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  1. #1

    Default And now back to our program

    I think I'm in a time machine:

    This morning it was told to me that the reason we don't have drums and saxophone at our church was because they are not a part of "our" culture.
    Then, "if we had more African Americans then it would be appropriate."
    (I didn't say a word to solicit this information. I was wearing an iPod with the sound turned off.)

    I have gone from the 12th century to Jim Crow in a month.
    My actions are my only true possession they are the ground on which I stand. Thich Nhat Hahn

  2. #2
    Forum Contributor 2014 Pete Thomas's Avatar
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    Default Re: And now back to our program

    I'm impressed that they are even aware that Adolphe Sax was black, not a lot of people know that.

  3. #3

    Default Re: And now back to our program

    The burning cross in front of the church should have been a clue.
    I used to play in a church that use to pick up people in the projects, Black and White, and beg the pennies out of their pockets. I had to quit even though it did pay well.

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    SOTW Administrator hakukani's Avatar
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    Default Re: And now back to our program

    How many African Americans would it take?
    Sound guy theory of relativity: E=mc^2 (+or- 3dB)
    Sax player theory of relativity: E=mc^2 (+or- .010" at the tip)
    "Free jazz is the vegemite of the musical world. It's an acquired taste."-J. Jacques

  5. #5

    Default Re: And now back to our program

    Quote Originally Posted by hakukani View Post
    How many African Americans would it take?
    Only one if he played the sax

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    Distinguished SOTW Member/Sax Historian paulwl's Avatar
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    Default Re: And now back to our program

    Quote Originally Posted by vonbraig View Post
    I think I'm in a time machine:

    This morning it was told to me that the reason we don't have drums and saxophone at our church was because they are not a part of "our" culture.
    Then, "if we had more African Americans then it would be appropriate."
    (I didn't say a word to solicit this information. I was wearing an iPod with the sound turned off.)

    I have gone from the 12th century to Jim Crow in a month.
    Progress, baby!

    No, seriously tho...sometimes you have to to keep from

    Ask the individual if it would be appropriate to play in blackface. St. Louis clearly has a ways to go to reach the 21st century, so you may create an opportunity for yourself, or at least some publicity. There's no such thing as bad publicity.
    Jazz = a man with a $5,000 horn driving a $500 car to a $50 gig.
    Conn, Buescher & Martin Saxes - Selmer & Conn Clarinets - Woodwind, Morgan, Link & Brilhart Mouthpieces - Alexander Reeds

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    Forum Contributor 2014 Pete Thomas's Avatar
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    Default Re: And now back to our program

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris D View Post
    Only one if he played the sax
    Well, as the answer was "if we had more African Americans then it would be appropriate."

    This implies there is at least one. Otherwise it would have been: "if we had some African Americans then it would be appropriate."

    But I'm not sure whether he (or she) being a sax player is relevant.

    To summarise:

    They have at least one African American. But there is no mention of other people with roots in that great continent of saxes and drums. e.g. West Indians, British black people (is it Ok to say that?) arabs, moors, berbers etc.

    Presumably banjos are also banned?

  8. #8
    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
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    Default Re: And now back to our program

    I am sure that Shofars are also not really welcome since I could assume that there are not enough Jews in their congregation ..........though some Christian denominations do play the ancient Biblical ram's horn. I find its sound beautiful and compelling

  9. #9
    SOTW Administrator hakukani's Avatar
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    Default Re: And now back to our program

    Seems to me that this particular place of worship should not have any instruments at all, only voice, no choir, and instead of a church, they should meet in the catacombs with the rest of the dead bodies just like the first century Christians did.
    Sound guy theory of relativity: E=mc^2 (+or- 3dB)
    Sax player theory of relativity: E=mc^2 (+or- .010" at the tip)
    "Free jazz is the vegemite of the musical world. It's an acquired taste."-J. Jacques

  10. #10
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Logician Grumps's Avatar
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    Default Re: And now back to our program

    But nothing wrong with going into church with an ipod plugged in your ears... though for this one, it might help.

  11. #11

    Default Re: And now back to our program

    Our school is 50% black and 50% white. On Sunday's the Church has about 5 to 10 African Americans who attend most of the time.

    The school tries activily to convert the non-Catholic kids. Just about all the white kids are Catholic. Only about 5% of the African American kids are Catholic.

    The priest said to me in the interview that he could live at any time it would be the 12th Century. I told him any time after anti-biotics for me!
    My actions are my only true possession they are the ground on which I stand. Thich Nhat Hahn

  12. #12
    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
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    Default Re: And now back to our program


  13. #13
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Sax Historian paulwl's Avatar
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    Default Re: And now back to our program

    Quote Originally Posted by vonbraig View Post
    The priest said to me in the interview that he could live at any time it would be the 12th Century.
    How convenient. No Martin Luther and no Martin Luther King.
    Jazz = a man with a $5,000 horn driving a $500 car to a $50 gig.
    Conn, Buescher & Martin Saxes - Selmer & Conn Clarinets - Woodwind, Morgan, Link & Brilhart Mouthpieces - Alexander Reeds

  14. #14

    Default Re: And now back to our program

    Ha that is funny man. My wife was Luthern and took 9 months of classes because I wanted the family to be Catholic, I really tired to get down with it. Now she and the girls will join Immanuel Luthern and I will be worshiping a golden calf.
    My actions are my only true possession they are the ground on which I stand. Thich Nhat Hahn

  15. #15
    SOTW Administrator hakukani's Avatar
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    Default Re: And now back to our program

    Quote Originally Posted by paulwl View Post
    How convenient. No Martin Luther and no Martin Luther King.
    But there was Hildegarde, the only ray of sunshine in an otherwise horrible time.
    Sound guy theory of relativity: E=mc^2 (+or- 3dB)
    Sax player theory of relativity: E=mc^2 (+or- .010" at the tip)
    "Free jazz is the vegemite of the musical world. It's an acquired taste."-J. Jacques

  16. #16
    Forum Contributor 2009 saxguy007's Avatar
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    Default Re: And now back to our program

    I'm going to be (excuse the expression) the Devil's Advocate here. Setting aside actual dogma, corporate Christian worship comes in a dizzying array of flavors, with respect to the flavor of the messages/sermons, and the MUSIC. People aggregate in their choice among this palette based on their comfort level with these elements, either based on their upbringing and familiarity, or maybe with where they are on their spiritual path. Ergo, it may be that the music as staid and traditional as it is, is the sweet spot comfort level with these people, and leadership does not want the apple cart tipped over.

    The dark side of all this is that it is self-perpetuating in a cycle. My church suffers from this in our music (as played solely by volunteers). We play Caucasian Tomlin-esque contemporary Christian with only precious rare forays into R&B (like Israel Houghton) because our worship leader believes (rightly IMO), that a certain level of vocal and groove proficiency is needed to pull it off authentically, and none of the blacks in our mixed congregation will step up to help pull it off....

    ....because they only see Whites on stage performing contemporary caucasian Christian (and I note that many Black congregants trickle in toward the END of the three-song worship set that opens our service.....

    ...and assume that the kind of music they could help generate is not welcome....

    Despite very direct appeals to our congregation to break this cycle and diversify our talent base, it aint happened yet.

    Back to your story, yes, the feedback you got was clunky and ham-handed, but I can at least in a cynical way, see where they're coming from.
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  17. #17
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    Default Re: And now back to our program

    We had to endure any number of crappy acoustic acts, from the late '60's onward.

    I'd probably start going to Mass again if I could be treated to a full tilt boogie band.
    ... sax, drums.. bring it on!
    My wife, whose ears I trust, said that my sound is much fuller, richer, more powerful and resonant on this set up.
    ... but really folks... my wife said, " It sounds like a saxophone ".

  18. #18

    Default Re: And now back to our program

    i'm not trying to step on any toes (definately not trying to start a debate), but this is perfectly logical... what i find interesting is your approach to music and it's apparent dichotomy with your 'situation'.
    .
    folks that tend towards such kind of thinking are going to tend towards a place that makes them feel comfortable (relatively). >take a deep breath and count to ten< catholic doctrine is not the same as protestant doctrine (lutheran being the 1st generation of this AFTER the catholic doctrine - do research to find out the BEFORE). the differences are debated (and i don't want to start that here), but what's very important is why and when those differences came to be. you might be surprised at the answer. you apparently don't go tho this church for the music, so why do you go? if it is because of the christian faith, then i think you will be pleasanlty surpirsed if you take a good, long look at the manual and consider alternatives (protestant churches that may have a more life-like approach to music). you do consider martin luther a christian, right? you prolly know that he was a prolific song writer (and arranger?). surely you know the lutheran's anthem "a mighty fortress is our god"?. luther really believed in the power of music to teach, inspire, encourage, and empower. i think your wife may be a godsend.
    .
    if you could hear what i hear, you'd like it a lot better than what i play.

  19. #19
    Mike Letus's Avatar
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    Default Re: And now back to our program

    I have to agree with a couple of the posts here (ten man and saxguy007) in that going to a congregation that embraces tradition and has a uniform service week after week after year after year does not lend itself to changes in how the worship music will be played. I have noticed that SOME of the major mainline churches have a more contemporary service, usually on Saturday or Sunday evening, that will have more updated music. If you want the comfortableness of a traditional service you'll more than likely have to accept a more traditional music selection.

  20. #20

    Default Re: And now back to our program

    The Preacher is a "Blues Brothers" fan and thinks he's James Brown?

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