I used to hear people say that after they retired they were were busier than ever before, and don’t know how they used to fit work in! When I so-called “retired” on September 30, I honestly didn’t know how I’d fill my days. I knew that I was going to keep teaching and playing the organ. I knew that I was going to do some traveling, but beyond on that, I really didn’t have any plans. I really was looking for a musical project of some kind — that was in addition to sponsoring the Duruflé Requiem and Ferko Missa O Magne Pater on Sunday, November 1st. (Check out the listing on the ArtsHawaii website for the details).
No surprise! Yes, I’m still teaching and playing the organ, and I have several gigs coming up that are keeping me in practice. Yesterday I played another Wednesday evensong service at St. Andrew’s Cathedral and this weekend I’m playing a funeral at Iolani School. The following week I’m playing for the Diocesan Convention eucharist (also at Iolani), and two morning services at St. Andrew’s —I’ve decided to play works by Marcel Dupré for the prelude and postlude. The next week I’ll be speaking at two Iolani chapel services (can you believe it — me, the shyest girl in my high school graduating class getting up and speaking to hundreds of school kids!) on October 28th and 29th, in addition to hosting organist Jonathan Dimmock who will be coming from San Francisco to play the Duruflé Requiem. That Friday, I’ve invited composer Frank Ferko to dinner, along with Tim Carney, Douglas Hall, Scott Fikse, Marcus Fikse, Jonathan Dimmock (my houseguest), plus the benefactors of the November 1st memorial concert, anticipating a joyful performance on All Saints Day. At the end of November, I’ll be again traveling to Kona to play Handel Messiah with the Kona Choral Society.
What landed in my lap, this week, though, was an engagement with the University of Hawaii Choirs concert on November 20, and the major work of the evening is Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms. Thanks to Carl Crosier’s meticulous recordkeeping, I found out that I’ve played this challenging piece three times before — on May 22, 1983; June 7, 1987; and June 4, 1995. Still, when I got the score from Miguel Felipe this week, it was almost (but not quite!) like learning a new piece. Egad, it’s been more than twenty years!
In addition to just playing the notes of this difficult rhythmic piece, dealing with all the fast and sometimes impossible page turns, and trying to figure out the registration on an unfamiliar organ (at Central Union Church), the complication is that I will be traveling to Italy on November 5th and won’t return until November 14th. I’m seriously thinking of taking the score with me, even though I won’t have anywhere to really practice. The dress rehearsal at Central Union Church will be Tuesday, November 17th, and it’s very probable that I won’t have recovered from my jet lag.
Sometimes, though, mental practice is “almost” as good as practice on the instrument, if you concentrate hard enough. But I can’t imagine that I will want to think much about Bernstein when I am sightseeing through Rome and seeing scenes such as this:
I even signed up for a tour which will include a papal audience with Pope Francis!
Back to practicing!