? It’s not my problem that they hate their church job and the salary is low and or they have problems with the clergy who often know little or nothing about music yet too often dictate to the Organist-Choirmaster what s/he will do with the music.

I resigned from one of my positions as Organist-Choirmaster for that reason. The priest and I butted heads. It was an Anglo-Catholic (High Anglican) parish, and after awhile the priest started telling me what settings of the Mass he wanted to use. They were not settings I felt were appropriate for High Church. They were rather Low Church. I was also using Anglican Chants for the psalm settings and he wanted to change that to these simple little ditties he found somewhere, that, once again, were not High Church and they were awful musically-speaking. I thought: You want to use that? I wanted to use the time-honoured settings used by the local Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys. It was not like the parishioners didn’t like my repertoire selections. No, this problem was with the Rector. The parishioners were very nice and kind to me, and appreciative of my playing. Every Sunday I had members of the parish come up to me during coffee hour and tell me how much they enjoyed the music and how joyful it was — which I very much appreciated; that was so nice of them and I could tell that they were sincere — and that was my intent. I did a lot of improvisations and interludes between verses of the hymns to keep them interesting rather than the same thing every verse, so it wasn’t the parishioners who didn’t like my Anglican Cathedral music. It was the priest who knew nothing about music, as usual, who wanted to change the music and use settings which were closer to a guitar Mass settings, without the guitars.

Sigh. And they at the AGO expect to promote the organ and the art of organ playing with their cold, chip-on-both-shoulders, belligerent and off-putting attitude that so many (if not most) organists have?

After I no longer had a church job and at that point was not interested in having one because I got tired of having every Sunday morning and other times of the week tied up with church. When I approached church organists, I told them a little bit about my background including my training. That was intended to let them know something about me and that I was well-trained (although I didn’t say that; that was to be assumed by them reading my background) and I was not going to “break their organ” or change their precious presets or toe pistons. Mi amigo/My friend asked: Do you think that your Conservatory training was intimidating to the organists that you contacted? Probably. It shouldn’t be, but it may have been in the context that the organist thought that I was trying to “come in through the back door” to steal his or her church job when I had no interest in a church job, but they didn’t know that. When I was teaching, I found that some people were intimidated by my Conservatory training. A relative who knows nothing about music read my music bio. She said she was intimidated by the language “Conservatory-trained.” She was also intimidated by my Orchestra Chorus experience where I listed that I performed in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall with Norman Scribner’s Choral Arts Society of Washington and Dr Paul Traver’s University of Maryland Chorus with the National Symphony Orchestra and guest international orchestras, as well as in San Francisco’s Davies Symphony Hall with Margaret Hillis’s/Vance George’s San Francisco Symphony Chorus. I thought: What am I supposed to do? Lie about where I trained despite that expensive tuition and lie about my performance experience just because someone feels intimidated by it? That’s their problem. Or not list it at all? But by not saying anything, that can give the impression that one is trying to hide something. I think other musicians experience this. I suspect that’s one of the reasons why one of my piano professors referred to herself by her first and last name only rather than “Dr” (she has a DMA – Doctor of Musical Arts), but perhaps she found that people were intimidated by her Doctorate degree. I know of a Choral Director with a DMA but he also refers to himself using his first and last name only. I think many (if not most) church organists felt threatened that I was trying to take their job. Are church organists really that insecure in their positions? Perhaps so. And there aren’t that many organists looking for church jobs to cause church organists to feel so threatened.

Organist Diane Bish has had her share of experiences with difficult organists. She has said, “Organists can be touchy.” Diane is being far, far too kind. I wish she had really told us what she thought about them in no uncertain terms. I’m sure she ran into some real pieces of work when she and or her producer (Mary Roman) were trying to schedule a taping of her superb programme The Joy of Music in various parishes and Cathedral Churches.

At the Conservatory where I trained as a piano major, and voice and pipe organ double minors (3 years as opposed to the required 2 years), my organ professor asked me if I would consider being an organ major, to change my major from piano to organ. I was flattered by his suggestion and his confidence in me as an organist. But I thought about it and talked with my parents about it, and decided to remain a piano major, which I think disappointed my professor.

Many church organists seem to live under the illusion that they personally own the organ in their church so it’s very difficult, if not impossible, to get them to slide their posterior off the organ bench. They are very immaturely possessive of “their” organ. Even when dealing with a trained organist, the church organist’s approach can be that s/he is going to “break the organ” or change his/her presets, which I always assured them I would not do in my introductory letters asking if I might use “their” organ for practise time.

I suspect that Diane Bish is not like the pieces of work organists I’m speaking negatively about. I think she would welcome anyone to play the organ. The same goes for Paul Jacobs at The Juilliard School. I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting him but he seems like the nicest guy. Also Benjamin Straley (former Organist at Washington National Cathedral in the District of Columbia) and Thomas Sheehan (current Organist at WNC). None of them are your typical, uptight, stuffy church organists. They are four superb organists who come to mind who I sense from them would gladly give another organist the opportunity and thrill of playing the church organ. People like that are the genuine artists among us and secure with themselves. It’s the insecure and immature people who act difficult, probably because they’re concerned that another organist will “show them up” as the expression goes. Well, I was never interested in “showing anybody up.” I just wanted to work on some repertoire to consider giving an organ performance. I wanted to perform the Widor Toccata, Jehan Alain’s Litanies, some organ works by Herbert Howells, and others.

I mentioned Diane Bish up above. I guess that caused a coronary arrest for some people reading this. I know some people don’t like Diane, are critical of her and or don’t like her playing. As far as I’m concerned: Diane, Mary Roman (her producer) and her production crew did an excellent job on The Joy of Music. The main criticism of Diane is that she was too flashy in her performance attire and or didn’t play things as they were written in the score. I was there for her music and her artistry. I couldn’t care less what she wore. Only the shallow and superficial people are obsessed with that type of thing. As for her not honouring the wishes of the composer in the score, I watched all of her programmes many times and I only noticed two occasions where, in a couple of measures of a piece, she didn’t play it according to the authentic edition score that I have. What pieces do I have in mind? One piece was the last couple of measures of the Dubois Sortie-Toccata, as I remember. The other was the Widor Toccata where — from what I could see from the camera angle — she didn’t hold that awkward top C in the left hand thumb down on the upper manual at the end of that piece each time she played it. That top C in the left hand thumb is awkward which may be why she didn’t look like she was holding it down (her LH thumb was sticking up) because the organist has to lean way over to the right to feel comfortable playing that. And the LH is on an upper manual to begin with which makes it a bit more uncomfortable depending upon how one is sitting and the height of the organ bench. Also, the length of one’s arms can play a factor here too. So, assuming she wasn’t holding the top C down, did anyone notice but me? I don’t think so. I suspect if one didn’t have the score and had never played the piece, one wouldn’t have known of these slight changes she made, and I don’t know why she made them, but a couple of measures in a piece that aren’t exactly per the score doesn’t stop me from enjoying her playing. She studied with Jehan Alain’s sister (Marie-Claire Alain) in Amsterdam, so maybe the slight changes Diane made really came from Ms Alain? I don’t know. It doesn’t really concern me. Having played the Dubois, I knew that it didn’t quite end the way Diane ended it, but that was her thing. Well-trained musicians — and Diane is obviously well-trained — try to be as faithful to the wishes of the composer and honour the score as closely as possible. I’m not going to nitpick Diane over a couple of measures in one or two pieces, and people who do so need to find a new hobby such as maybe flower arranging or they need to find something to polish to take their mind off of Diane and nitpicking her playing. If you don’t like her playing, there’s a solution to that: Watch somebody else, until you find something wrong with them to nitpick them to death, you useless trash. I’ve had it up to here with the self-appointed, know-it-all classical music armchair critics — who ruin classical music for a lot of people — who have nothing else to do in their pathetic lives than to sit around nitpicking classical music performances to death. And one often gets the impression that these arm chair critics have never studied music or any instrument, yet they consider themselves an “expert.” Why not give us a link to your performance of the piece to show us all how it’s supposed to be played, according to omnipotent you! Ugh. I can’t stand these trash.

When I served as Organist-Choirmaster in Anglican parishes, I welcomed anyone to play the organ, although no one ever approached me to ask to play it. The instrument didn’t belong to me, so who was I to say who could play it and who couldn’t? No one is going to break it and one meets with a guest organist first to begin with and can get a feel for the person.

So, is the AGO a religious organisation? Some organists have speculated about this. It seems like the AGO is a religious organisation of sorts. At least a semi-religious group. Because some or most of their membership are organists in churches, temples and synagogues? I was a member for awhile — really got nothing out of it; it seemed like a rather elitist organisation with the usual local “celebrity” organists as members and none of them willing to allow another organist/non-celebrity to use their organ for practise purposes. Most of the church organists I contacted via letter did not have the courtesy to respond to my enquiry. How nice and “Christian.” I remember seeing bible verses in their monthly newsletter which I found a turn-off. That’s when I began asking: Is the AGO a religious organisation? What are bible verses doing in a newsletter of an allegedly secular organisation? And I remember that the style of their newsletter looked more like the style of a Protestant church bulletin, especially the font they were using. It looked very conservative.

At that time (this was some years ago) — and I suspect it’s much worse now — there were very few, if any, organist church jobs anywhere where one would want to work. No church had a nice organ where there was an opening for church organist. And the salary was rather low, even by AGO guidelines. And since AGO organists don’t encourage other organists in any way, shape or form to keep their artistry up at the organ to performance level — you can’t perform if you don’t have an instrument to practise on! — there’s no wonder that the organ field is slowly dying.

The way it’s set up, if you don’t have an organ at home — and everybody can afford to have an organ at home or in a small apartment, correct? (sarcasm intended) or a church job, one can forget organ performance. It ain’t going to happen because the members of the AGO are not going to help you in any way, shape or form. Period. They don’t want you to threaten their church job, which is how most church organists seem to view a request to use the church organ for practise purposes. And often the clergy hold the same views. Many clergy are anti-music. They have no interest in the music in their church. That’s especially the case with (Roman) Catholics. And many, if not most, parishioners in Catholic churches have no interest in the music either. To them it’s all about “The Spoken Word.” I had sensed that from Catholics from my limited musical experience with them, but it was confirmed during the years that I watched the Masses from La Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris. Many of the viewers of their Liturgies online were very outspoken that they had no interest in the music of the Mass. Some were really quite disrespectful in their comments on U-toob of the choristers and organists. From what I observed, I sensed that the clergy at Notre-Dame had a bit more respect for the music than your average podunk Catholic Church. That might have been because they did have a Choir School at Notre-Dame before the fire, although oddly it was rare that any Choir sang for their Masses. Don’t try to figure that out. It was usually a quartet or octet that sang for their Masses. Whereas in the Anglican Communion, the Choir School (the few that there are today) provide the Choir (parish or Cathedral Choir) for the major Liturgy each week on Domingo/Sunday as well as for Evensong. But that’s not the way it worked at Notre-Dame, which I found quite odd. I thought that maybe KTO-TV was not uploading the Festive Choral Mass to their U-toob channel. But one of the former choristers at Notre-Dame made a statement saying that the only time the Full Choir sang at Notre-Dame was for Navidad/Christmas and they all looked forward to that. So with a Choir School the only time the Full Choir sang in the Cathedral was approximately once a year. Loco./Crazy. That’s what one expects with a parish or Cathedral Church without a Choir School. Their Children’s Choir was consistently the best. They sang with perfect intonation and excellent diction. The Adult Choir usually did not sing with perfect intonation. And with them, one also heard heavy-vibrato used in Renaissance music. That’s unheard of! When this was pointed out to one of the choristers, he said “You are correct. Vibrato should not be used in Renaissance music.” But nothing was done about it. Then what did we hear the next week in Renaissance music? Heavy-vibrato, as if they were trying to emulate an Opera Chorus. It sounded awful. On the odd occasion, they would sing Renaissance music without noticeable vibrato — it seemed to depend upon which choristers were there/on-call — and on those occasions the Renaissance pieces were quite beautiful. The male Choirmaster for the adults seemed to let the adult choristers sing anyway they wanted. So if someone was studying opera in the Choir School, they used their “opera voice” in the Choir rather than — the way it’s supposed to be done — their “choral voice.” By using their “opera voice” the choral ensemble did not sing with perfect intonation, one of the foundations of choral excellence. So I gave up on Notre-Dame because of their inconsistent choral standards, and I knew they were not about to change regardless of what anyone said about them. I realised that unfortunately a consistent level of choral excellence did not exist at Notre-Dame, which I found surprising for such a world-renowned Cathedral Church.

Except for occasional wobbling in the tenor section, here is an excellent performance of the Kyrie eleison, a setting by Louis Vierne, sung by the Full Choir of Men, Women, Boys and Girls. (If I were the Choirmaster I would have said to the tenor section: No noticeable vibrato, please, tenors. Perfect intonation cannot be achieved with noticeable vibrato in any voice part, SATB). This was sung for a special memorial service in the Nave. That’s why the Full Choir was there, on this rare occasion. You’ll notice the two organists in Notre-Dame. The Grand Orgue — up in the back of the Nave — was played by one of the three Titulaire Organists and the Choir Orgue was played by one of the three Choir Organists. Go to 14.44 in the video to hear the Vierne. Although I’d advise to start from the beginning to hear that glorious High Church organ improvisation, watch the very High Church procession complete with incense as it should be, followed by the processional hymn (The Doxology; I’ve not heard The Doxology used as a processional hymn before but it works well) complete with descant sung by the Boys and Girls of the Cathedral Choir. Despite my problems with the music at Notre-Dame, they did have the best High Church Liturgy I have seen anywhere.

As for these AGO people: They are such good, warm and friendly “Christians” aren’t they? Christian in name-only is more like it. So they essentially say to an organist enquiring about practising on the church organ: Bug Off. Go away. The clergy might be interested in allowing you to practise on the church’s organ if one is a paying-member — meaning a tithing member — of their Christian cult, their church. If not, their bottom line: Bug off. They’re not interested.

Few churches are replacing their ageing organs with new installations. Some major city parishes are getting new organs (pipe or digital), but many churches are now succumbing to the fundamentalist Praise Band fad. Catering to the lowest common denomination. And it’s, in part, because of this mentality, that the public see pipe organs and organs in general as some outdated creature of the past. One of the churches that I grew up in no longer has an organ. They’ve gone to Praise Bands and casio-style keyboards with hand-clapping and fundamentalist-style “praise Jesus” arms in the air. Disgusting.

One can thank the AGO for this since — as I see it — they are directly responsible for the organ’s demise because of their elitist approach. Most are certainly not at all activists for the organ or for the promotion of time-honoured organ music or for the organ and — as I’ve made quite clear up above — they don’t encourage others to play the organ in the church.

I think of the AGO as a cult really. Of course the AGO would disagree and or live in denial about that, but the truth hurts, doesn’t it? And do they ever wonder why their membership is so pathetically low? Ultimately, they are directly responsible for their own demise. Chau.—el barrio rosa