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November 5, 2004
Vol. IV, No. 29

"Here Comes Santa Claus!"
Halloween is over which means, of course, that it's time to start preparing for Christmas. Really?

For starters, there's still time to save some money on Christmas music. is offering 20% off select Christmas titles for piano, voice and guitar. They've put 70 of their best-selling Christmas titles on sale, including a wide selection of timeless songbooks, unusual finds, and their most popular artist collections. Aside from the sale items, they have hundreds of organ selections available. Click the link below and then click on "Organ." Sale ends Nov. 18, 2004.

Just a reminder that November is American Indian Heritage Month. See FREE Workshop #7 by community member Will W. Rogers to discover the connection between "Amazing Grace" and the Cherokee:

On a related note, community member Norman L. Selby has an interpretation of "Amazing Grace" on the Composition Free Exchange page:

If you're looking for some ideas about what to play for Christmas, try my FREE Workshop #14: "A Christmas Carol...for Next Year." "Every Christmas Eve, the church where I play invites me to perform a half-hour concert of organ music. The only guidance given for the planning of the program is that it be comprised of Christmas carols, not Christmas songs. The first time I had to prepare such a program (1995), I wasn't exactly sure how to proceed. My previous experiences had all been repertoire-based, drawing on the Christmas music of "legitimate" composers (Bach, Handel, Messiaen, etc.)."

You may have already noticed a new functionality on the website. The Monthly Links are now searchable, going back to March 2003. You may search by category (Organs, Books, Sheet Music, CDs) or search any or all categories using a keyword or short phrase.

That's it for now but I think that's a good kick-off for the holidays. Onward!

Click this link to read comments and offer your own:

Updated Pages
Articles Library:
Added is "The Acolyte - A Chat with the Pianist" by Stuart Isacoff from The New York Sun, November 1, 2004. Although not an organist, pianist Daniel Barenboim has some interesting things to say about Bach. The author, too, is a Bach fan. "What is it about Bach that stirs such strong reactions? For one thing, his ismusic of extraordinary imagination, written at a time when a clockmaker God still commanded a well-ordered universe. Bach envisions musical possibilities with an almost inhuman ease and unfolds them with breathtaking beauty and logic. Melodic strands are taken up in one register of the instrument, then in another - tossed back and forth or staggered so that one entrance interrupts what another has already begun. Themes are played forward and backward and stood on their heads in mirror form. Amazingly, in Bach's hands all these individual instrumental 'voices' blend into the most thrilling harmonies." Click this link to read on:

Pipes Hall of Fame:
Newly inducted are Susanne Forrest and Idaho State University, Pocatello, Idaho. "For years, Idaho State University did without a pipe organ to teach its students on. The $100,000 price tag was just too much for a new one. So students were forced to learn on church organs throughout the city. But now a Pocatello woman is donating her own pipe organ. Her name is Susanne Forrest and even though it's worth about $25,000, she is willing to give it away." Click the following link to read more:

WHAT I'M READING..."The Perfect Wrong Note: Learning to Trust Your Musical Self" by William Westney. The author has many interesting things to say about wrong notes, mistakes in general and practicing the "right" way. Reading this book has provided an excellent opportunity to sit down and assess my work habits and philosophies of playing and performing. Click the link below for more information on this book:
Click this link to see all selections in Dan's Book Club:

WHAT I'M LISTENING TO..."1984" by Van Halen. I can listen to this album over and over and I do. While it may not be as raw as some of the earlier VH albums, it shows them at the peak of their development, doing what they do best. All the songs are winners. Click the link below for more information on this CD:
Click this link to see all selections in Dan's CD Club:

WHAT I'M WATCHING..."The Manchurian Candidate (1962)" Starring: Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey, Janet Leigh. Black and white. Great cast. It's hard to imagine that the recent remake is better in any way from this original classic. I watched it on Election night. A bit haunting. Click the link below for more information on this DVD:
Click this link to see all selections in Dan's DVD Club:


Have a great week!

Dan Long

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