Last night was the Vivace! fundraiser for the Oahu Choral Society, a night in which the musical accomplishments of Carl Crosier were honored and celebrated. Held at the Honolulu International Club, the theme was Monte Carlo — and it was fun to see everyone dress up!
My biggest concerns for the night were: 1) Finding a dress to wear; and 2) Keeping secret (from Carl) the fact that I was asked to give a speech about him!
After dinner, Ian Capps (The Early Muse, Hawaii Public Radio) and John Renke (St. Andrew’s Cathedral) both spoke about how they met Carl and how important and widespread was his influence and vision for shaping choral music in Honolulu. Ian especially described the intense five month’s preparation for the Monteverdi Vespers and how the two performances were the most significant of his life. John commented on the collegiality of Carl’s and his relationship and how the two church entities (St. Andrew’s Cathedral and Lutheran Church of Honolulu) re-established their bonds and came together for a number of performances.
Then it was my turn, and I had loaded my speech on my iPad. Alas, I must have jiggled it somehow because when I opened up Notes, the first paragraph was gone and the rest of it was garbled! Thank goodness I had the presence of mind to also print out a hard copy! It was my job to tell people about some of the unknown facts about Carl, and I said that most people knew about him already from this blog. The highlights were: 1) When he was a toddler, he told his mother she was singing nursery rhymes out of tune; 2) When the Junior Choir at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Port Angeles, WA, had its picture taken for the local newspaper, his book closed while everyone else’s was open (See picture by clicking here). 3) The only class he did poorly in as a college student was Music before 1750; 4) We listened to the St. Matthew Passion every night for dinner for eight months straight; 5) it’s a wonder we haven’t killed each other off!
When Carl got up to speak, luckily the speech on his iPad was intact! He said he took his lead from his favorite actress, Meryl Streep, at the Academy Awards. He first thanked me, the long-suffering wife, collaborator, accompanist, partner-in-crime and therapist for the total insanity of the last 35 years. Then taking his lead from Streep again, said people probably thought, “Oh, no, not HIM again!” referring to all the hoopla surrounding his retirement from LCH after 38 years. Carl went on to say that he never thought of himself as particularly gifted or an extraordinary musician. But it was his “fearless tenacity” to guide people to bring out their very best to a musical performance which set him apart. (At the post-Monteverdi Vespers party, John toasted him as “The bravest man in Honolulu!”) Carl was not afraid to “reach for the moon” even in the face of formidable obstacles.
We thank you all for your support all these years!