I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for summer! Today we celebrated Ascension Day (transferred) and then next week is Pentecost, our last choral Sunday of the season. And then the choir is off for the next six weeks. For the last several years, Carol Langner has mounted a large world map on the courtyard bulletin board, and people are welcome to indicate on a small slip of paper where they are going for summer vacation.
I was pleased at how many people listened quietly to the postlude today. I played three movements from Olivier Messiaen’s “L’Ascension” today, a powerful and dramatic work, including “Transports de joie” for the postlude. I think the last time I played this was three years ago when it came in this cycle before. I only spent three days practicing this work last week, and told former student Joey Fala I either have a lot of guts or am remarkably stupid for attempting this difficult work on such short notice! Happily it all went well. Look out for more Messiaen next week for Pentecost!
The Orlando Gibbons’ double-choir motet, “O clap your hands,” also went very well today. And Keane Ishii’s solo, “The Call,” by Ralph Vaughan Williams, was very beautiful.
Carl and I will be leaving next Sunday right after church to attend the Boston Early Music Festival. This is one of the best festivals to hear the greatest artists of the world and we just go to listen and enjoy. We’re very much looking forward to hearing Meg Bragle who will be singing in one of the late night concerts. You may remember that she was the alto who sang in our recent B-Minor Mass. We will be visiting Edith Ho, retired from Church of the Advent, a fabulous place for church music. I understand that Carey Beebe, who services the church’s harpsichord, will also be at the festival as well as Ian Capps and Jeannette Johnson, occasional LCH choristers.
Later in the summer we will travel to Seattle where we will attend the national conference of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians.
Starting Tuesday we will be hosting Isabelle Demers, French-Canadian organist and doctoral student of Paul Jacobs at the Juilliard School. You are all invited to her concert which will be held on Friday, June 10th at 7 pm at St. Andrew’s Cathedral. She’s been called a “diminutive dynamo” and I know we are in for a treat! The program is being sponsored by the American Guild of Organists and is billed as being a “free” concert, but of course donations are most welcome.