Living treasures - the church musician

Who actually plays the organ? And who coaches the choir to peak performance? We visited the church musician Mr. Heinrich.

The treasures of the church district are above all the employees who work full-time and on a voluntary basis. In order to introduce them, we have conducted interviews with them. Here Mr. Heinrich introduces himself. He is a church musician and takes care of the congregation in Halberstadt.


Describe your office and your tasks in the service of the church. Why did you choose to do this?

I am responsible for the music in the Protestant church community of Halberstadt, so I lead and organize musical groups, play the organ, take care of organs, organization and communication of all kinds, events such as concerts, etc.. In addition I teach organ in Elbingerode, Halberstadt, Haldensleben, Magdeburg and Wernigerode.

I grew up in choirs and a church community. When choosing a career, I vacillated between mathematics and music. I began to study mathematics, then did my civilian service in a church congregation and then switched to church music. During my studies, my interest in orchestral conducting intensified because working with professional musicians appealed to me. I still studied piano and orchestral conducting and worked for 10 years at the operas in Regensburg and Mannheim. After that, I decided to go into church music with more of my own decision-making possibilities, fewer professional musicians, but with committed volunteers, with more organization (also very practical) and deeper existential relevance.


Please give us an insight into a typical working day. What do you actually do?

There is actually no such thing as a typical workday. I spend a lot of time on the phone, in meetings and at the computer. Today, for example, I had a meeting to prepare for the Organ Day, a press conference on the commissioning of new stops in the Moritzkirche, and a meeting in the cathedral to consider the installation and seating arrangement for an oratorio under Corona conditions. Therefore telephone, computer and some organ practice. Tomorrow four rehearsals with parts of the Kantorei and one individual rehearsal for a soloist project. Around that again communication, planning, etc....


Is your Christianity expressed in your private everyday life?

I pray daily. This gives me strength and helps me to counteract "vitality lows". I read and meditate on spiritual literature. I pray a daily morning prayer with my wife. I try to behave "Christianly" in my dealings with other people. In doing so, I live on forgiveness and redemption.


Do you have a favorite place and anecdote in the church district?

Rather not, but in the monastery Drübeck I have experienced many good and constructive things.

Years ago, our then superintendent Christoph Hackbeil was asked by a tourist for directions to the restroom on his way up to the pulpit to preach in the cathedral.


Would you like to tell us anything else special about your office?

Sitting in the cathedral under a prospectus that is over 300 years old, in a church where worship was celebrated for centuries, gives a special perspective. For some time now I have been teaching someone who comes from Swabia, spent the last few years in China and now lives in Wülperode. His great desire is to play the organ. He is making great progress and can thus support church music in his area, where there is a great need.

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