It’s December 2012, and I am beginning my last month as organist of the Lutheran Church of Honolulu. A number of people have asked me how I am feeling, and quite honestly, I have answered “with mixed emotions.” You may recall that in Carl Crosier’s last month as Cantor, we started ticking off the “lasts” : the last Christmas, the last Easter, and so on. It was not until about November 27, Tuesday, that I realized “Oh my goodness, last Sunday was my last 8 am service. I won’t have to get up early any more on Sunday mornings!” [Note: I generally played only the fourth and fifth Sundays of the month for the 8 am service, and in December I’ll be gone the last Sunday]
This past weekend was the First Sunday in Advent, and on Saturday afternoon, the LCH choir had a marathon rehearsal: nearly four hours long! I’m almost positive this set a record in the annals of LCH choir history, and I for one, will be glad to never have to do that again! Because there was already so much literature to be rehearsed for last night’s Advent Procession, we unfortunately had to bag Peter Hallock’s beautiful “Advent Litany,” which has been sung every Advent I for years and years.
I guess that what I will miss most are the encounters with former and present parishioners. Last Sunday we unexpectedly saw Mike Gorman in church (former Honolulu Symphony bassist) who was in town to contract the orchestra for the Broadway show, “Wicked.” Vicki Gorman, unfortunately, wasn’t able to join him, but you may remember she returned to LCH for Carl Crosier’s last service on August 21st to sing Haydn’s “Lord Nelson” Mass.
After church, we had lunch with Janet and Greg Dubay, former Honolulu Symphony musicians (Greg: principal cello; Janet: violin) and former LCH parishioners. Janet used to sing alto in the LCH choir. It’s been ten years now that the Dubays moved back to Oregon, where Greg is the head of a community music school and Janet freelances playing violin for the ballet and opera.
I then attended the beautiful Advent Carol service at St. Andrew’s Cathedral where Carl is singing these days, and was happy to see Naomi Castro singing soprano in the choir. We then dashed off to LCH afterwards for my 34th and final Advent Procession. Something wasn’t quite right with the lighting and it was mostly dark throughout —the service is supposed to start in darkness and finish in brilliant light. Also unfortunately, Carl’s setting of “Veni veni Emmanuel” didn’t quite come off because the choir exited too fast into the courtyard and the bells couldn’t be heard for the final verse. Oh well, that’s not going to be my worry anymore!
Someone recently asked me, “Are you counting down the days?” Yes, I only have five services left! December 9, 16, 23, 24, and 25.