The last few days have been super busy for me, as I get ready to leave for Seattle, did the dress rehearsal today for tomorrow’s Iolani School chorus concert, and finished up the publicity for the 40th anniversary of the Rudolf von Beckerath organ program on Sunday, May 24th at 5:00 pm. The latter meant taking the postcards to bulk mail at the airport post office, sending out rounds of press releases to the media, and sending email notices to the local American Guild of Organists members.
The 16-page program booklets which I designed have also arrived, and contain not only the order of the program and Joey Fala‘s bio, but also the history of the organ and reprints of some of the many newspaper articles and photos which announced the arrival of the organ in 1975. I was also most happy to find and include Carl Crosier‘s speech at my retirement celebration, in which he said:
Many of you may not know that I was the organist of LCH from late 1972 to 1977. I was also part of a trio championed by Pastor Johnson that ultimately resulted in the installation of the Beckerath Organ. I do want to acknowledge the great contributions of both of the late Dr. John Hanley and my predecessor Joseph Hansen.
What I also want to remind everyone is that this organ was built by one of the GREAT organ builders of the 20th century, Rudolf von Beckerath. This instrument was, in fact, the last of his instruments in the US, which he personally voiced, as he died one year after its installation.
The organ has been visited by many of the great organists of our time including the late Marie-Claire Alain, Harald Vogel and only a few weeks ago, Nathan Laube. They have all been unanimous in their praise of this instrument as being not only a Beckerath, but indeed a very special one, a “gem,” a great work of art. We hope the LCH congregation will continue to maintain this world class instrument, much as you would a great Rembrandt painting, restoring it as necessary as it ages, but not changing it.
When the Beckerath Organ was installed in 1975 it quite literally put LCH on the musical map giving us a new profile in the Honolulu community. Although much good music had gone on here for the 75 years before, this instrument really defined the music making that would follow—lyrical, elegant and colorful.
Carl Crosier (2013)
We are also most grateful that Rudolf von Beckerath’s apprentice at the time of the 1975 installation, Hans-Ulrich Erbsloeh who is now a master organbuilder, still maintains the instrument today and in fact will be present at the anniversary celebration. He and his wife, Christiane, arrive in Hawaii the day after I leave for Seattle.
I am so looking forward to their visit — and especially the arrival of the new baby pipe organ which will be delivered on May 19th!