It was only because of pressure exerted by my husband, Carl, that I decided I should probably have a speech ready for today’s celebration. And so here it is:
I first want to thank all of you for coming today. Those of you who know me know that I would much rather be busy behind the scenes instead of out front. I’m not one to give speeches, and I was thinking I’d ask you to “just read it on my blog!”
I read an article recently on the subject of musical bios, and someone said that they all fall into a predictable pattern:
So-and-so began music lessons at an early age; so-and-so went to This-and-That University and studied with This Teacher and That Teacher; So-and-so won this-and-that prize and has played in this-and-that festival. Blah, blah, blah.
So I decided to rewrite my own bio a little and thought I’d share it with you.
Since the age of thirteen, the one constant in Katherine Crosier’s life has been the organ. Even though she started piano lessons at age four, at age thirteen she was ready to quit. (She never practiced anyway, and sightread all of her lessons!) At that time her parents suggested that she switch to another instrument. How she picked the organ was a big mystery since she had never heard of, much less, heard, the pipe organ before. Her only experience with organ music was the aging Hammond at church.
At various stages in her life, she’s been a secretary for a food company, a preschool secretary, a statistical typist (typing nothing but numbers eight hours a day), a handbell teacher with seventeen classes of handbells a week, a computer support specialist, a wedding coordinator, and a church office administrator. Her musical activities have included choral accompanying for groups such as the Hawaii Children’s Opera Chorus, St. Andrew’s Priory, and Hawaii Pacific University; She has been and continues as the chapel organist for Iolani School, and she completed nearly thirty-five years as organist of the Lutheran Church of Honolulu. However her greatest job has only been in the last three years, and that’s Queen of the Bloggers!
Someone once said, “Kathy, what are going to do when you grow up?”
Seriously, none of this could have been possible without the support of my husband, Oh Carl, as I call him, who has been my greatest teacher of all. There are so many other people to thank for this day — Carol Langner, Frank Haas, Mary Fastenau, Pastor Fritz — I don’t know who else was responsible since I wasn’t in charge!
I would like to close with a quote about Claude Balbastre which I wrote about on my last Christmas Day service. Dr. Charles Burney wrote that he “performed in all styles in accompanying the choir. When the Magnificat was sung, he played likewise between each verse several minuets, fugues, imitations, and every species of music, even to hunting pieces and jigs, without surprising or offending the congregation, as far as I was able to discover.”
Reflecting back on my nearly 35 years of service at LCH, and the millions upon millions of notes I’ve played, I’m hoping that I can be remembered for the same: “without surprising or offending the congregation.”
Or, as the great Lutheran organist, Paul Manz, wrote:
I have just been the organist. Thank you for letting me play.