September is the traditional month for starting the school year. (However, in Hawaii, as in other locations, school has been starting earlier and earlier, and in fact started in July this summer!)
September is also the month in which musical seasons begin— for example, the opening concert of Early Music Hawaii, Musica Poetica, last weekend which I wrote about extensively in this blog. But last Saturday, I went to the opening subscription concert of the Hawaii Symphony, conducted by Jo Ann Falletta. My husband and I were long-time subscribers of the Symphony concerts, but last year with his death, I somehow did not make a single concert. In fact, I was trying to remember the last time I went to a Hawaii Symphony Orchestra concert, and I’m sorry to say it was probably a year ago last May. I decided to renew my subscription this season and just let me say that the concert was absolutely fantastic!
One work in particular stood out for me: four tango compositions called Four Seasons of Buenos Aires by Astor Piazzola featuring concertmaster Iggy Jang, who literally danced along while playing his violin. This rhythmically challenging and virtuosic work for strings included many special effects, and I came away extremely proud of the musicianship and skill of our local symphony musicians, many of whom smiled and waved to me since my season ticket is in the very front row!
Here is a performance by Kyungsun Lee:
Of course the last piece of the concert, Pines of Rome by Ottorino Respighi was also extremely memorable, especially in the last few moments of the work when the brass instruments were added to the massive sound of the orchestra — and the trumpets and trombones played behind us from opposite ends of the balcony. We were literally encased in a wall of sound — front and back — and fellow organist Samuel Lam (who sits directly behind me) asked, “How did you like the en chamade brass?” [En chamade refers to horizontal reed pipes found in large organ installations.] Talk about surround sound — this was the ultimate experience!
Last night, it was the annual Installation of Officers for the American Guild of Organists, another beginning of a new season for the local chapter.
But September also represents an ending to my status as “employee” and the good folks at St. Elizabeth’s hosted a fabulous brunch yesterday at the Hale Koa Hotel in my honor. They presented me with a plaque which read:
Parish Administrator Emeritus, Kathy Crosier, July 27, 2004 — September 30, 2015. Thank you for your over 11 years of creative, dedicated and loving service to Saint Elizabeth’s Episcopal Church. With much aloha.
Just two more days until “RETIREMENT!”
(P.S. But not retirement from teaching or playing the organ!)