A question for you parish organists:
Ever get a call for a funeral or a wedding at the parish where you are the principal organist and/or music director, and later get those dreaded words: The family is bringing in their own musicians??? Why any parish organist in his/her right mind let something like that slide is beyond me. Consider these things:
1) That's work being taken away from the parish organist. Unless the organist gets a bench fee, which should equal his/her full fee for the Mass in question, (s)he just has been burned!
2) A funeral or wedding Mass is just as much a parish Mass as is Sunday Mass. Therefore, parish staff should be on hand. This would include celebrant, servers, extraordinary minister of Holy Communion (well, only if absolutely necessary, which, in most cases, it isn't), and musicians (organist, singer(s)).
3) The parish musician would know best the music that is used regularly at his/her parish church. What (s)he normally do for funerals or weddings might not be what the outside musician does - thus that's time the musicians would need to communicate. And what if the family brings in musicians that, never mind don't know what's done at the church, don't even know a thing about Catholic music or even Catholic liturgy? Or the outside organist that, at best, is a fifth rate ripoff of a piano player?
Let's look at the Code of Ethics of the American Guild of Organists, rule number 4:
Before accepting an engagement for a wedding, funeral, or other service, members shall obtain the approval of the incumbent musician. In cases where this engagement has been requested by a third party, it is appropriate for the third party to offer the incumbent his/her customary fee. It is the responsibility of members to inform the third party of this rule.
This "customary fee" is known by some as the "bench fee". But why this fee?
1) Again, work being taken away from the parish organist that is rightfully his/hers.
2) The parish organist has the responsibility of making sure the organ is unlocked, the proper accompaniment books are available, microphones set up, etc.
3) The parish organist, in many cases, including my own, has the responsibility of approving the visiting musicians - making sure that the musician in question has experience as an organist, has experience and hands-on knowledge in Catholic liturgy and music, and is aware that certain things are not appropriate at any Mass (e.g., secular music).
4) The parish organist, in many cases, has the responsibility of approving any and all musical selections used by the outside musicians. If the outside musician turns out to be someone who could give a rat's behind, then you might be in for a battle.
I still recall getting into a big tiff with a "prominent" composer on a message board over the "bench fee", and was later told by this composer (hint: I myself am the bread of life, you and I are the bread of life - explains the intelligence) that I should surrender the organ bench to a "real pastoral musician". Well, when in doubt of what a "real pastoral musician" is, read Jason's article, which later made it to the CanticaNOVA site.
Basic rule of thumb: if having to pay two organists costs too much, use the parish organist.