Memories of Daniel Pinkham

Daniel Pinkham (1923-2006)

Daniel Pinkham (1923-2006)

This Sunday the LCH Choir will be singing two pieces by American composer, Daniel Pinkham (1923-2006), Wash yourself in the Jordan, and Alleluia upon the waters. Pinkham was called “among the most-performed American composers and people like his music.” He wrote symphonies, art songs, chant-based music, serial music, electronic music and more. He was organist for many years at King’s Chapel in Boston, and wrote a lot of church music. He was honored as Composer of the Year by the American Guild of Organists in 1990.

In the year 1989 Daniel Pinkham was honored by the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians at their national conference in Rochester, NY and he was commissioned to write several short anthems (which are now part of the LCH choral library).

What I remember about that conference, however, was not only the ungodly heat and humidity in Rochester, but one morning at 5:30 am the fire alarm went off in the conference hotel. Everyone had to evacuate the building, including the Crosiers, and it was a little comical to see everyone come outside in their pajamas — including Daniel Pinkham!

At that time, our son Stephen was only 6 years old, and the only child among three hundred adults. He did an admirable job of enduring four fifteen-hour days of lectures, workshops, recitals and services, especially considering the fact it was 95° F with unbearable humidity. I was honored to have been asked to play the organ for one of the main worship services. At its conclusion, several people came up to congratulate me for my playing. One man said, “I really wanted to tell you that you did an outstanding job of playing organ!” Stephen, who was nearby, piped up, “My mom always does an outstanding job!”

Another bystander said, “I see that you have brought your own fan club!”

Out of the mouths of babes . . .

About Katherine Crosier

In addition to playing the organ I am interested in documenting life's special moments through journaling, scrapbooking, photography and slideshow production. My family just groans.
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