Today, I drove to Iolani School for chapel, something I did for twenty years, and for the first time, I didn’t play the organ —instead I was the chapel speaker, which was a first! It didn’t feel altogether strange to be in the building since I just played a funeral and the Diocesan Convention Eucharist there in the last week.
Chaplain Dan Leatherman gave me quite an introduction in which he said: November 1st is All Saints day — a time in the church calendar when we give thanks to God for the witness of the faithful in the past and present. Saints need not be historic like St. Alban, but can be anyone who shines with the light and love of God. The dead as well as the live. The time around All Saints is a time to remember people in our lives and in the life of the church who have made a positive difference
Martin Luther said that “Music is one of the most magnificent and delightful presents God has give us.” There is no one in this chapel that doesn’t like some kind of music — Music speaks to the heart and it is of the soul. From the ancient times, people have used whatever instruments they could make to create music and then offer that gift back to the divine.
Nearly every week we gather in this chapel and have as part of our chapel service hymns and songs. Even the Psalm (150) you just heard is an ancient song and a prayer — an expression from the heart. Prior to Ms. Ching, our speaker this morning, Mrs. Kathy Crosier, played at the organ of St. Alban’s for 20 years at ‘Iolani. The organ being her chosen instrument, she has studied with organ masters and played on some of the most magnificent instruments in the world. She and her late husband, Carl Crosier, were a musical pair at the Lutheran Church of Honolulu — he conducting and she at the organ bench, offering music to the Glory of God and for the enrichment of the lives of those who came to worship and to listen to masterful concerts. She continues to use her gifts to help people worship. Too often in chapel we only hear Mrs. Crosier play. Now we get to see and hear her speak. Please help me welcome, to THIS side of the organ bench, Mrs. Kathy Crosier.
Wow! What a warmup to my speech, which you can read in its entirety by clicking here: Chapel Talk. Today’s chapel was for the 7th and 8th graders; tomorrow I’ll speak to the 9th and 10th graders. As I said in my talk, even though I was Chapel Organist for 20 years, it probably was the first time ever that students and teachers heard me speak — they were only used to hearing me play the organ.
This being concert week, last night was the dress rehearsal for Frank Ferko’s, Missa O Magne Pater, and organist Jonathan Dimmock arrived this morning from San Francisco, and is here to play the Duruflé Requiem. The dress rehearsal for that work is on Thursday night, then Friday night is my dinner for composer Frank Ferko and the concert principals — an occasion for which I’m cooking, the preparation of which is almost like preparing a solo concert! (There will be four appetizers, a fruit salad, honey-lime glazed salmon, french green beans, rice pilaf, and a dessert — pictures to follow!) Then Sunday night is the concert! Details can be found on the ArtsHawaii calendar.