Last night was the last scheduled Thursday night LCH choir rehearsal for the season and Carl’s last Thursday night rehearsal! In addition to rehearsing music for this Sunday (Psalm 66 by Hallock, “If ye love me” by Thomas Tallis and “Non vos relinquam” by William Byrd) we worked on two very challenging pieces by Peter Maxwell Davies which we are singing on Pentecost: “Dum complerentur” and “Veni Sancte Spiritus.” They are extremely challenging because of their atonality and division into as many as 13 independent parts! However the extreme dissonances contrast with occasional, unison chant-like sections. We also practiced “O clap your hands” for double choir by Orlando Gibbons, which seemed easy in comparison.
Then it was time for announcements. Carl thanked the choir for an insane season, which began with our milestone birthday concert on October 11th, followed by the phenomenal Monteverdi Vespers, which was followed the very next weekend by Hallock’s “Last Judgment” and John Rutter’s Requiem. Soon it was Advent Procession, then who could forget the three Bach cantatas over Christmas week. And the Praetorius Mass! (Never again with that edition!) Then it was another Bach Vespers in February. “Don’t forget Joint Evensong!” Georgine Stark chimed in. Next was another marathon Holy Week and Easter with an especially memorable Good Friday, and Peter Hallock’s “Exultate Deo” on Easter Day. And the Bach “Mass in B Minor” was the crowning achievement of all. “And I didn’t kill you guys off!” Carl joked. “Close!” replied Naomi Castro.
Georgine Stark announced that she and I are working on a “Carl Crosier” commemoration T-shirt which will list all the major works performed at LCH during his tenure, printed front and back. “The list of Bach works takes up one whole side!” I said. Then Chandra Peters suggested that “we put the Bach works on the back,” pronouncing “back” to rhyme with Bach. Everyone groaned at the clever pun!
We then convened to the Board Room, where Carl had laid out a display of veggies, fruits, cheeses and crackers. What a difference a year made! Last year Carl had announced his retirement and the mood was tinged with sadness. Last night there was a feeling of festivity, happy that we all had survived this glorious year.