Postlude for a Festival Day

Date Completed

September 17, 1990


Organ Solo (more like this)







Difficulty Level

Moderately difficult

Liturgical Use

General, Festival Services, Weddings









Date Written







Publication Data

Publisher Name

Aureole Editions (distributed through MorningStar Music)

Date Published


Catalog Number

AE 50


This piece was originally written without a key signature, and when it was set in two flats, one B-natural was omitted. It is in measure 55 in the alto part, at the end of the second beat. Also, in measure 76 of my playing score, I have marked out the dots on the Fs in the alto and tenor voices. The top (soprano) F should hold for three beats as written.




This work was composed for my sister Sara's marriage to Donald (Don) Ericksen. I first played it at their wedding on December 29, 1990, which took place at Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church in Seattle, Washington. Sara used Anne's processional, Festival Intrada, at the start of the service. Postlude for a Festival Day also bears the distinction of being my first published piece.

Joel's Comments

Just as my sister Anne had a piece composed by me for her wedding, my younger sister Sara wanted one for hers! This offered me the opportunity to write a concluding "bookend" to the service, and to tie it together with the entrance by using a theme from Festival Intrada. The overall structure of this piece is a rondo (A-B-A-C-A) with the A section being doubled itself: a + a', until the last occurrence, which is shortened and followed by a brief coda. The B and C sections are fugal in nature ("fugatos"), with the C section's subject being loosely based on an inversion of the B section's theme. The fugal motive first heard in the B section is derived basic melodic shape and rhythmic ideas of the B section of Festival Intrada (measures 17–20).

This piece was begun on July 18, 1990, and was completed on September 17 of the same year. The first unofficial performance occurred somewhere around this time, as I tried it out during the retiring procession of a Saint Mark's School of Texas evensong service, improvising the last few bars.

Gerald Near heard me play this work the following May as a postlude to the 1991 baccalaureate service at Saint Mark's, and was interested in publishing it in his Aureole Editions catalog. It was my first published piece, and has received a lot of nice play over the years.

One humorous story about playing this piece for Sara and Don's wedding was that even though this was composed to be long enough to cover the exit of the bridal party, family, and entire congregation for even our largest weddings at Saint Rita, Sara and Don had chosen to greet all the people as they left their pews. To cover this action, I played Postlude for a Festival Day twice, then went back and repeated J. S. Bach's Prelude and Fugues in C and G (BWV 545 and 541, respectively) which I had played as part of the prelude. After that, I gave up and turned off the organ. Enough is enough!



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"Martinson's Postlude for a Festival Day was effective"

— Scott Cantrell · The American Organist, September 1994

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