There are two meanings to this proverb:
- A true friend is one who helps you when you are in need.
- If one of your friends is in need (of help), be a good friend to them and help them.
At the end of the year, I am always pleasantly surprised to receive the recap by WordPress on how many people looked at the Another Year of Insanity blog (53,000!) and this year the top post was “A pipe organ in peril,” which detailed the sad state of the Æolian-Skinner organ at St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Honolulu. How timely this information is, for it was just yesterday that Steven Mark’s wonderful story appeared on the front page of the Today section of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. A text-only version may be viewed by clicking here: Pitch Imperfect
What jumped out at me from the article was that this organ was played for dignitaries such as President Ronald Reagan and Bishop Desmond Tutu, besides countless other services, weddings, funerals and other community functions. Whatever your politics or political persuasions, the instrument is a part of our community and deserving of our support… An old friend in need.
What was not obvious from the article is that all the money needed to restore the organ must be in hand before any work can begin. In other words, approximately $1.4 million is yet to be raised before Phase I—work on the antiphonal organ—is started. That means those of us fortunate enough to play this instrument will continue to deal with its quirks: the 700 dead notes, plus notes which continue to sound after you lift your fingers off the keyboard!
In the meantime, the organ’s last public recital before restoration will be heard New Year’s Eve at 10:15 pm, with John Renke performing a sonata by Alexandre Guilmant (1837-1911). Guilmant was the teacher of my teacher, Marcel Dupré, and Dupré purchased his house with the four-manual Cavaillé-Coll organ inside it.
The organ recital’s offerings will go towards the organ restoration fund, but if you are unable to attend, as I am, you can still donate online securely and safely to the fund by clicking here. I did my part and gave this way — won’t you?