Next Sunday, August 14th at 4 pm, I’ll be participating in the 22nd Annual Midsummer Night’s Organ Concert at Central Union Church. I would have to guess that there have only been a couple of concerts which I’ve missed over the past 22 years, because I’ve been out of town. This concert is sponsored yearly by Central Union Church and all donations received benefit the scholarship programs of the American Guild of Organists.
I do remember the very first Midsummer Night’s concert 22 years ago because I was a nervous wreck! I think it was the first time I became physically ill before having to play in public in front of my peers. I know I had nothing to worry about, but I still got the jitters.
At last year’s Midsummer concert, Carl and I played an organ duet by Johann Georg Albrechstberger (1736-1809), and it was one of the few quiet pieces on the program. This year I’m playing “An Wasserflüssen Babylon” (By the waters of Babylon), an exquisite, yet quiet chorale prelude by J. S. Bach. I heard it played at the Boston Early Music Festival a couple of months ago and decided to resurrect it, not having played it for many years. I guess the reason I’m playing a quiet piece is because “Someone has got to do it!” Seems like whenever organists get to play a big instrument, they like to pull out all the stops and make the roof shake. Not me. For me, bigger is not necessarily better, and I’m perfectly happy that I play the Beckerath organ at the Lutheran Church of Honolulu every week.
Anyway, besides myself, my student Jordan McCreary will be playing, as well as Joey Fala, who subbed for me last week while I was in Seattle at the ALCM conference. (I understand that Joey got a standing ovation for the postlude! Well-deserved, I am sure.) Other organists performing on Sunday’s concert include John Renke and Yuri McCoy from St. Andrew’s Cathedral, Ina Young from Calvary by the Sea Lutheran Church, Samuel Lam and Nyle Hallman from Central Union Church.
Everyone is most welcome to attend and in fact, come give us your moral support! Please be generous in helping to support the education of young organists in Hawaii. Over the past 20 years, over 60 people have been beneficiaries of the organ scholarships in Hawaii, many of whom have been my students.