We spent the day with Cheryl and Byron Will; she is an organist-choirmaster of a small Episcopal parish here, and he is a Portland harpsichord builder who has an international clientele. Carl has actually known Cheryl from childhood — it was her father, The Rev. Carl Fischer, who was the pastor of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Port Angeles, WA where Carl grew up and where we visited last February. (Check out my post called “Roots“). It was Cheryl’s mother, Laurie Fischer, who conducted the junior choir which Carl sang in. You may remember my writing in previous posts that Pastor Fischer was a fine organist who played the major works of Bach on festival Sundays. Both Carl and Cheryl reminisced about his flair in performing the organ and how the congregation relished his playing over Mina Durke’s, the regular organist of the church. The fact that a number of pastors as well as church musicians that came out of that church attests to the great influence of the Fischers upon that community, not the least of which are Cheryl and Carl!
The traffic to the Oregon coast was horrendous, apparently because of a sand castle exhibition at the beach, so we had lots of time for stimulating conversation about church music, early music and travels. Go back and read my post about how we ran into Cheryl and Byron unexpectedly when we all attended the Bach Collegium Japan’s performance of Bach’s Mass in B Minor at Valparaiso University in Indiana. You may also recall that we became reacquainted with Cheryl when Carl spotted her from a distance at the San Francisco AGO convention in 1984, some thirty years duration from their Holy Trinity days in Port Angeles. But the long drive was certainly worth it as the scenery at the Oregon coast was simply spectacular! We bought sandwiches and salads at New Seasons Market, a kind of Whole Foods market chain that is found only in Oregon, and had a great picnic at Arcadia Beach. Doesn’t food taste better when it’s outdoors?!