Susanna Valleau, Music Director
This Sunday will be the last time that the music in our worship is led by our organ. As I will be away celebrating my brother’s wedding, I have played the St. Dunstan’s organ for the last time and find myself a little sentimental, reflecting back on all the services I’ve played, the repertoire I’ve practiced, the stops I’ve avoided and the ones I relied on. It has been a challenging instrument to bring to life, and, as always when faced with a challenge, I’ve learned a lot from it. I’m curious about what the next eight months hold, what it will feel like to lead music exclusively from the piano while our sanctuary is transformed.
Our organ came to us as a used instrument from a local temple. When it was installed in 1978, it was replacing an electronic organ. While I have no idea what process and discernment took place in deciding to replace an electronic organ with a pipe organ, I like to imagine it was similar to the process we’ve just undergone: the instrument of our forebears was no longer suitable to lead worship. They had dreams for the future of their parish and decided a pipe organ was the only way forward. Forty years later, in the face of an instrument that no longer supports our needs or dreams, we too have decided to invest in our future.
It is amazing to think about all of the services our organ has been a part of: all of the baptisms, weddings, funerals, evensongs, Holy Weeks, Easters, Christmases; every Sunday service for decades. It is amazing to think of all the musicians who have played it, who have brought it to life to supporting congregational hymns and lead the choir. It is important to celebrate how lucky we are that forty years ago, members of St. Dunstan’s invested in this instrument, an instrument that has helped us define ourselves as a congregation that loves and values music.
And now we look forward. Yes, we face a potentially challenging eight months as our space is transformed. But I am so, so proud that over the last few years, we have made such intentional discernment about who we are and who we want to be. I am beyond delighted that our vision includes investing in a new organ. Not just for us, but for our future.
And with that, please join me in saying a prayer of thanksgiving for our organ. Amen!