FOR more than 40 years Ian Smith has provided organ music at weddings, funerals and thousands of church services in Ballarat.
Mr Smith has retired after playing the organ for 21 years at Ballarat’s St Paul’s Church, 19 years at St Peter’s and a short period at Pleasant Street Uniting Church.
Mr Smith said he was fascinated by organ music as a child and took up lessons as a teenager.
“I was fascinated by the sound of it when I went to church with my parents,” he said.
“I used to think how clever the lady was, as she had two keyboards to play on and she used her feet as well on the pedals.”
He performed at church services in Melbourne before moving to Ballarat in 1969. Mr Smith estimates he has played about 2000 church services, more than 100 funerals and 200 weddings.
“Weddings are always interesting, especially when you have brides that are late — you need to have a case full of music with you,” he said.
He used to perform twilight recitals during the Begonia Festival in Ballarat and has been involved with a number of organ associations in Australia and overseas.
The best organ lesson he ever had was with the organist for the York Minster in England, who once invited him to a private performance.
Mr Smith said the “sheer pleasure and enjoyment” he had derived from the role and hopefully had given to other people was his biggest highlight.