My year as Grand Organist, Order of the Eastern Star, State of Louisiana, has come to a successful close. It was a huge amount of music to perform. Interestingly, there was a similarity to playing in a lounge: everyone talked through much of the prelude music for each session. That’s 105 minutes of music right there! As a musician, you have to be philosophic about “talk-over”. You’re putting your best out there, giving your all, and being ignored by many (most?).
When I was little, my mother practiced marches for Eastern Star, and I galloped around the living room rug. I wanted nothing more than to be able to play that glorious music. (Scot Joplin’s ragtime marches evoke the same joy for me.) I begged for piano lessons for a year; when I was three years old, she gave in and let me begin. Although I was trained as a classical pianist, this week’s performance goes back to the roots of my love affair with music. This one’s a tribute to all the sacrifices my mother made to give me 15 years of piano lessons. I only wish I could have achieved it in her lifetime.
Linda commented that she’d certainly recommend taking all the music I owned. Well, Linda, I left a bit at home, but there was a triumph from taking all that I did. Several years ago I attended a friendship exchange in Texas, where they were selling (among other things) a march written for Renee Ofton, who is about to become the international head of Eastern Star. I read the music, and it was a good, catchy tune, so I bought it. I have used it a lot since, so it was in the back of one of my music notebooks. I had no idea Mrs. Ofton would be visiting our grand session this year! When she was presented, I whipped out her march and played it. Yes! I couldn’t leave the piano, but DH was kind enough to take the march to Mrs. Ofton and get her very gracious autograph. (I know, you’re mostly knitters, not musicians… so think the Yarn Harlot complimenting your socks!)
I have a few pictures to share with you, but they are the ones that were taken with my camera. DH took many beautiful pictures of me in my formals with his camera. Unfortunately, he left the camera under his chair the last evening. It may find its way home yet, as our members had to clear the hall of all our decorations. Fingers crossed!
One of the perks of being a grand officer is getting a fancy door tag for your room. It takes so little to make me happy!
Here is a picture of me, along with DD and DH, at the Saturday night banquet. Yes, I can get dressed up!
Finally, here is a picture of the entire group of grand officers for our year. I’m in the front row, the second lady to the right of center, and wearing a long-sleeved blue shirt. The ladies’ shirts have an angel embroidered on the front and back shoulder (our theme mascot); the mens’ shirts have clowns on them, to honor the Shriner’s clowns. Last spring I did the machine embroidery for all of them, plus a shirt for each officer’s escort. Now you know why there was a big gap in my knitting progress last year!