Thursday within the Octave of Black Friday is traditionally a day to stand (or sit, even) in solidarity with victims of hate crimes (and “strongly dislike crimes”) who belong to groups not recognized by any particular color of ribbon or car magnet. This includes those who have suffered for their movie preferences, Jenga skill, or inability to tell the difference between dark navy blue and black.
It also, sadly, includes victims of anti-organist crime.
Over the summer, Phoenix area church musician Ryan Dingess was the victim of this all-too-common form of musical discrimination. His laptop was stolen. Most likely by someone who hates organs. Or at least strongly dislikes them.
Since Mr. Dingess is a Catholic musician, he is unable to afford a replacement computer.
This would be a sad enough tale if it happened to any Catholic musician, but Ryan Dingess is not just any Catholic musicians. He is the selfless composer of accompaniments for the Simple English Propers.
Like many Catholic musicians, Ryan’s wages are barely above the level of subsistence wretchedness, and yet he has refused to restrict access to his SEP Accompaniments, an act of principle which is costing him the opportunity to become a wealthy commercial success and further inhibiting his ability to afford a replacement laptop.
In this festive season of the year, it seems appropriate that we should all dig deep into our couch cushions and help out a fellow musician. Do it quickly, before they pick a colored ribbon and your ability to make an actual impact disappears forever.