In honor of my traveling career coming to an end, I thought I’d share a few funny stories from the road. Both happened while I was playing the piano for a service. You need to be ready for anything when you’re a hymn player. 🙂
During the last seven summers, I served as the Camp Pianist and Music Secretary at Northland Camp. One summer, Mike Egerdahl (whom I used to travel with) was the Music Leader. One night during the invitation of an evening service, the Speaker asked to sing a very old hymn for the invitation. I happened to have a hymn book at the piano and quickly turned to the page. I knew Mike did not have a hymn book and did not know the song. So I proceeded to mouth the words to him a line in advance as I played and he lead the congregation in singing. The funny thing is that neither of us had time to plan what we would do. We read each others thoughts and proceeded with the invitation. Every thing went smoothly for that invitation and no one ever knew our trial. The ironic thing is that I can’t read lips at all so it’s a good thing I wasn’t the one having to lead the congregation in singing.
This story also happened at Northland except during the University’s opening evangelistic meetings. I was there with Steve Pettit and played the piano for all the congregational singing as well as our team specials during the services. One night the monitor speaker at the piano was not working correctly. This was a problem because all of the speakers in the auditorium were pointing away from me and it was impossible for me to hear anything being spoken from the pulpit while I was playing the piano. This became a big problem when I was playing an invitation one evening. As I was playing along, I was catching about one out of five words being spoken from the pulpit. All I heard were the words “sing” and “stand”. So I proceeded to come to a cadence of the song I was playing and prepared to lead the congregation into singing. They all stood but no one starting singing as I played the song. Everyone just looked at me and the speaker looked over at me with a funny look on his face. My friend Trevor proceeded to come over to me and inform me that we were supposed to be singing a different song and that I needed to change to that song. By this time I was already half way through the song I had been playing and I didn’t even know the song the speaker had chosen. So I just finished my song and quit playing and the speaker closed the service in prayer. I was extremely embarrassed. I took comfort in the fact that it wasn’t completely my fault since I was handicapped with a faulty sound system. 🙂
So there ya go! A few stories that should bring a smile to your face. I would love to hear any stories you may have as well! You just never know sometimes what will happen as you’re playing for a service. 🙂