People have asked me about my “vacation,” and I feel like saying, “I need a vacation from my vacation!” or “I need to come back to work to relax!” In a nutshell, during my 30 nights away from Hawaii:
- At the Boston Early Music Festival, I attended two Monteverdi operas, the Monteverdi Vespers of 1610, one organ recital, and 5 early music concerts, including a superstar, Jordi Savall, lutenist. I also went to mass at the Church of the Advent. All this in the space of 5 days!
- On the 9-day Lutherland tour of Germany, we attended the Motetten service at St. Thomas in Leipzig (Bach’s church), and my sister, Margo and her husband, Ken, went on our own to the Leipzig Zoo. Also in Leipzig, we toured the Mendelssohn House and the Bach Museum. Other cities which we visited included Weimar (and neighboring concentration camp, Buchenwald), Eisenach (Bach’s birthplace), Wartburg Castle where Martin Luther found sanctuary, the Augustinian monastery in Erfurt where Luther was a student, Eisleben, Halle (the birthplace of Handel), Wittenberg.Part of the tour included two organ recitals. Margo, Ken and I also took a one-day tour of Berlin.
- I attended a “Christian Broadway” show in the Amish country with my sister, Doris Au MacDonald, and her singing partner, Sharon Dennis. We also attended a Washington Nationals major league baseball game.
- At the Organ Historical Society convention, I toured the Norman Rockwell house and the Daniel Chester French estate. I attended one evensong, and nineteen organ recitals in nineteen different churches in the space of five days. I then watched the videocast of Nathan Laube‘s concert when I had to leave the convention early.
- I had three long travel days, in which it took 24 hours from Honolulu to Boston; 21 hours from Berlin to Washington, DC; and 24 hours from Boston to Honolulu — due to delayed or cancelled flights and long layovers from 6 to 8 hours.
No wonder I had to come home to take it easy!
Here’s a slideshow of some of the wonderful German food I ate!
But now I’ve been home a little more than a week, and while I haven’t written a post for this blog, I’ve certainly kept busy. First of all, there was all the mail, both U.S. postage and email. I kid you not, I had to use a handtruck to transport all the mail which came to my home address. Including packages and magazines, the stack was four feet high! (it was mostly junk mail!)
But in these 10 days, I have also:
- Played four Sunday services at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church
- Written a hymn introduction to “Leoni”
- Given five organ lessons
- Resumed walking two miles in the morning before going to work
- Produced an 8-page newsletter for St. Elizabeth’s Episcopal Church
- Produced a 20-page newsletter for Region 4, Association of Lutheran Church Musicians (click here: ALCM-Summer2015)
- Written two blog posts for Burbank High School Class of 68
- Had a mammogram (See my post “Bach in the waiting room“)
- Seen my retina specialist for my monthly eye injection
- Completed three 400-piece jigsaw puzzles!
Tonight I had dinner with Robert Ampt and his wife, Amy Johansen, both organists from Down Under. You may remember that they were among the headliners at the Bakersfield AGO convention (“Introducing the organ to children“) and they also visited us in Honolulu on their way home to Australia (“A visit with the Australians.”)
And then, I’ve been planning the menu for an upcoming dinner party — I’ve invited Scott Fikse, the new Director of Music and Liturgy of the Lutheran Church of Honolulu, to dinner next Monday!
Yes, I’ve certainly come home to relax!