Our next “biggie” is not for two weeks, so we have a little downtime to reflect on the past weekend’s performances. Last Thursday, of course, was our regular choir night when we rehearsed Peter Hallock’s “The Last Judgment” with the percussion instruments. [Hallock says, “On the fifth day, God made Thursday nights for choir practice!] Then Friday night was the rehearsal for John Rutter’s “Requiem,” which occurred on Saturday afternoon, with a rehearsal with the instruments just before the concert. Sunday was Hallock’s “The Last Judgment” sung at both morning services. That’s four days in a row — but I suspect that when Christmas rolls around, we are going to think of these as the “good ol’ days.” Just wait and see!
The Rutter “Requiem” was preceded by a 15-minute program by the Suzuki Association of Hawaii, of which Lyn Klein was an active teacher for over thirty years. I was very pleased to see one of my organ students play the violin as part of this group. The Requiem went very well under the direction of Dr. Charlene Archibeque, and the tone of the choir was exquisite. Naomi Castro and Rachel Lentz just soared in the beautiful solos. Afterwards, light refreshments were held on the lanai adjacent to the church.
Several of us then went to the Neal Blaisdell Concert Hall for the first-ever Ho’olokahi Choral Festival (under guest conductor, Dr. Karen Kennedy), of which Naomi Castro, Karyn Castro and Keane Ishii were active participants. Naomi and Karyn were part of the all-women’s “Colla Voce” group, and Keane was there as the director of the Mililani High School choir. On Thursday on KITV, there was a video and story “In Tough Budget Times, A New Choral Festival,” which told of Mililani High School’s lack of a choir budget and how Keane Ishii, their first-year director, is a product of Dr. Karen Kennedy’s tutelage at the University of Hawaii. We are so proud of them all!
On Sunday morning, there was no warmup of the LCH Choir before the 8 am service. We eliminated the Children’s hymn and Children’s conversation this day, as Hallock’s “The Last Judgment” took the place of the sermon. In spite of no choir warmup, the congregation was spellbound by this powerful and dramatic work, and at the 10:30 service, it was especially moving. Yes, it was LOUD! Kudos to Keane Ishii for the dramatic and expressive baritone solos.
We were pleased to see that Dr. Charlene Archibeque was in the congregation this morning, as well as Lyn Klein’s sister and husband. I’m sorry that we didn’t get any pictures taken, but Dr. Archibeque remarked to Carl that she couldn’t believe how excellent a church choir this was, and to think we had done the Monteverdi just a week ago! She also was most impressed with Keane Ishii’s beautiful solos. She said she was present at our performance of the Hallock “Last Judgment” at the American Choral Directors Association convention held in Honolulu in 1992. Carl pulled out the official choir photo of that event, so I’m sharing it below. At that convention, the LCH Choir sang an entire program devoted to the music of Peter Hallock, and the composer himself was present for the performance.
Front Row (L-R): Kathy Crosier, Karin Brown, Kit Hanson, Vicki Gorman, Carol Langner, Nina Barlongo, Alexa Miller, Mariko Iwasawa, Mary Kay Gething
Middle row (L-R): Tod Bowermaster, George MacDonald, Randy Castello, Allen Bauchle, Pat Chamberlain, Marian Rodenhurst, Valerie Foster, Carol Rohrscheib, Olivia Castro, Karen Olson
Back row (L-R): Jerome Vasconcellos, Roy Helms, Brad Knutson, David Del Rocco, Jim Leavitt, David Reese, Vernon Nicodemus, Gerald Altweis, Tom Gething, Carl Crosier.
Well . . . at least the choir vestments are the same, if not the people!