Yesterday morning we held the first of the five Musical Bites in the Church. This is a variation on the Coffee Mornings that have been run once a month during the summer in aid of the Church Restoration Fund, however the Musical Bites are raising money for the purchase of a Grand Piano for our church. The Piano will fundraise for both the Organ and the Restoration Fund, as well as provide a backup for Church services when there are problems with the organ. Our current piano is very old, only 85 note compass and doesn't stay in tune very well, it is also upright and is not of concert standard, which means several concert offers are on standby awaiting a better instrument.
Sylvia and I welcomed people with the Piano Key Raffle - £1 for a key, put a star on the chosen key and write name on numbered list. David had photographed an octave on his piano, printed it on A4 paper 7 times and I stuck the octaves together to make an 85 note compass, which just fitted the long table from end to end. After they had participated in the Piano Key Raffle people either made a beeline for the organ loft or for the lovely refreshments we had on offer, including real cappuccino (from a borrowed machine). Marian operated the online video Dan the Magic Musician in the choir vestry - this video serves as an introduction to the organ (we showed it at the Year 5 and 6 Education day), and my elder daughter ran a colouring in corner for child visitors. Andrew had taken a few wooden stopped pipes out of the organ and placed them on a table for people to pick up and blow. Dai took 2 of these pipes into the high street and used them as part of his 'encouraging people to come in' tactics, which worked well, as we had quite a few unfamiliar faces enter the church that morning. One person even made enquiries about church services, and we gave her last week's leaflet.
The first musical bite gave all visitors, young and not so young, a chance to play the organ, inbetween mini recitals from Andrew, James, and Jacob. Each time a recital was due to start, David rang a bell and announced it. Visitor experiments at the organ console were supervised by Dave King whilst Andrew talked to people about the organ action. John fielded questions from several visitors, and also took photos. One visitor had not realised that every organ is unique, and the same organ would sound different in another church because of building acoustics.
At the end of the morning we packed up and counted the donations and payments for refreshments, the grand total came to £328.42 which is very pleasing.
I would like to thank all the organ fund group for enthusiastically helping beforehand and on the day, David for the great idea and co-ordinating everything, Fiona, Shirley, Heather and Nina for serving refreshments, Sue for the basket of whole cakes we sold alongside the raffle, several people for donating cakes and flapjacks to go with the coffee and tea and everyone who came along for an enjoyable morning getting to know our pipe organ.
The next Musical Bite is on 14th November 2009, and is a sing a long for everyone.