Q: What were your earliest
recollections...when you
first began to think about

A: I suppose that would be
about 3 or 4 years old.   I
remember walking on the
driveway and all of a
sudden...a feeling of what I
would call "possibility"
swept over me.

Q.  How did that feel?

A:  Sort of like the feeling that
something important was
going to happen and I was
going to be there.

Q.  Did something happen?

A:  I suppose you could say
it did...I grew up.   I like to
phrase it like this, looking at
it from the perspective of 50
years or so.   It is like the
gradual clarification of a
vague notion or idea...the
clarification comes
incrementally, bit by bit.   I
have never forgotten the
feeling and over the years
considered is many times.

Q.  What were your earliest
musical experience that
put you on the track of
becoming a musician?

A:  Oh, I remember that ...we
had an RCA Victor
phonograph...his masters
voice with the dog logo.  I
remember listening to the
music which was early CW
music by Jean Autry I think.  I
started going to the piano
and trying to play the music.  
I think that was what led my
mother to start my piano

Q:  You didn't have music?

A:  Oh no!  Just
improvisitation on the piano
in the same key as it was
played on the record.

Q:  So you remember
things from the second and
third years?  Can you say

A:  Oh yes I suppose.  The
detail is there.  Only the
more important milestones
are porbably significant.
A lot of memories are
probably best kept personal.
 There is not room enough
here to relate them.  I think
about them sometimes.   It
is like running a film, frame
by frame....I can choose a
frame and wander around in
it.  The older you get the
more you do that I think.

Q:  Were you pretty much
like the other
boys...baseball, games etc?

A:  Yes I suppose, except for
about an hour of practice
from 4 or 5 years on.  You
have to realize that I lived in
the "country".  Town was 6
miles away at that time so I
pretty much entertained

Q:  So you had selfe
esteem quite early in life?

A:  This business of self
esteem was not an issue
during that period.  There
was not a proactive
preoccupation with it.  You
did something well and you
recieved recognition.  You
felt good about it.   The test
was always "what have you
accomplished" not what
have you been told.

Q:  Self esteem was not an
issue then.

A:  Not only was it not an
issue it was a non-issue!
The current fixation on  
providing self esteem to
people, especially kids was
not on the table for a very
good reason.

Q:  People were not

A:  No!  They were
enlightened!  They knew that
if you accomplished
something and did it well,
self esteem followed.  An
organ builder once told be
that praise  cannot be
bought, advertised for, or
lectured to you, it comes
automatically  when you do
something so well that
praise is inevitable.  Self
esteem is just part of that.  
No big deal.

Q:  You don't favor trying to
teach self-esteem?

A:  Sure, go ahead and try.  
Knock yourself out!  What
you will find is that if you
persist in an outcome
based education experience
with no good, bad, better,
best, worst distinctions, you
will never have a basis for a
child to judge against.  
There are no standards in
this type of education.  But
when you get in the real
world there are standards.  
When faced with standards
people loose a self esteem
based on mediocrity and
absense of standards.   You
have to discriminate
between mediocrity and
Q:  Did you do the normal
things like have a gun etc.

A: Oh sure!  I was never
without it.  My friends and I
trapped rabbits, shot
squirrles and really thought
we were living off the
land...just like in the old

Q:  How do you put that
together with music?

A:  The woods were where I
could get away from
adults...where they wouldn't
go or could not go.   This
was quiet, solitude and time
to think and imagine.

Q:  Do you think you would
do the same today at that

A:  Probably not.   With TV
and all the activities that
most kids do,  I would
probably not do anything
very well...just a smattering
of everything.   Although I
think my parents would
intercept that.   They were
German background and
really emphasized quality.

Q:  So you don't agree with
the modern lifestyle of kids.

A:  In short, no.  There is too
much doing nothing time.  
Amateur sports, classes of
all kinds and time spent in
doing things that will almost
never translate into adult
life...except the medirocity of
it all.

Q:  For example ?

A:  Well, take sports.   A kid
today is probably imvolved
in socker, baseball, karate,  
and all sorts of similar
things that never have much
of a payoff except a good
time....sort of like TV.

Q  But isn't that ok.  Isn't
that doing things to round
out the person.

A:  Maby, but since almost
everyone who has done that
wishes they hadn't...?   For
example take the typical
person at 30 years old.   The
old "I wish I could do
something like play the
piano" is a frequent
comment.  Quite sad when
you hear it spoken from the
heart and you know they
really wish the clock could
be turned back.

Q:  What are your thoughts
on parental action in this

A:   Well, parents are
supposed to know that kids
will take the course of least
resistance, usually if you let
them.  But real
accomplishment takes
work.  Then you get into the
conversation about values.

Q:  How do you mean that?

A:  I suppose it comes down
to the cultural values of the
parents and their upbringing.
How they were taught etc.

Q: Do you have an ideal in
mind...like a favorite

A:  I suppose I have a bias
in favor of Western
European and Japaneese
My experience tends to
validate these two cultural
approaches to child
education and training.
It is more or less expected
that children will excell in
some skill early in life rather
than just play at everything.

Q:  So you think this is the
best approach?

A:  There is always an
exception to the rule.  But
there is always a common  
thread that tends to foster
success.   This always
comes from dedicated and
educated parents who direct
and plan and promote their
children's education.

Q:  So what would be your
advise to parents and
children who want to excell
in music?

A:  Start early; parents
decide; provide a structure
for success.

Q:  Like what?

A:  Look, let me give you an
example.   The Japaneese
head of the house says,
Yoshi, you are 4 years old
and it is time to start piano
That's it...no
conversation...Yoshi starts
piano and practices.  6
years later the child plays
well and has considerable
self esteem...esteem from
doing something well.  This
is training for life.  There is
always this question of
talent.  If there is talent then
it is worthwhile to pursue.
But look, there are other
things than music you know.
Everyone doesn't have to
develop it.  I think it is best if
you do because you can't go
back and do it later.
Q:  I would like to talk about
when you, in looking back,
think you first had what we
call self esteem?

A:  I think that came about
naturally when I found
myself playing for two
churches and weddings
and making money and
people giving me praise
and attention.  Remeber
$200 per month for a 10
year old is not bad in 1950.  
This translates to about
$1000 per month in todays

Q:  The praise and money
didn't go to your head?

A:  Heavens no!  My practice
schedule was 3 hours a
day, choir rehersal and two
services on sunday plus
school work and wedding
etc.  I earned it.

Q:  What is your view on

A:  You need to make it and
spend it.  Only if you spend
what you yourself make will
you ever get the real
connection that money is
distilled work.  If you do that
you will make the right
decisions about money.
I've made money and I've
lost money and made it
back again.   I can't say I
would take it back either.  
money is important, it
represents freedom.  It
allows creative freedom in
your life.

Q:  I see you love cars?

A:  Sure, what guy doesen't.
I prefer sports cars to the
land yachts.   I had both.
Over the years I have had
chevy convert,  a '35 chev
with a vette engine, a toyota
truck, two nissans, and right
now a Honda Prelude and a
'01 Vette.  The prelude is
great.   Its quick, agile and
good mileage.   The Vetter
is....well, what can I say!  
Lets put it this way, it will get
you in trouble real easy and
has the potential, if you want
to spend a few bucks on
horsepower, to blow
anything off the road.  I like it
because it is America's only
Sports Car.   I'm pro

Q:  To change the subject,
what do you think of the
future of church organists
given the technology of
today's music instrument?

A:  The future of traditional
instruments like the piano
and pipe organ will
continue. Trends come and
go.  Lets look at a few:  
Catholics are in many
cases going back to Latin.  
Many evangical churches
are installing large pipe or
pipe/electronic organs.  The
electronic piano has its
place but even evangical
churches have concert
grand pianos.   What does
that tell you?   In my opinion
it says that people
eventually see through
shallowness in all things
and opt for the real thing.

Q:  So you think much of
church music is shallow?

A:  Not so much that.
Contemporary music has its
place and time.  Drums and
cymbals and tambourines
have their place but
eventually quality and true
greatness in music wins out.

Q:  Like how does it?

A:  It wins when a child is
brought up in a church never
hearing a concert pipe
organ, or a concert grand
piano or a great singer or
choir.  This child goes to
college and finally hears all
that.  The first thing that
happens is that they
eventually go to their
parents and with more than
mild irritation in many cases
ask, "Why didn't you ever let
me hear that type of music?"
 Usually the answer is "well,
thats the kind of music our
church has."  The response
is usually something like, "I
want you to know that had I
heard music like Bach,
Handel and Mozart, I might
have been something in
music.  I never had a
chance mom, you didn't
show me the best  dad.  I'll
make sure my kids have the

I sure would not want to be
the parent on the recieving
end of that exchange..
would you?

Q:  I suppose not.  What
can a parent do then?

A:  Expose your child to the
best in everything and tell
them the truth.  Take them to
music events.  There are
concerts in abundance at
churches, civic centers and
universities.  When they ask
why they don't do that kind of
music at their church, tell
them the truth.  But never
attempt to compare the
quality of a Bach or Handel
oratorio. a glorious toccatta,
in the hands of a trained  
organist in a reverbrant
building with a little ditty on a
synthesizer and guitar.  It
just can't be done.   If you try
it it will come back to reflect
on your parental credibility.

Q:  Are weddings difficult?
Are they  emotional and

A:  Usually no, except when
they are.  You have to keep
in mind that most people
only do one wedding.   So
they don't have much
experience.  It is vitally
important that someone,
usually the organist to let
them know that all will be

The difficulty with weddings
is to get everyone on the
same page and agree
about things.  The easy way
to do that is to listen first
then suggest.

In my case, I try to paint a
picture of the wedding as a
process using music as the
thread that connects.

Q:  What is your philosophy
about music for weddings?

A:  Have the very best
possible, tastefully done.  
Use pforessional singers
and instrumental players
and use quality music from
the great heritage of the
church.  If the organist can't
play it, find one who can.

Q:  Do you use popular

A:  Only a very few popular
songs make the grade.  
They probably number
about a half dozen.  Some
churches allow it.   Those
that do probably don't have
professional musicians or a
high level music program.  
That is just the way it is.

My thinking is that the
wedding service is a
worship service and in
some churches considered
a sacrement.  The great
hymns and classic music
for organ, voice and
instruments seem to be
appropriate for the
importance attached to the
wedding service.
Save the pop music for the
reception where it belongs.
Again this gets into making
judgments and
discriminating between
things that have lasting
value and things that are
transient in nature.

Q:  But if someone wants a
favorite song that was their
song when they were
dating, isn't that ok?

A:  Sure its ok.  But probably
not in the church service.   
Like I said there are a few
that are used.  Again, if there
are no boundries and
standards then what does it
all mean at that point.  Why
not just do anything?
This brings up a point.  
Sometimes people push on
this and my response is to
suggest that they use a civic
venue rather than a church.

If you want a taste of
standards, then call an
Episcopal Cathedral or a
Lutheran church and see
just how high the standards
really are.   You will be
amazed.  Yet people want
quality and heritage.  There
is no shortage of those who
want the best music for their

Q:  What is the  typical
wedding music program?

A:  Usually we use organ
and trumpet, sometimes
include tympani.  Usually a
singer.   Sometimes a
quartet and ocassionally a
boy's choir.  I really varies
with the brides interests and
budget.   Of course bell
peals and carillon music.

Sometimes we have a full
40 miniute prenuptial
concert and other times just
prelude music 15 or 20
minutes before the service.  
It varies.

Q:  What is your favorite
kind of organ?

A:  Pipe of course or digital
pipe combination, played
from a three or four manual
console.  In my case I'm
lucky,  St. Matthew supports
music to a high degree.  Our
current Schantz organ is
quite capable but suffers
from lack of tonal resources
adequate for concert
purposes.  Our new
instrument is a 4 manual,
100 rank pipe/digital
combination organ.  We will
have an antiphonal
above the altar and
Ethereal Strings division in
the high point of the roof.  
The main organ will speak
from the organ loft.  We will
be able to perform virtually
all  the works for organ in  
their glory as concieved by
the composer.
Weddings will be absolutely
grand and touch on the
ambiance of the cathedral.