a needle in a haystack
something that is almost impossible to find because it is hidden among so many other things
For weeks now, I have been looking for something — something I was pretty sure I had, but I simply can’t find it among the stacks of stuff we have. (I daresay we have hundreds of concert programs stashed — maybe even thousands! But they are not organized! ) It was the dedication program for the installation of the Rudolf von Beckerath organ at the Lutheran Church of Honolulu, presented on Pentecost, May 18, 1975. I and about 600 other people went to that program, and although this was forty years ago, I was sure that we had kept one copy, even though they ran out of programs. You may remember that in a previous post, I related how people kept pouring into the church, many sitting on the floor, and at one point, about thirty or forty people even climbed the rickety makeshift ladder and sat on the Board Room roof. And that was before the roof was reinforced! Yikes!
The inaugural concerts with New York organist, McNeil Robinson, happened a couple of weeks later, on June 6 and 8, 1975. If you can believe it, the church only asked for a donation of $3 per concert! There was so much enthusiasm generated from the two inaugural concerts that a third concert was added on June 9th. I was a big spender in those days, because I went to all three concerts, then spent about 20 hours taking private lessons with Neil.
A workshop was sponsored by the Hawaii Chapter of the American Guild of Organists on June 7th; the morning session was for organists, and the afternoon session was on liturgical church music. Each session was $5, or you could go to both for the grand price of $7.50!
So yesterday we had the first planning meeting of the 40th Anniversary Committee, to celebrate the forty years that the Beckerath organ has been in Honolulu. The event has now been set to occur on Pentecost this year, May 24th at 5:00 p.m. I shared some of the many newspaper clippings which we have saved, and I believe that I remember Carl saying that there were some 20+ instances of the organ being widely publicized in the newspapers. I intend to scan many of these to include in the program.
We will perform some of the same music that was performed on May 17, 1975, based on my foggy memories. I even called the former music director, Joseph Hansen, yesterday, to see if he had a copy and if he remembered any of the music performed. What he did remember was the organ dedication of the Beckerath positiv organ (the organ that was purchased prior to the big organ) and that the music blew off the organ rack in the middle of the anthem! Yup, Carl Crosier was the organist for both of these programs and kept his cool!
So the $64,000 question is: Is there anyone out there who has a copy of the program I’m looking for? Email me or respond in the comments below.