Carl is starting to clean out his office and came across an old letter. It was written by Lois Pemble of Winchester, Kentucky and dated December 23, 2003, a year after the Lutheran Church of Honolulu had purchased the harpsichord made by her brother, Floyd Cammack. In the letter she enclosed a note by Robbie Robinson, a merchant seaman and former rooming tenant in Floyd’s house.
Robinson writes, “I met Floyd in the mid-seventies while building my first harpsichord. Woodworking was my forte and needed someone of real talent to ‘voice’ it. We formed a loose partnership after that as my career kept me at sea about 6 months a year.
“For the next 15 years until I retired to Wyoming, we built a number of instruments for ourselves and others, and restored a large number of antique pianos for customers and speculations.
“The Hubbard double harpsichord was Floyd’s last effort at a ‘concert’ instrument. When we corresponded he never failed to praise it as superior to all our previous experiences. I was dubious until transposing the manuals in January, and am now convinced stability seems remarkable for an instrument of this class and voicing and volume are astounding for its intended purpose.”
I remember former LCH parishioner, Michael Burnett, spearheaded the campaign to purchase the harpsichord from Floyd’s estate, in memory of his sister, Ruth. The harpsichord had already been heard in a number of Chamber Music Hawaii concerts (on loan) before the church was able to purchase it.
It has frequently been heard in Abendmusiken concerts at LCH since the church acquired it in 2002. John Renke will be playing it in our performance of the Mass in B Minor.