Here’s what Miguel Felipe wrote to the Concert Committee members: I was just by the church this afternoon and you can still feel the energy in the air: this weekend was a huge success! This past weekend we welcomed nearly 320 audience members into our sanctuary for a beautiful concert with many notable elements: a fine orchestra and choir, spectacular soloists, beautiful historic instruments, and creative additions at every turn. Naturally, I’m grateful for the many gifts of our community of musicians. Thank you. I’m additionally grateful, however, for the extra-musical outpouring of help from those who managed the ‘house’, helped with the fantastic reception, managed tickets and the website, worked stage crew, and did myriad other tasks of which I’ll never be fully aware. The way LCH presents itself to the community through these concerts speaks volumes about our ‘ministry of music’ and how our congregation’s generosity and works stretch far beyond Sunday services. This is the way it should be! Thank you.
Here’s what Pastor Jeff Lilley wrote: A huge MAHALO to all of you for your efforts at making a wonderful concert this weekend. I heard many very positive comments about the music, the hospitality, and the church community. Thank you so much for a wonderful weekend!
What a long way we have come since the first Abendmusiken concert on October 18, 1992! That program was Dietrich Buxtehude’s cantata, Frohlocket mit Händen, BuxWV29 with Karin Brown, Vicki Gorman, Carl Crosier, Guy Merola and Kavin Higa; Haydn’s Organ Concerto in C Major with yours truly; and Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass with Vicki Gorman, soprano and Stuart Chafetz, timpani. Although the program was certainly first-rate in terms of quality of performance and choice of repertoire, we only had something like 57 people in the audience. Although there had always been concerts at LCH, before 1992 they were done under the auspices of other organizations such as Chamber Music Hawaii and Ensemble Players Guild. Carl Crosier bowed to pressure to present concerts because of comments like “I don’t want to have to come to a church service to hear fine music.”
Except for that first concert, what’s been interesting is we found that when we charge admission (and believe me, our ticket prices are most reasonable) we get bigger and better crowds in comparison to when events are free. Go figure! I guess that people think the program must be much better if they have to pay for it.
It’s hard to believe that we have come so far and next year will mark our 20th year of Abendmusiken concerts at LCH. I still can’t get out of my mind last season’s incredible quantity and quality of programs, and the image that stays with me is the scene in the courtyard during intermission of the Bach B-Minor Mass. People stood shoulder to shoulder and there was a lot of talk about “the fire marshal.”