We’ve spent a lot of time recently with Miguel Felipe, newly-appointed Director of Music and Liturgy, helping him locate important resources, sharing computer files and just generally having lots of great conversations. Even though the Search Committee had meetings since July 2010, a year ago, as late as June 2011, there seemed to be no heir apparent to succeed Carl Crosier after 38 years. So when Miguel was announced in late July as the next Director of Music and Liturgy, his was truly a “twelfth-hour appointment.”
Miguel told us that our situation was “peculiar” — we were not offering a full-time position and we were not looking for an organist-director which is more common in small church situations. That is because at LCH, we really need a separate organist and a separate director because of the way the tracker organ is located against the wall and the organist has his or her back to the congregation. 40% of the choir cannot see the organist sitting at the organ bench! Yet we were looking for someone with keyboard abilities to lead the 8:00 am service.
Miguel himself was looking for a part-time, not a full-time position, since he has been named the Director of Choral Activities at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He does play the piano, but not the organ (at least, not in public, anyway!) He loves Renaissance and Baroque choral literature, and also champions many contemporary compositions. And the best news was that he was going to be moving here anyway!
And so, it came to pass, that LCH and Miguel Felipe found each other albeit just in the nick of time. Miguel says that the peculiarity of the situation is akin to the peculiarity of human relationships — that if you have not yet found your soulmate, that someone —somewhere — is out there looking for you.
Because Miguel’s appointment was made so close to Carl’s actual retirement service, Carl and Allen Bauchle went ahead and drew up a tentative schedule for the Fall music. Miguel has remarked to us over and over how perfect the choices were, and how much he is looking forward to performing this literature and working with us.
As Carl said, “God will provide and God has delivered us Miguel Felipe!”