It was another adventure coming home from the Organ Historical Society convention 2015, and because my flight was leaving Boston early in the morning, I decided to leave one day before the convention ended.
Lucky for me, I was able to watch the OHS live-webcast of the final concert by Nathan Laube on the organs at Abbey Chapel, Mount Holyoke College. The first half was on the C B Fisk organ built 1985. Nathan played music by Buxtehude, Cabanilles, Poglietti, Rossi and van Noordt on a historically-inspired instrument with no pistons or other registration gadgets. He had two of his students pull the stops where clearly marked in the score by green and yellow Post-Its©! The second half was played by memory on the E.M. Skinner and Son organ (a rebuild of a 1938 Geo. Hutchings).
Nathan played beautifully and the videography was spectacular, taken with multiple cameras. I’m hoping that the OHS posts the entire concert on YouTube, as they did with Nathan’s 2012 OHS concert (click the link to view).
You might remember that Nathan played a concert at Central Union Church in Honolulu, just two years ago. Go back and re-read my post, “Extraordinary.”
Since we were in Springfield, MA, some 90 miles away from Boston’s Logan airport, I ended up taking a Peter Pan bus, the same type of bus we had ridden all week at the convention. Joey Fala said he was surprised I booked a bus ride (instead of a shuttle) since he sometimes rode next to people who eyed his belongings looking to take them and once even rode next to a convict who had just been released from prison! Luckily, I sat next to a nice lady from Canada.
However, when I had to transfer to the right bus going to Logan, you have to understand that by now, I had purchased another suitcase in Wittenberg, and because of all the music and souvenirs I had bought, my luggage was considerably heavier and off-balance. You can imagine how comical it must have looked to people walking past me when on the escalator at the airport, my luggage and I fell forward onto the moving steps, and tumbled to the bottom, only to be caught on the last step. I dropped both my coats which then got caught on the moving stairway. Luckily I wasn’t hurt, just my dignity!
My flight to San Francisco arrived at 11:35 am, 30 minutes early, and I was prepared to wait until 3:15 pm when I was supposed to board the flight to Hawaii. Throughout the day, we received notices that our flight was going to be delayed because of “airplane maintenance.” When finally we got word from customer service with the suggestion that we rebook on another flight, I jumped ship to a flight leaving at 7:15 pm, almost 8 hours after my arrival in San Francisco. It’s a good thing I did, because ultimately the original flight cancelled! That means, though, that it took me 21 hours to fly from Boston to Honolulu (ouch!)
This morning, after waking up at 1:22 AM (I’m still on Eastern Daylight Time!) I received a link to a fantastic New York Times article about Paul Jacobs giving a tour to three NYC organs: St. Patrick’s Cathedral, St. Ignatius Loyola, and St. Mary the Virgin (where McNeil Robinson used to play). He describes, then demonstrates each instrument in three videos: a virtual “mini-organ crawl.” I enjoyed it, and hope you do too. (As head of the organ department at the Juilliard School, Paul has played in Hawaii twice: once at St. Andrew’s Cathedral and two years later at Central Union Church. We were fortunate to host him as our houseguest.)
I’m off to practice as I’ll be substituting for Samuel Lam at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church for the next five weeks. Rubber fingers, beware!