Today is Reformation and assistant choirmaster Allen Bauchle was honored at all services, 8:00 am, 10:30 am and tonight’s Vespers. Miguel Felipe said that in the two months that he’s been on board, Allen has been an invaluable asset behind the scenes — talented and hard-working in so many respects — but also had great humility and not one to brag about his accomplishments. Carl Crosier came to the 10:30 service, and during the announcements time, told everyone Allen was hired when Carl took his first sabbatical. He expressed his thanks to Allen for his twenty years of service: assisting in the conducting duties, orchestrating hymns, helping to plan all the choral music and hymns, playing the trumpet, managing the library, and of course, singing in whatever section needed help: tenor, alto, bass, and even second soprano!
Carol Langner put up a small display on the bulletin board, and I was reminded that in addition to his official duties, Allen also has been in charge of moving timpani in his van! During the rehearsal this morning, it was announced that Allen was going off the payroll, but was going to stick around as a volunteer. “Does this mean you’ll still turn my pages?” I asked.
As I write this, the Vespers service has just concluded and it was a success in every respect — fine performances from all soloists, the choir, and orchestra, as well as a big crowd. I used Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in C minor, BWV 546, as bookends to the service — the prelude for the opening, and the fugue as the postlude — and Carl said he had never heard me play this work before. In fact, the last time I played it was in 1968 at the conclusion of my summer study with Marcel Dupré. Happily it went well. I really had my work cut out for me tonight, with all the organ music, chorale preludes, hymns, psalms, Magnificat and cantata.
It was a triumph for Miguel Felipe — his first big Vespers service, but as he said to me, it was “all hands on deck.” Everybody involved should feel proud of their participation in tonight’s program.