Tonight as I was reading my email, I came across the weekly listing of events for St. Andrew’s Cathedral and was surprised to read my name there!
On May 8 at 7:30 pm, next week Friday, in the Cathedral, will be ‘Iolani School’s annual Spring Concert with the ‘Iolani Chorus and Hokuloa Singers, featuring John Rutter’s Requiem, under the direction of John Alexander, with Kathy Crosier, organist and Joanne Watanabe, pianist. This will be Kathy’s final performance, final appearance as the organist-accompanist for the Chorus and Hokuloa Singers of ‘Iolani School. Come and celebrate Kathy’s wonderful talent and dedication to ‘Iolani at this beautiful concert.
Oh, I didn’t know that it was common knowledge — but yes, this is my last school year at ‘Iolani as the Chapel Organist, after twenty years of “zero stress,” as I told my successor. Believe it or not, I will be “retiring,” from sitting at the organ four mornings a week at 7:45 am, where I played a short prelude, opening hymn, Gloria in excelsis, closing hymn and postlude — and listened to a scripture lesson, homily and prayers — all in the space of 20 minutes from start to finish! (P.S. I don’t intend to “retire” from playing the organ, just from getting up at 5:00 am to go play for chapel.)
Each day has a different grade level: Mondays, there are 7th and 8th graders; Tuesdays, we have 9th and 10th graders; Thursdays, there are 11th and 12th graders; and Fridays have Lower School students, K through 6. On Fridays, I also accompany the Lower School Chorus; our only rehearsals begin at 7:30 am for a single anthem following the homily.
For eighteen years, I mostly played the same prelude and postlude all week as I had scheduled for the upcoming Sunday morning service at the Lutheran Church of Honolulu. That way, my music was sufficiently rehearsed before the more “demanding” congregational ears at LCH. Okay, I admit it, the students really don’t listen to my preludes and postludes at ‘Iolani, but that’s okay— it’s just “walking in” and “walking out” music to them.
In addition to daily chapels, we also have four or five All-School Chapels held in the gymnasium for the opening of school, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter and Founders Day (new this year). That’s where I play the “Virtual Organ,” which is a Macintosh laptop computer hooked up to two MIDI stacked keyboards and a full MIDI pedalboard, using Hauptwerk software. Go back to my post where this is explained in more detail.
I also play for the yearly Junior Class Ring Ceremony in the fall and Baccalaureate at the end of the school year. Every June my last service of the year is the 6th grade promotion ceremony, and this year I will play my last note (about 10:00 am) and then take off for Boston immediately following. My flight is at 12:25 pm!
The last two years I have also accompanied the ‘Iolani Chorus — 120-150 choristers from 4th to 12th grade whose Christmas and Spring Concerts take place at St. Andrew’s Cathedral where I play the four-manual Aeolian-Skinner organ. In addition to John Rutter’s Requiem and John Ireland’s Greater love hath no man, you’ll even hear me play “The Rhythm of Life” in a duet accompaniment on the piano! (Yes, I practiced this on our fortepiano — Carl must surely be rolling over in his grave!)
Next Friday night I’ll be anxiously waiting for the end of the concert (about 9:30 pm) and zip off to the airport where my flight to Seattle leaves at 11:05 pm. Hope I make my flight!
Thanks for the memories, ‘Iolani School!