Yesterday I received word about the death of David Stuart Kayner, and although his death was not unexpected, it still means the passing of an era. I always thought my husband, Carl Crosier, would outlive him, but it turned out not to be, and in fact, David made a great effort to attend Carl’s funeral, owing to his own illness. Our common friend, Tim Carney, the director of the Hawaii Vocal Arts Ensemble, said it best when he posted on Facebook:
Mourning the passing of a dear friend, choral collaborator and colleague, David Kayner, (17 March, 1934 to 17 December, 2014). David was a force of nature, a fierce champion of chant, polyphonic music, and liturgy. He was the driving force behind the creation of Hawai‘i Vocal Arts Ensemble, badgering me and Carl Crosier to get on board with it 23 years ago. I will miss his wit and abrasive demeanor, knowing that he was a good man and sincere lover of the choral art. He was one of the three original founders of HVAE, Carl and I being the other two, and he worked tirelessly throughout our early years to secure our non-profit status, funding, and organized neighbor island tours, including to his beloved Kamuela on the Big Island. In his later years, he attended every concert and sang in the Festivals when he could. In the early days, David and I spoke by phone every day, often many times a day, as he pitched programming ideas and we worked on plans for HVAE. His calls, which always began with his signature and slightly salacious ‘Hi, there’ usually continued with an insult to me or some nasty comments about a colleague, before getting down to business. David suffered no fools, and was irascible, infuriating, and lovable all at once. Our Christmas Concerts this weekend will be dedicated to the memory of David Kayner and Carl Crosier, who both passed away this year. Chorus angelorum te suscipiat.
David was the one person Carl threw out of the Compline Choir, for his unruly behavior, but they remained friends nonetheless. David was always asking Carl to sing for and/or direct something, feast days at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, and more recently, at St. Theresa’s with a group called Cantores Hemolele. Every time he called (which was frequently), I would whisper to Carl, “Tell him NO!” and most every time, Carl would give in and say, “David says it will be different this time.”
I know David was a faithful reader of this blog, and for that I am grateful. Aloha, David.