Retirement contrafacta

St. Andrew's SchoolsThis has been a week of parties — on Tuesday we were at St. Andrew’s Priory for the “Big Reveal,” as after nearly 150 years of educating only girls, they are now re-branding the school as St. Andrew’s Schools with three schools, one of them being St. Andrew’s Prep for boys only, St. Andrew’s Priory for girls only, and a co-ed Queen Emma Preschool.

My birthday happened on Thursday, and I surmised that in the nearly fifty years of being in church music, this was the first time that when my birthday fell on a Thursday, I didn’t have to play for church choir rehearsal. Truth be told, I actually I loved the freedom!

The party was catered by Kamal Jemmari, at his new restaurant, Kan Zaman. Kamal also catered by retirement party at LCH in April.

The party was catered by Kamal Jemmari, at his new restaurant, Kan Zaman. Kamal also catered my retirement party at LCH in April.

Then Friday night, the executive administrative team (EAT) at St. Andrew’s Priory gave a farewell party to Carl Crosier as he retires after 28 years as the business manager and chief financial officer. I guess a lot of people thought that Carl only played and conducted music, but somehow all the bills had to be paid!

The Head of School, Sandy Theunick, wrote these alternative words (contra facta) which everyone sung to the tune, A mighty fortress (Ein feste Burg) — how appropriate since Martin Luther’s hymn was the battle song of the Reformation which will be celebrated tomorrow:

A song for Carl’s a killer to write;
One’s efforts always faileth.
Perfection’s icon and checkbook so tight,
Against debt he doth raileth.
He is so soft inside;
That softness he doth hide.
We get what e’er we need,
With comments sharp but speed.
On earth is not his equal.

Sandy Theunick, the author of the retirement lyrics, and Carl

Sandy Theunick, the author of the retirement lyrics, and Carl Crosier

The waters of his goodness flow
From petty cash and checking.
Our daily needs provideth he
While every dollar stretching.
When coffers run quite low,
To First Hawaiian he goes
On knee to bend and plead;
He is our knight 
On earth is not his equal.

Our knight of plenty is also a muse—
His wisdom’s beyond measure.
Prime Minister Senior to Sandra the Queen—
Must be a doggone pleasure!
Though bosses here come and go,
To Carl the teachers go
To ask advice so sage,
Or increase in a wage
On earth is not his equal.

Sandy, Carl and me

Sandy, Carl and me

To say farewell to him makes us all cry;
The EAT Team is not happy.
He will be missed for his standards so high,
His outfits oh so snappy!
There is no man quite like our Carl—
A softie with a snarl!
A friend to all in need;
A friend to all, indeed,
On earth is not his equal.


In case you need to know what the tune sounds like, here is a video from St. Thomas Church in Leipzig (Bach’s church) with a performance of “Ein feste Burg,” last Reformation Sunday 2012. The choir sings the second verse in an interesting polytonal interlude.

About Katherine Crosier

In addition to playing the organ I am interested in documenting life's special moments through journaling, scrapbooking, photography and slideshow production. My family just groans.
This entry was posted in Carl Crosier, Katherine Crosier and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Retirement contrafacta

  1. Paul K Lee says:

    From Jinny, Suzette and I from Kamuela: so Carl. Keep up your musing; thank you from Jinny and I

  2. Tim says:

    Congratulations, again, Carl! I love the hymn contrafactum for you!
    Thank you for all you have done for music in Honolulu, for me personally, for HVAE, for LCH, and for the Priory. You are a superhero for music in Hawai`i.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *