“You guys need a break from Bach!” our friends Michael Kleinschmidt and Marc Aubertin said to us last night while having dinner at our condo. Carl thinks he first met Michael while he was the assistant organist to Gerre Hancock at St. Thomas on Fifth Avenue in New York City. Michael then moved to Boston, and Carl saw him on one of his many trips to that city. At this time last year, Michael had been the organist of Trinity Church (Copley Square) in Boston for 6 years, but had applied for the post of organist-choirmaster at Trinity Episcopal in Portland, a position held by John Strege (another friend of ours) for 37 years. So, we were excited by the prospect of Michael and Marc moving out West. We have so many church music friends in common, among them Edith Ho, from Church of the Advent, where Marc was formerly a chorister, and whom Carl considers his mentor. (Please see my post on Edith Ho here).
Michael in fact got the job at Trinity Episcopal in Portland, and you might be interested in reading about his audition which was open to the public and even documented in the local newspaper. The article was called “Organ Candidate for Portland’s Trinity Cathedral shows humor,” and told about Michael’s use of a special organ stop called a “rossignol” which “sounds like raucous canaries having a dustup.”
So what is it like to follow someone after 37 years, I asked Michael, thinking we’ll have some of the same issues at LCH after Carl’s 38-year tenure: “But So-and-So always did it this way . . .” As I expected, Michael is doing a fantastic job at Trinity, and is “helping to take the church into the 21st century.” You can read an article here about some of Michael’s innovations. He has been able to build on the strong foundation laid down by John Strege and made it his own.
By the way, I bought myself a Mothers Day present and got a new camera. I simply cannot write this blog and be without a camera! However, I’m still getting used to it, and hopefully will figure out how to make the best of it . . . soon!