On my Hawaii Public Radio interview today, somehow the name of Joey Fala came up, my former organ student, as I explained how public radio supports and endorses non-profit groups such as the American Guild of Organists (AGO) and Early Music Hawaii (EMH) by publicizing their events. You see, we sponsor one organ concert per year and every time, we schedule an interview with radio host Gene Schiller in advance of the concert.
I was then able to announce that next year’s AGO recitalist will be a case of “Local boy makes good”— Joey will play on Sunday, March 19, 2017, 2:00 pm at Central Union Church on our series. Ian Capps then remembered that Joey had also pursued another major in college, and I confirmed that he had received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in architecture.
Wouldn’t you know it, just yesterday Joey played a half-recital on the fantastic organ in Woolsey Hall on the Yale campus and posted this video of his performance of Louis Vierne’s Third Symphony first movement, “Allegro maestoso.” It is part of the Master of Music in Organ Performance requirement (two full recitals and two-half recitals). As you may recall, I attended his first full recital in February (read my post “Fire in the belly”).
Also on the program were works by Josef Rheinberger and Herbert Howells. Joey texted me later saying, “I don’t know if memorization will ever be my thing . . . it’s so nerve-wracking” yet I thought the performance was played with great authority and confidence. Of course, I remember when Joey was 11 years old, and I would categorize his attitude towards performing as “Absolutely Fearless!”
This week he also is playing continuo in a performance of Mozart’s Coronation Mass in C Major and commented, “Now that I actually know what the figures mean, it’s so much fun!” Apparently, they only had one rehearsal to put it together, and he said he “couldn’t believe how fast everything came together. Only one rehearsal, tonight, and everyone sounds amazing.”
Yes, amazing Joey.