I’ve just put away the Christmas decorations and it’s time again to get the guest room ready — this time for Rodney Gehrke, organist who will be giving the second of this season’s Abendmusiken Concerts on Sunday, January 15th at 4 pm. Carl and I met Rodney over twenty years ago as part of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians as he was for 29 years the Organist and Choirmaster of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in San Francisco, and supervised the 17-year process (!) of installing a Taylor & Boody tracker organ. (And that organ is a real gem!)
He now holds positions as the Director of Music at All Saints Episcopal Church in Palo Alto, Organist/Choir Director at San Francisco’s Temple Emanu-El, Professor of Organ at San Francisco Conservatory of Music and Organ Instructor at the University of California, Berkeley. Whew! and I thought I was busy!
Rodney’s first teacher was his father, Hugo Gehrke, who was a widely-respected composer and organist at Concordia College, Mequon, WI. Hugo Gehrke wrote a great statement on the ideal Lutheran musician: “The richer the background in Lutheran doctrine, mores, and music, the more nearly will the musician approach the true ideal of a Lutheran musician and servant of God in church.” Rodney also studied with Arno Schönstedt of Herford, Germany, David Dahl of Pacific Lutheran University, Lawrence Moe at the University of California, Berkeley, and Harald Vogel of the North German Organ Academy. David Dahl and Harald Vogel have both played concerts at the Lutheran Church of Honolulu.
The program will include Hugo Distler’s Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, Bach’s Canonic Variations, Duruflé’s Choral variations on ‘Veni Creator,’ and other works by Buxtehude, Alain, and Langlais. The LCH Choir will join in singing Hubert Parry’s “I was glad.”
Tickets will be available at the door.