Hello and questions


Mar 18, 2008
Greetings, all. I am considering moving to South America, and Buenos Aires seems as alluring as any fair city.
My profession is different than most people's -- church music of a traditional, basically classical type, although I consider my repertoire and style very populistic. People tell me there's no hope of getting a decent job in it anywhere in South America, but I feel in my bones it can't be that bad. In the USA (mid-Atlantic region) I live passably well on playing services and masses, weddings and funerals, plus fees from accompanying choral groups, plays etc., pulling in about $15,000 a year. I want to leave the USA because it's becoming Orwell's 1984 in every particular. I'm aware that every society has its socio-political neuroses and sacred cows, but appears the nonsense of "political correctness" hasn't yet infected life down there. If so, that's good!
Comments and feedback, please. Many thanks!
Dear JSB, I don't live in SA but have been all over (except Bolivia and the 3 little ones on top). As you know SA is VERY Catholic (which is good for the music) but I don't know if they pay people or just have locals play for very little or nothing. As far as leaving the USA I hear you. I've had a small apartment in Paris since 9/11 (knew that the "politics of fear" was gonna be the new way in America) and it was always a joy being over there as opposed to here (USA) but now the dollar is so weak that it's a joke (and scary). If SA doesn't sound like it will work out pay wise I'd try Europe if you haven't already. Good Luck, Dudester
I agree that it will be a great challenge finding work here. Argentina is a country with a high standard of classical music so there are many trained musicians. Another problem is the extremely low quality of liturgy followed by most churches here. You will find it difficult to convincve them to hire a classically oriented organist when they prefer guitar masses! Check your notes for more on this.
JSB, my church in Bs.As., Anglican (part of the worldwide Anglican communion, just as the Episcopal Church in the United States still is), delights in good, well-played music (I write as a classically trained musician myself). Further, the instruments are very good. The problem is pay, perhaps because (as Sergio notes) Argentina does enjoy an abundance of good musical talent. (I remember encountering an outstanding violinist who lives by busking in subway -- not much sustenance, and not easily done with an organ!)