Gales of laughter and trading of “war stories” — this is what I enjoyed most about the luncheon I gave yesterday for four of my former organ students, home for the holidays from college.
“All the congregations I’ve played for sing slower and s-l-o-w-e-r!”
“The organist used the SAME registration throughout eight verses of the hymn!” (Horrors!)
“People in choirs are impossible because they are not willing to accept change!”
“I like college because I got a key to the concert hall and can practice at 1:00 a.m. in the morning!”
“I was able to give an organ recital to fulfill 30 hours of community service!”
“I caught myself calling them Flip-Flops!” (instead of rubber SLIPPERS, as they are referred to in Hawaii!)
“The food in the dorms is HORRIBLE!” (All of these students seem thinner since going to college!)
These and many other stories seemed to bring eruptions of laughter to Joey Fala, Miki Yamamoto, Jordan McCreary and Joshua Yuen-Schat, all home from college. Here’s an update on each student:
Joey Fala, who started organ lessons with me at the end of the fifth grade, is in his fifth and final year as an architectural lighting student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY, and serves as organist-choirmaster at First United Presbyterian Church. Miki Yamamoto studied with me during high school and now is a senior at Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, WA and studies music education with flute and organ as her instruments. I understand that last year, she played a fine junior recital on organ at PLU and will be starting a church job next month. Jordan McCreary, who began organ with me as a sixth-grader, is now a sophomore at Pacific University in Forest Grove, OR and is a pre-med student who played keyboard in the orchestra this year, but will be switching to choir next term. Joshua Yuen-Schat also started organ as a sixth grader, and is now a freshman at Kenyon College in Gambier, OH (surrounded by cornfields!) and plays occasionally for chapel.
What I was most pleased about is that music is still a big part of the life of all these students — some with church jobs, others play with school ensembles. It’s tremendously satisfying when, after years of lessons with me, students still continue to play the King of Instruments!
Oh, and the rumor that “The Queen Doesn’t Cook?” Look what I fixed: baked ziti, romaine and green bean salad, garlic bread, pupus such as stuffed lychees, cherries, and brie on fig & olive crisps. As Joey wrote in the guest book: What a great studio reunion! Hope this is the first of many! Thank you so much for having us. The food was delicious — the Queen CAN cook!