Rehearsing and Performing

While it seems very obvious to anyone who performs as a musician, either professionally or as an amateur, I don’t think that everyone else is aware of the vast difference between performing and practicing. Probably at least once each month, someone expresses shock that I – having made music professionally for forty years – need […]


It was truly a unique opportunity. A set of symphony concerts, in the regular subscription series, opening with 14 minutes of solo organ music. I can’t think of any time I’ve heard of that happening in a major concert hall in this country. When I was asked if I was available and interested in doing […]

From Yale to Cambridge and Back

Ten weeks ago I made music in the most famous, and ancient, musical space in the Christian world:  King’s College, Cambridge.  Sitting on the organ screen, I felt humbled to realize that it was constructed in celebration of the marriage of King Henry VIII to Ann Boleyn.  Their initials are carved into the screen just […]

If I had One Week Left to Live

Life is about balance: work and play, arguments and lovemaking, taking in and giving back, the expansion of travel and the concentration of being at home. I try to live my life in such a way that these two poles are always in balance. As a consequence, I don’t believe that I would feel a […]

The Future of CDs

The following is taken from my final review which I wrote for the Journal of the Association of Anglican Musicians.  It gives my ideas about the future of the recording industry. This is my last CD column for the AAM Journal. I’ve greatly enjoyed the process of writing reviews, listening to CDs, and consulting with […]

Playing Bach


Much has been written about Bach – with new biographies coming out nearly every year.  When going about writing something about Bach, what can one say that hasn’t been said many times already?   Very little, most likely, that the average attender at an All-Bach organ recital would not already know. So I opt to […]

Peter Hallock

Peter Hallock, composer, performer, mystic, philosopher, and church musician, died yesterday afternoon at the age of 89. He died peacefully within moments of returning to his beloved home in Fall City, Washington. He was my closest friend and mentor of 25 years. What follows is a letter to him as he rests beyond the grave. […]

Hello to Berlin

I am part-way through my summer tour of ten concerts in Europe, having already played in the cathedral in Mainz and the Abbey Church in Steinfeld and am now aboard the train to Braunschweig where I’ll play a concert tomorrow in the late afternoon (le quatorze juillet). George and I spent five days of honest-to-goodness […]

Singing with Full Heart and Voice

It is the common denominator among nearly all church organists that we go about our weekly routine hearing one thing in our head and another in our ears. Nowhere is this more true than congregational singing – be it hymns, parts of the Ordinary of the Mass, or Acclamations. I’ve just finished a week with […]

On Beauty

The Trinity gets a bum rap these days. Most people equate it with Christian dogma about the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – a theology that seems strictly theoretical at best – and irrelevant at worst. But I think it’s useful to ponder how three-ness makes life work. In the world of dimensions, it means […]