Before tonight’s rehearsal for the Bach Mass in B-Minor, the orchestra manager said there was going to be an important announcement. Violist Steve Flanter told us that percussionist Steve Dinion, had been diagnosed with an aggressive form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma about two months ago and had started intensive chemotherapy. Yesterday, close friends were notified that Steve’s organs were shutting down, and this afternoon, this gentle soul passed away.
I couldn’t help but think of the last time I performed the Bach Mass in B Minor, which was three years ago at the Lutheran Church of Honolulu, and of course, Steve Dinion played timpani. Here’s a picture of the performance.
Steve, though, played dozens and dozens of concerts with us at the Lutheran Church of Honolulu, as part of the Bach Chamber Orchestra. He always came over to say ‘hello’ to me in the gigs we did together, and was always so very nice to me. He will be sorely missed!
Here are some samples of what people are writing on his FaceBook page:
I never imagined that goodbye would come so soon. Stephen Dinion, you were such a great man. Your warm heart, your genuine compassion, and absolute care for your fellow man was unmatched by anyone. You’re with God now and it isn’t really goodbye, but until we meet again. Take care and watch over us, Steve. (V.L.)
So very very sad to hear that Stephen Dinion has passed away. Steve taught some of my very best percussionists at Castle High School and was so very generous and kind with giving of his time and knowledge. Steve is a great soul, human being and musician and will be sorely missed. Love you, Steve. Thank you for you. Godspeed. (A.A)
What a huge loss to the music community! (K. T.)
Stephen Dinion. He was a kind, gentle, and fierce advocate for equality. On top of it all, he was among the most effective community organizers this town has seen in years. I am blessed to have worked so closely with Steve on so many campaigns, events and actions that others may not have realized how important Steve’s work has been to our community. He will be deeply missed by his extended family at Unite Here! Local 5 and the Aikea Movement (G.A.C.)
I will miss running into you at the Sure Shot Cafe. Standing next to you on picket lines. Thinking of clever sayings for picket signs. I will miss your insight and patience. Your strong will and heart for social justice. Most of all, I will miss your friendship. It was a rare gem. I pray that wherever your spirit shines, you are making sweet, beautiful music. One day, hopefully, I’ll hear it playing in the wind. Touching lives as you always did. (L. T)
Gone WAY TOO SOON. Not nearly enough time for all of the hugs, smiles, downbeats, cymbal crashes and timpani rolls required of this gentle and powerful human being. Sail on, you beautiful and courageous soul, and rest assured that you will NEVER be forgotten, Stephen Dinion. (L.W.)
Honolulu lost one of its most grounded, hard working and inspirational citizens, influential musician and visionary leader. Stephen Dinion was impressive on the stage behind his timpani, and transformative as a union leader, but his real secret was his willingness to work. And work. And work. Here Steve is working to refurbish the Musicians’ Union building so that it could be rented in order to save money and save the building for the union’s future. This was who Steve was; a can-do person who got it done. Even if he had to do it himself. Aloha Kakou, my friend. Rest in Peace. You inspired me in life, and continue to inspire me now. You are truly missed. (P.B.)
With former LCH parishioners Vicki Gorman and Mike Gorman, “Terra Nova.”