Musical finale for our organist
Just a few months short of when she played a church organ for the first time 50 years ago, Gail Parker played the organ at our church for the last time for a Sunday service on Jan. 27.
Gail is stepping down as our organist and Faith York will take on the combined duties of choir director and organist.
Gail had been playing an organ in our church since the late 1970s, a span covering seven ministers. Her first time playing for a Sunday service was in 1969 on Children’s Sunday at the Presbyterian Church in Oakfield, New York. She was 11 and her father, James Underwood, was the minister.
Toward the end of the Jan. 27 service, Mark Braun, chairperson of the Staff Parish Relations Committee, talked about Gail’s dedicated and talented service to the church and presented her with a framed photo of Gail playing during a Christmas Eve Service in 2017. A mat around the photo was signed with well wishes and appreciation from members of the congregation. The special arrangement of flowers on the altar also was a tribute to Gail’s last service as our organist.
During her benediction at the end of the service, Pastor Casey Collins walked with Gail, hand in hand, to the back of the sanctuary while church members applauded.
For the Postlude, Gail’s final piece of music, she selected George Frederic Handel’s “Largo”, the same piece she played at the Children’s Service in Upstate New York, nearly 50 years ago.
After the service, Gail was presented with a cake during Fellowship Time, inscribed with the words “Gail, your music has been a treasured gift”.
Thank you, Gail, for all the music, inspiration, and blessings with which you have filled our church for for more Sundays than we can remember!