Today Matthew and I went back to Paul Hahn Pianos to check out another candidate for COTM's permanent piano: a matte black Baldwin 5' 8" grand. The store had made an effort to adjust this piano to improve the action in a particular way in response to Matthew's feedback, and the results pleased Matthew. In a perfect world I'd still prefer a stained wood to a black case, but as I said at the store, I'm more concerned about how the piano sounds and makes my Music Director feel! So they are going to swap the current piano we have on loan from them for this one and try it out for awhile. It's quite possible we may settle on this instrument for permanent use, but we want to get to know it a bit first.
This is a great way for churches to buy pianos--put down a down payment and then keep trying instruments until you fall in love with one. It eliminates virtually all the anxiety about finding the right one, and it pretty well ensure that we will find what we want at the price we want (eventually).
By coincidence, this was also the day the organ tuners (Alan Jackson and Co.) came by to take a look at our pipe organ and do the usual sort of tuning and upkeep. They told me that our organ is in excellent shape and ought to give us at least another 20 years of good service without an issue. I asked what was likely to fail first, and the expert suggested it would be the combination mechanism (the buttons that let you set multiple stops with one press). In our case this would be a relatively minor repair, so no worries. I tell you, I've learned more about pipe organs in this my ministry than I ever cared to! I think the previous generation of priests would have said the same thing about boilers--and the next will the same about computers. One of the most important attributes of a descent parish priest is someone able to learn new things!
I had lunch with a parishioner today--that included some good feedback about a couple of recent decisions I've made. I also got to bat around some ideas with my staff at our weekly meeting. Several different initiatives are beginning to come together even better than I originally planned. Whew!