In the last few days, the buzz in the local media has been full of stories about the Symphony Exploratory Committee — a group of business professionals dedicated to the belief that having symphonic music in Hawaii is critical to its artistic and economic vitality. Just yesterday, it was announced that the SEC has reached a three-year agreement with the Musicians Union and that they are developing plans for a 2011-2012 season.
All of this is welcome news and especially to us at the Lutheran Church of Honolulu, for without having professional musicians in Hawaii, we simply could not do the type and high quality of music-making that we do. Believe me, we would have never been able to perform all those Bach cantatas, Passions, and other major works without the participation of our fine Symphony players.
The Bach Chamber Orchestra was organized by Carl Crosier in the mid -1980s to perform concerted works, primarily from the Baroque. The members of this ensemble were professional musicians from the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra who have been associated with the Lutheran Church of Honolulu over many years. They were particularly known for their virtuosic and stylistic playing of Baroque and early Classic works. Although the Bach Chamber Orchestra frequently performs with the Lutheran Church of Honolulu Choir, it has also been featured in many instrumental concert programs on the Abendmusiken Concert Series.
Many of the same players performed with us year after year. Those players included violinists Darel Stark, Judy Barrett, Maile Reeves, Kathy Hafner, Amanda Schubert, Iggy Jang; violists Anna Womack and Steve Flanter, cellists Karen Bechtel, Andrew Eckard, and Karen Fujimoto; double bass Michael Gorman, Kirby Nunez and John Gallagher, oboes Scott Janusch and Brian Greene, bassoons Marsha Schweitzer and Philip Gottling, trumpets Mark Schubert and Ken Hafner, and percussionists, Steve Dinion, Riely Francis and Ira Wong. In the early years, Tod and Cynthia Bowermaster and Greg and Janet Dubay also were frequent performers in this ensemble. Sadly, some of these people left Hawaii during the demise of the Honolulu Symphony last year.
However, we were very happy to learn that Scott Janusch (who became the principal oboe in the Kansas City Symphony) and Andrew Eckard (who played cello with the Los Angeles Opera) will be returning to Honolulu to play in our performances of Bach’s Mass in B Minor, May 13th and 14th at 7:30 pm.
Better book your tickets soon — tickets are going fast. You can either call the church office at 941-2566 during business hours, or buy online at www.lchwelcome.org/music2010.