Chicago, IL – Clear evidence has emerged of church organist Mr Ross Stanhope having played a full chorus of the BeeGees classic “Stayin’ Alive’ in between verses of a hymn at a recent Easter Sunday service.
From the Head Office of the Royal College of Organists, Bishop George Piper, said this at a press conference held on Tuesday:
“For the last 16 years organist Mr Ross Stanhope has provided spiritually uplifting music to worshippers at St Albans Cathedral, Chicago, Illinois. It is therefore with great sadness that I inform you that he has been suspended pending further investigation and advice. There is now clear evidence that tends to prove he has strayed from musical orthodoxy by playing a short organ flourish of ‘Stayin’ Alive’ in the middle of one of the Easter hymns at a recent service”
Bishop Piper went on to show a youtube clip of the incident and explain how the musical interlude was not only a breach of Mr Stanhope’s contract of employment but against all known policies and procedures for inserting flourishes between hymnal verses. He also outlined his own theological concern with the choice of the song, and referred to the Apostle’s Creed in that Jesus did not ‘stay alive’ but was crucified, died and was buried before rising again.
This is not the first time that Mr Stanhope has been at the centre of an unholy row, having previously been censured for repeatedly playing “Jesus paid it all” during the offertory hymn, and most famously reprimanded for having played “Roll out the Barrel” at the funeral of a well known local bar owner.
Bishop Piper concluded the press conference by saying: “While are thoughts and prayers are with Mr Stanhope and his family during this difficult time, we are also supporting those congregation members who have been deeply affected by this incident”. Although contacted, Mr Stanhope has declined to comment on the incident.