I posted this on TH a while back...........good stuff!
How about the time I counted in Trumpet Tune only to have the organist play the first two bars in the wrong key, then drop out for a goodly while. Luckily, I had enough wits about me to keep going solo while there were papers, dust, and smoke flying around the organ console. Finally, at some point towards the end of second statement of the opening theme the organ came back to life. In the right key.
No one ever noticed.
Or, the time when I was playing the processional at Rockefeller Chapel (on campus at University of Chicago) the ushers, who were unrolling the isle runner for the bride, discovered halfway to the altar that it was a little too short. Like halfway down the isle too short. We must have repeated the processional ten or twelve times when the organist (Thomas Weisflog) leaned over and yelled to me "sit out the next time through". I obliged. He then proceeded to play about 20 minutes of an improvised "theme and variations" of the processional in about 8 or 9 different keys, all the while the ushers were milling about like a circus act. Finally, another runner appeared and made its way forward to the altar. By this time the organist had shifted from 4th to 5th gear and was starting to get wound up a bit. That great organ was SINGING. I told him it looked like we were about ready to continue. He nodded and started his last variation. After modulating his way through 3 keys, he came to an almost earth-moving cadence, pulled out another 10 or 15 stops, gave me a nod, and we were off! I've never played a louder or longer processional in my life. Several people commented after the ceremony that they had "never heard a processional like that before". No kidding.