First Presbyterian Church – Davenport, Iowa
First Pres has always loved its music program, but had to switch things up when services went virtual in March 2020. To have some fun, the church started a Stump the Organist game. Over the Friday lunch hour, the congregation and friends jump online for live music from organist Alex Gilson. Matt Bishop, the church’s music director, emcees the event and relays hymn requests from the audience. If Alex can’t play a hymn from memory, parishioners win a prize! Occasionally, the organist gets a chance to stump the church, and will play jazzed up or embellished versions of popular hymns and showtunes for the audience to guess. Prizes have ranged from homemade treats or flowers to certificates — mostly they’re an excuse to connect with folks in a tangible way. After almost a year of playing Stump the Organist, the congregation has learned some new-to-them hymns!
— Katie Styrt
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