It’s been about a month now, that former student Joey Fala has been asking me whether I got the Iolani School yearbook supplement. You see, the regular hardcover yearbook comes out in late May, just before the school year ends. But because there is so much time needed to print it, the end of the year activities never get into the yearbook. Hence, the supplement which comes out in the fall of the new school year.
As I said in my last post, I’ve gone back to Iolani School for a number of occasions recently — one was to play a funeral; and when I got to campus and picked up a program, I was shocked to learn it was the funeral of Mel Chow, who worked with my husband, Carl, at St. Andrew’s Priory for years and years. He in fact was our insurance man, and he helped the school with their insurance needs. And he helped me with the insurance claim after Carl died. When I got to the chapel for the funeral, I asked Chaplain Dan Leatherman about the supplement, and he said he would get it for me.
Joey texted me several times over the course of the last few weeks about getting the supplement, and each time I went to campus (the last time for the Diocesan Convention Eucharist), I asked Dan about it.
Finally today was the second time I gave my chapel talk (see my post “Back to School“) and there was a red book on the podium.
Dan asked me, “Did you pick up the supplement?” Oh — that’s what it was. When I skimmed through it, I came to the next to the last page and this is what I saw:
It was a tribute written by Joey Fala! Here is the original text as Joey submitted it: (Some of it was edited for space — so here is how Joey wrote it.)
For 20 years at the console of St. Alban’s organ, Katherine Crosier has been filling the chapel with music that breathes life into this spiritual space. Whether artfully leading our voices in a hymn or elegantly weaving together the voices of a Bach fugue, Mrs. Crosier has gifted the Iolani community with the rare privilege of experiencing, each week, the virtuosity of a first class musician.
Outside of Iolani, Kathy has served as organist at the Lutheran Church of Honolulu, a post she held from 1978 through 2012. It was here that Kathy and her late husband Carl found their life work in building up a music program that would come to gain world-wide recognition as a sanctuary for early music in the middle of the Pacific. Holding both a Bachelors and Masters in organ performance, Kathy also studied in Paris with legendary organ virtuoso Marcel Dupré before settling in the islands. In addition to teaching organ at the University of Hawaii, she has made frequent concert appearances in solo recital, as well as with the Hawaii Chamber Orchestra, Honolulu Symphony, and Bach Chamber Orchestra. As one of the most sought-after organ teachers in the state, Kathy continues to maintain a vibrant studio of students, ages 4 to 84.
While many at Iolani have never known Kathy personally, everyone who steps into the chapel has undoubtedly been touched by her ministry. Growing up under her guidance and mentorship as a young student, I feel blessed to have experienced Mrs. Crosier’s impeccable attention to detail and genuine nurturing spirit, passionate about passing on her gift of music.
“This is why I teach music. Not because I expect you to major in music or become a concert organist, not because I expect you to play all your life, not so you can relax, not so you can have fun. But, so you will be human, so you will recognize beauty, so you will be sensitive, so you will be closer to an infinite beyond this world, so you will have something to cling to, so you will have more love, compassion, gentleness, good—in short, more life.”
How incredibly dear of Joey to write this — I was extremely touched and look forward to seeing him back in Hawaii for Christmas vacation and in New Haven, CT for his graduate recital in February.