"Gerrit’s Notes" by Gerrit Lamain
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Featured on The Thread: An 86-year-old organist who fled the Nazis writes his story for the first time
As a little boy, the son of a Dutch Reformed Pastor, had a dream as he and his family survived WWII; his hometown of Rotterdam was bombed, leaving over 2000 casualties. His dream lives on. He becomes an organist playing in churches, international concert halls as well as hockey stadiums. He directed high school and college vocal ensembles. In addition to his U.S. music education, he also studied organ improvisation in The Netherlands.
As Music Director of the Lowell Michigan Showboat, he worked with Louis Armstrong, Dinah Shore, Milton Berle, Bob Newhart, and Steve Allen. His choral groups performed for President Richard Nixon in the White House Rose Garden; his groups also performed in the Lincoln Memorial, Walter Reed Hospital, Arlington Cemetery and West Point Military Chapel.
His organ concerts were broadcast over Luxembourg Radio, and his numerous recordings have been enjoyed around the world over the Armed Forces Network. His dream lived on in founding and directing the Woodbury Chorus and Orchestra, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for area food shelves; his groups performed in European Cathedrals as well as little country churches.
His dream took him from his Calvinist roots along many different paths and philosophies; he was always willing to learn and grow. He has labored in many faith settings, always seeking and oftentimes finding the presence of God, who inspired him to "preach from the organ bench".
His journey is told through these essays with humor and humility walking through deep valleys as well as, at times, ascending mountain tops.
His "Gerrit's Notes" have appeared in area newspapers.
This is a book about a little boy who dreamed big, and who was blessed to live his dream.