In music, as in sports, it pays to have a deep bench.
The Music at Noon series discovered this on Thursday, when the scheduled performer was felled by the flu.
June Van Thoen, the series organizer and music director at the Morristown United Methodist Church, only learned in the morning that her featured organist, Matt Webb, would not be coming.
She fired off a call to her church organist, 22-year-old Kevin Graf, who was en route to his day job as a media analyst in Parsippany. Kevin dashed to the church on his lunch break and hastily created a holiday-themed organ program, rounded out with carol singing led by June at the piano.
In this video clip, Kevin introduces listeners to a cheery piece, Festive Postlude, composed by Robert Hughes. Not bad for a guy who only took up the organ in college.
“We’re so proud of him, being able to put this together at the last minute,” said June, who hired Kevin in September, fresh out of Indiana University, where he majored in economics and psychology.
The psychology part came in handy on Thursday. No sign of nerves from this pinch-hitter.
“You don’t have much choice,” Kevin explained. “You can’t afford to be nervous.”