It was back in May 2011 that I received a message from Wyatt Smith, a young organist from South Dakota:
Hi Katherine, I just wanted to say how much I REALLY enjoy reading your blog. It is one thing I look forward to every day. I really wish that I could just fly out to Honolulu to hear the Bach B-minor Mass (my favorite of all his choral works). I am performing a recital in WI that weekend, otherwise I probably would. Someday I want to make it out to Honolulu to perform a recital. Best wishes, Wyatt
Thereafter, I ‘friend’-ed him on FaceBook and ever since, there was never a blog post that I wrote that he didn’t ‘Like’ or make a comment on. And that’s been hundreds of posts! I found out that Wyatt was a student at the University of South Dakota and gave one of the “Rising Star” recitals at last year’s National Convention of the American Guild of Organists in Nashville, TN. He was the winner of Region VI’s AGO/Quimby Regional Competition for Young Organists (RCYO) and will be continuing graduate study with Martin Jean at Yale University.
Once when I wrote about the death of my mother, Dorothy Chiu Au, Wyatt wrote: I just wanted to thank you for your blog post today. My grandma was called to her eternal home last night. She died, as you said with your father, “by inches” over the last three months, during which time she was able to plan her funeral. So there are very few details that we really have to take care of. Continued prayers for you and your family. Wyatt
Then I wrote back to him: I am sorry to hear about your grandma–and I do thank you for your kind words of comfort concerning my mother. I must admit that writing this blog is therapeutic and keeps me going.
He answered: I am playing for my grandma’s funeral. I went to town to practice today, and for me, that was very therapeutic. I am working us Walther’s Partita on Jesu, meine Freude for the service. I find it very fitting.
On my husband, Carl’s last service, Wyatt sent this message: Please send my best to Carl on this day, his last Sunday as Cantor at LCH. Having never met either you or Carl in person, through your blog, I, and anyone who reads it, can tell that God has richly blessed Carl’s ministry as Cantor. Have a blessed day.
Almost a year ago, I got this message: Hi Kathy, I am beginning to work on my concert tour for summer 2013 which will focus on the West Coast of the USA, now that I have this summer all lined up (20 performances in all!!!!!). I am wondering if there would be any possibility of me flying to Honolulu to do a performance on my 2013 tour? Let me know if this could work, Thanks, Wyatt
Wyatt has now graduated from the University of South Dakota and treated himself to a graduation trip to Hawaii. And guess what, last night we met Wyatt Smith for the first time at the Honolulu airport. We had no trouble finding him in baggage claim as I have enjoyed seeing all the pictures he has taken of his organ travels and posted to FaceBook. He will play a concert at St. Andrew’s Cathedral on Wednesday, May 15th at 12:15 pm.
Aloha, and welcome to Hawaii, Wyatt!