In 1979, the Hawaii Chapter of the American Guild of Organists hosted a regional convention in Hawaii. I had been appointed General Chair and Carl was appointed Program Chair long before we got married, so we had no idea that 18-hour days for two whole years would become the norm.
Carl wrote to Peter Hallock asking if he would be one of the guest artists, and Peter responded that he would come only if the Compline Choir could come, too. I remember getting Peter’s subsequent letter, with Peter’s comment, “The Boys said ‘Yes!’ Hallock says ‘AMEN!'”
It was in the process of corresponding, making the many arrangements for this tour that our friendship with Peter Hallock developed. At the Hawaii convention, Peter presented a workshop, sang a countertenor recital and conducted and sang with the Compline Choir. The closing event and surely one of the highlights was a final Compline service at Kawaiaha’o Church, featuring music for double choir with both Seattle and Honolulu groups.
Following the Hawaii AGO convention, Carl continued to correspond regularly with Peter and invited him back to Hawaii to present workshops. It was on one of these visits in 1985 that the idea of establishing our own publishing company, Ionian Arts, came into being. Peter had been composing gradual psalms for use in the Sunday eucharists and it was decided that this would be the thrust of our new venture, later to be called “The Ionian Psalter.”
The psalms were in a modified Anglican chant style, with congregational antiphons, each introduced by a short organ intonation. We would make it available for both the Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church and the Lutheran Book of Worship. Carl and Peter worked over three years to complete this, with Carl sending Peter an “assignment” of four or five psalms per week. At first Carl used rub-on musical notes, but soon graduated to computer software.
In addition to the Ionian Psalter (which is now available on CD-ROM), Ionian Arts has also published a great number of Peter Hallock’s other choral works, with Carl doing almost all of the music engraving. We believe that the Ionian Psalter is a major resource for churches that wish to sing psalms and is one of the most widely-used choral psalters available today .
Although Carl had no formal instruction from Peter Hallock, he considers him to his greatest mentor and teacher in his career as a church musician. He has had the unique opportunity of hearing much of the great music he has conducted and composed at St. Mark’s. Carl also treasures the many opportunities he has had to sing with the Seattle Compline Choir, both in the Northwest, and on its tours to Russia, Scandinavia and England.
We continue to enjoy our visits together with Peter where we share much stimulating conversation, good food and martinis! That is, Peter and Carl enjoy the martinis!