Today, Jason Anderson posted James Weaver‘s obituary from the WYDaily.com, the local newspaper from Williamsburg, VA. You may recall from my last post about necrology, that Jim’s name was the last name read Sunday night at Compline, and that his death was sudden and unexpected.
You can read the complete obituary by clicking here, but what jumped out at me was this:
In 1981 he moved to Seattle, where he sang with several choral organizations. He studied with Peter Hallock, organist, choirmaster and liturgist and director for 40 years at St. Mark’s Cathedral in Seattle, where Mr. Weaver sang at the Cathedral with the St. Augustan Singers, an all men’s group dedicated to the performance of Anglican liturgical music. He also was one of three “cantors” in the Compline Choir, which performed every Sunday evening. A special recording of the world premier of Night Music, by Hallock, featured him as a soloist with the Augustan Singers. Hallock wrote the piece especially for Mr. Weaver.
The piece that was written especially with Jim’s voice in mind was Peter Hallock’s The Dawning for men’s choir and five cellos. In fact Jason had engaged Jim to sing in last weekend’s concert and Jim had already bought his air ticket.
I also learned that Jim studied with Max van Egmond, the world-famous bass-baritone who came to sing Jesus in our St. John Passion in 2004. From 1985 to 1987, Jim had the opportunity to study with Max in Amsterdam and performed frequently in Holland, Germany, Belgium and Eastern Europe. When Jim moved back to the U.S., he sang lots of Bach, including both Passions, and performed with the Smithsonian Chamber Players, Houston Oratorio Society, and American Bach Soloists with which he made many recordings. No wonder Carl Crosier wanted him to sing in our St. Matthew Passion performance — but as I said in my last post, the scheduling unfortunately didn’t work out.
And then this morning, my former organ student Joey Fala sent this picture of himself with McNeil Robinson, who died on Saturday after a long illness. Talk about lives touched by others! I met Neil for the first time in 1975 when he came to inaugurate the Beckerath organ at the Lutheran Church of Honolulu. I went to all three of his recitals and was fortunate to study with him during his visit — about 20 hours of lessons. My Bach playing, phrasing and articulation, was shaped by him, and I in turn taught it to countless others, including Joey, who will be playing the 40th anniversary concert on May 24th at 5:00 pm.
Then Neil came back to Honolulu two years later (1977) to play an all-Bach recital at LCH and an all-Franck recital at St. Andrew’s Cathedral. He stayed a week later to play for our wedding and improvised the recessional.
Go back to my post “It’s a small world after all” to read about our chance encounter with Neil on the streets of New York.