Note from your Organist


The Church in the Forest is beautifully suited for music in that it has both excellent acoustics and fine musical instruments. As for myself, I've been a professional musician specializing in classical music for 45 years with degrees in music performance from the University of California at Santa Barbara and the University of British Columbia.

Normally I arrive at the church 1/2 hour before the ceremony and start playing when your guests begin to arrive. The prelude music is all "happy" music, some slower, some faster (partial list below) on either the organ or the piano. When it's time for the ceremony to begin (I can move from the piano to the organ at this point if you like), I play quietly as the men and minister enter, then a processional for the bride's maids, then all the stops out for the bride's entrance. You should let me know what your choices are a few weeks before the wedding. Please print out the Wedding Music Planning Form. I've made a CD (included in your wedding package) of traditional wedding music recorded on the pipe organ at CitF (the pieces preceded by * in the list below are on the CD). Contact me by phone/fax, e-mail or P.O. box below to help you make your choices.

I'm happy to play any special requests you may have. If I don't already have the piece you want, just send me the sheet music, either a pdf or a paper copy.

Soloists are welcome. Normally, if you have a soloist, I'll arrive 45 minutes before the ceremony so we can run through the music. As long as your soloist knows the music this works fine and saves everyone an extra trip. If you'd like a soloist but don't have someone in mind, I can help you engage one from my local contacts. Typically, a soloist charges $150 - $300 depending on how many and what kind of songs.

The church also has a PA system, CD/MP3 player located in the organ loft if you want to use recorded music. 

Typical Organ Prelude Music (before the ceremony starts)
*Sheep May Safely Graze by Bach, *Panis Angelicus by Franck, *Air from the Water Music by Handel, Morning Has Broken- Gaelic melody, Simple Gifts- Shaker hymn, **Ave Marias by Schubert and Bach-Gounod.

Typical Piano Prelude Music
1.  Most of the above list of "Baroque Top 10" will work on the piano as well.

2.  Or you can have Romantic and Impressionistic repertoire such as: *Clair de lune, *Reverie and *La Fille aux cheveux de lin by Debussy, Nocturnes and Preludes by *Chopin, song transcriptions by *Schumann, *Grieg, *Rubinstein. (*These pieces are recorded on my solo piano CDs: "Season of Dreams" and "Beyond Words".)

3.  Or a mix of contemporary new-age pieces and popular songs

Typical Processionals (when the Bride's attendants and Bride come down the aisle) *Canon in D by Pachelbel, *Jesu, Joy on Man's Desiring, *Wedding March from Lohengrin (Here Comes the Bride) by Wagner, *Trumpet Voluntaries in D by Purcell and Clarke, *Ode to Joy by Beethoven, *St. Anthony Chorale by Haydn, *Overture to The Royal Fireworks Music by Handel, any of the above organ prelude selections.

Typical Recessionals
*Wedding March by Mendelssohn, *Ode to Joy by Beethoven, ***Trumpet Voluntaries by Purcell, Clarke or Stanley, *Allegro by Boyce, *Hornpipe from The Water Music by Handel.

PLEASE be in touch with me regarding your selections. You can reach me by phone at (831) 626-1410, by e-mail at [email protected], or by mail at PO Box 2943, Carmel, CA 93921.

Congratulations and Happy Planning!
Melinda Coffey