Dazzling display of virtuosity

Michael Hey at St. Andrew's Cathedral

Michael Hey at St. Andrew’s Cathedral

This past weekend was a highpoint for the local chapter of the American Guild of Organists: we hosted Michael Crisostomo Hey for the Ninth Annual Organ Concert and were treated to a dazzling display of virtuosity. As I was listening to him play, wave after wave of “chills” came over me. I was so impressed with his super energy and virtuosity — his fingers and feet just moved so fast! Plus — there was a large capacity crowd who attended the concert and the generous offering covered our expenses! You can read more about Michael on his website.

Michael’s program included:

Overture to The Bartered Bride (Smetana, transcription by Michael Hey)
Prelude and Fugue in A minor, BWV 543 (J. S. Bach)
Children’s Corner Suite (Debussy, transcription by Michael Hey)
Prelude and Fugue in D-flat major (Shostakovich, transcription by Michael Hey)
Variations on America (Charles Ives)
O Mensch bewein from “Orgelbüchlein”(J. S. Bach)
Choral Fantasy on Halleluja, Gott zu loben 

Every year at the Annual Concert, AGO Board member Karl Bachman has the responsibility of giving a “pitch” at intermission, to encourage people to open their wallets just a little bit wider so we can perpetuate these fabulous concerts. This year’s spiel was one of the best and most clever, so I asked Karl to share it with all of you:

Michael takes his bows

Michael takes his bows

Three (3) years ago Christopher Houlihan, our 5th artist in this series, introduced me to Michael Hey, who at that time was in his early years of study at The Juilliard School.  At the same time Paul Jacobs, chairman of the organ department there, mentioned he had a promising student that would be ready in several years named Michael Hey, so we waited for this moment today.  And wasn’t it worth the wait!?

Here we are in the 3rd month on the 9th day enjoying the success of Michael’s study and growing musicianship. He epitomizes what we seek to do in this series of concerts, and that is to discover the “rising stars” in the field of organ performance. 

When one puts all those threes together Christians immediately think of things like the Most Holy Trinity or the nine-fold Kyrie, or the grouping of Psalms at Matins. 

That got me to thinking.  If you square 3 you get 9.  If you cube 3 you get 27.  If you turn the digits around in 27 you get 72.  If you multiply 27 by 3 you get 81.  Isn’t this fun? And all those products equal nine (9).

3 and 27 seem to have been the average lows and highs in New York City for the past 72 days.  In fact it was 27 when Michael left JFK for Honolulu on Thursday. 

9 seems to be the number of inches of snow fall in New York every other day for the past month and a half. 

81 and 72, of course, are the highs and lows in Honolulu, which is why Michael seems to be so happy here and is filled with so much enthusiasm and energy for this afternoon’s concert. 

And did I mention that Michael was born in the ninth month of the year. 

Why this is important is that we are going to ask for your support to help us bring this high level of young talent to our community again next year. 

As you think about what you would like to contribute, I ask you to think of how we are blessed here in Hawaii with 72 and 81 as our favorite numbers. 

Whatever you are thinking of putting into the offering plate, think about multiplying it by three, whether that is once, twice, or dare I suggest even three times.  That would be wonderful!  Thank you!

The AGO Board with Michael Hey

The AGO Board with Michael Hey



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.
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