For the past year or so, I've been responding to ads for church organists. Not much success so far, but that has been my own fault. I play a synth keyboard at my current church job. So, I haven't been dutifully practicing my organ chops, particularly my pedal board chops.
My church does own a Baldwin knock-off of a Hammond B3. So, I do have an organ with a pedal board for practice purposes. But, I've been practicing sporadically, only when a job opens up. A week or two of frantic practice on the pedal board is not embedding the skill in my feet. I'm still looking down to locate the proper pedal, and making a ton of mistakes.
Why do I want a different church job?
Well, I'm not sure that I do, which might account for my unpreparedness for the auditions. I would like to have access to a good grand piano and a custom pipe organ, and my church does not have either. Nor is either instrument within my budget.
Making a significant salary as a church organist might be a good thing. I say "might" because the result of increasing my income could be higher taxes on my Social Security payout and little net gain in spendable income.
Most of the well paying organist jobs are in Protestant churches. I'm not planning on abandoning my Catholic faith, and I'm not sure how to navigate that dilemma. Or whether I should even try. I figure I can do a Sunday service and a weeknight choir practice at a Protestant church, and still attend a Saturday night Vigil Mass.
I have decided to get to work on my organ technique. That means getting back to Bach, in this case back to the Preludes and Fugues for Organ. I ordered this set of 8 from Amazon yesterday.
The plan is now to stay after Mass to practice organ for an hour, and to attend a weekday morning Mass and stay afterward for a practice session. Within a few months, I should be able to play the pedals reflexively, without looking down at my feet to check out their position.
So, next time a worthwhile position opens up, I'll be ready!