It’s been a rough week.
First we heard of the death of our long-time friend, Dale Noble, of Kamehameha Schools and Calvary-by-the-Sea Lutheran Church. I wrote a post about Dale which you can re-read by clicking here. On Dale’s FaceBook page, a former student posted the following video of the Kamehameha Glee Club singing “When I survey the wondrous cross” at St. Andrew’s Cathedral with the following comment:
My Kamehameha Concert Glee Club memories are definitely the fondest of my high school years, especially when you have such a kind-hearted & talented person like Mr. Dale Noble as your Director. When I close my eyes & sing along with the choral music he taught us, I remember it like it was yesterday & I can see him standing there directing us. Thank you so much Mr. Noble for all you taught me & for being such a wonderful teacher & friend. Having you as my mentor for 3 1/2 years was truly a blessing to me & for that I am forever grateful. I’ve always loved music but you’ve helped me have a much deeper appreciation for it. You will truly be missed by all. Mahalo Nui a Me Ke Aloha Ia ‘Oe. God Bless You Mr. Noble
Then last Saturday, March 29th, we attended the funeral of long-time Church of the Crossroads organist Paul Bornand who died from cancer. The service was held at the Lutheran Church of Honolulu where Paul came to worship after his tenure at Crossroads came to an end. He delighted in conversations in the Thursday Bible studies, adult education, and practicing for hours on the Beckerath organ. Memorial gifts were received by the Hawaii Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. The church inherited Paul’s upright piano on which Don Conover, Paul’s former choir director at Church of the Crossroads, played “Precious Lord, take my hand,” during the communion. Hearing that heartfelt performance, on Paul’s piano, was for me the highlight of the service.
The very next day, March 30th, there was a special Choral Evensong in memory of John McCreary, on the first anniversary of his death. Carl Crosier was part of the Diocesan Choir which sang music composed by John McCreary, which included O Lord, support us all the day long; Psalm 23 (Ka haku a ko’u); Magnificat from the Kamehameha Service; and Nunc dimittis from the St. Andrew’s Service. Here is a brief bio which was in the program:
John McCreary, conductor, composer, arranger, singer. and organ builder, had a brilliant 35 year career at St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Honolulu, Hawaii. He delighted island audiences with awe-inspiring performances of major works and outrageously funny arrangements, such as his Variations on Rubber Ducky for organ, orchestra and chorus. Both his serious and humorous works have brought acclaim and awards from island and mainland critics. As an organ builder, McCreary added five E.M. Skinner stops to the large Aeolian-Skinner organ at the Cathedral and, then built a three manual fourteen-rank theater organ in his home.
Then today, we went to Kailua for the funeral of our former neighbor, Kay Craft. I was so surprised to read in the program that she played the piano and the organ, and in fact, had been organist for churches in California and Arizona. Her husband, The Rev. Bruce Craft, was formerly the pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church where the funeral was held. They were our upstairs neighbors in Kaneohe for eleven years, and attended many of our musical events at the Lutheran Church of Honolulu — but not before today did we learn that Kay played the organ!
Tonight we attended the Hawaii Symphony Concert and Anne Akiko Meyers played Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2 in G minor. To the audience’s great delight, she played a very sweet rendition of “Over the rainbow” as an encore.
It seemed like the perfect choice to a week of funerals and memorial services.