In my last post, I mentioned my houseguest, Jason Anderson, the second director of the Seattle Compline Choir. You may recall from a previous post that Jason wrote his doctoral dissertation on the life and works of composer Peter Hallock and became his caregiver in his last days. Jason also took over as executor of his estate when Carl Crosier became too ill.
Well, Jason is here in Hawaii on a mission and killing two birds with one stone! He is going through my storage room (a black hole if there ever was one!), looking for all things Peter Hallock to ship back to Washington where Peter’s archives are stored at the University of Washington.
And along the way, he is throwing out/recycling/organizing my storage room which was so filled with “stuff” that Carl and I managed to accumulate through 37 years of marriage that you could not even take one step inside because the “stuff” came right up to the doorway and up to the ceiling! In our previous residence, we had a large basement underneath the main floor which Carl called “the back forty.” So in our condo, we are truly fortunate (?!) that we are only one of three owners in our building who have a storage room, measuring 8′ wide, 15′ long and about 10′ tall.
One piece of buried treasure Jason found yesterday was the original correspondence between Carl and Peter and how they even met in the first place. You see, Carl discovered St. Mark’s Cathedral in Seattle during his college years. Yet, before 1977, he had never spoken to Peter.
I remember helping Carl draft his letter of Sept. 19, 1977 in which he wrote: Dear Peter, Please forgive me while I take the first paragraph of this letter to introduce myself. I am originally from the Pacific Northwest and graduated from the University of Washington where I studied piano with the late Mme. Berthe Poncy Jacobsen and after her retirement, Else Geissmar. During my years in Seattle, I often attended services, recitals, special services and Compline at St. Mark’s. Since my graduation from the University I have become very active in church music and have been influenced and inspired by my experiences at St. Mark’s. . . .
In the letter, Carl went on to explain that he was the Program Chair and I was the General Chair of a regional convention of the American Guild of Organists, and we were planning a regional convention here in Hawaii in 1979. He invited Peter to play an organ recital but Peter instead suggested that he give a countertenor recital, a lecture on “Music making as a temporal art,” and that the Seattle Compline Choir join with the Honolulu Compline Choir in a service.
And this is the part of Peter’s letter I remembered (and Jason found):