I'm not a pianist but I was able to play the piano in the Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, La Carlota Philippines Stake for the first time. It took me the courage and sense of responsibility to do it since I got the will power to do it. Besides no one will do the task of doing it. The leaders noticed me that I could play it though not in a professional way.
|The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Chapel|
During the conference, I got a mixed feeling of nervousness and joy. I did pray secretly from one of the rooms in the Chapel before the conference begins that I may have the courage to play the piano for the 34-member choir of La Carlota Philippines Stake in the semi-annual conference sometime in 1985 for the first time in my life.
|The author is playing the piano for the first time |
in the Church conference
The desire to play the piano had developed in me for I was almost observing Sister Lanza every time she practiced piano in the Church for Sunday Service. When she was through practicing, I took over and spent an hour or so finding the right tune for the right notes. Playing piano is an added skill I want to have for I am an amateur guitar player and knew a little about notes reading as taught by our high school music teacher.
To make it easier for me to play the accompaniment, I adapted the guitar chords to the musical notes and devised my own technique of playing the piano by using the chords I marked in the hymnbook. It took me a lot of of practice and patience especially in rehearsing the choir members according to their group of voices like the soprano and alto for the women, and tenor and bass for the men.
The following were the hymns shown in parts I played:
And our special choir hymn:
While I was playing the piano, I overcame my nervousness and while I finished playing the accompaniment to all Church hymns, I felt that I am a professional piano player. I overheard the angels are singing and I was playing with them. Deep in my heart, I could sense the feeling of spiritual contentment, feeling of joy for playing "the songs of heart, the songs of inspiration," and the songs of eternal happiness.
In the later part, I realized that the song of the heart, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto the Lord. And this is indeed true. The scripture so reveals, "For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea the song pf the of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their head" (D& 25:12).
From that time on, every time there is a Church conference, I am the pianist for 5 years. I stopped playing the piano when I became a teacher and momentarily became inactive from the Church quite sometime due to the pressure of my job. When I came back to the Church, there was already a group of member-pianists who take turn in the Church conferences. The Church has come up with a manual for would-be Church pianist, with simple step-by-step instructions on how to play the Church hymns. And a simplified piano accompaniment was printed with tape recorded music.