One of the best things about going to an event like the Boston Early Music Festival, is seeing and reacquainting oneself with people you know, colleagues, friends and students. We are staying, as we do whenever we come to Boston, with retired choirmaster and organist Edith Ho from the Church of the Advent, in her home in Newton Centre. She lives about 3/4 mile from the “T,” the Boston transit rail, so we do plenty of walking when we’re here.
And guess who is in Boston! Former organ student Joey Fala! Joey has a summer intern job with an architectural lighting firm. He is also practicing the organ at Harvard Memorial Chapel and Old South Church in anticipation of competing in the next round of the AGO Regional Convention I-II, to be held in Hartford, CT at the end of the month. We met Joey at Church of the Advent yesterday for the service, then took him to lunch. We’ll meet him again on Friday when he will join us in going to some of the events of the Boston Early Music Festival.
Last night we attended a concert with the Byrd Ensemble from Seattle. Its director is Markdavin Obenza, who sang with the Compline Choir of Seattle and is now the choirmaster of St. Clement of Rome Episcopal Church, where Peter Hallock played the organ for nearly twenty years after he retired from St. Mark’s Cathedral. In the choir was Linda Strandberg, who came to sing in LCH’s performance of the St. John Passion and in the 80th birthday concert for Peter Hallock in Honolulu!
In the audience we met up with Richard Sparks and his wife, Kathryn. Dick is now the choral director of the University of North Texas, but was for many years the choral director of Pacific Lutheran University and Choral Arts Northwest, which recorded many of Peter Hallock’s works.
Getting back to the program, it was titled “In the Company of William Byrd,” and in addition to the works of Byrd (1540-1623), there were also motets by Alfonso Ferrabosco (1543-1588), Clemens non Papa (1510-1555), Philippe de Monte (1521-1603), Philip van Wilder (1500-1553) and Thomas Morley (1557-1602). The Byrd ensemble was described as “pure and radiant” by Gramophone, “immensely impressive” by Early Music Review, and “rich, full-voiced and perfectly blended” by Early Music America.
I’m afraid I had “cross-relation” ear worms all night!