Tomorrow, May 15, is the Feast of the Pentecost, and I was so glad to read that the Men’s Schola will be performing Peter Hallock’s “Come holy spirit” for Evensong at St. Andrew’s Cathedral, 5:30 pm. Did you know that the world premiere of this piece happened right in Honolulu at St. Andrew’s Cathedral on Friday, June 22, 1979? You see, Carl Crosier, as Program Chair of the Far West Region of the American Guild of Organists, invited Peter Hallock to come to Hawaii as a guest organist. But Peter demurred, and wondered if he could bring the men of the Compline Choir of St. Mark’s Cathedral on the trip. A couple of letters later, Peter wrote us,
“The boys said YES! Hallock says “AMEN!”
Peter wrote his anthem, “Come, Holy Spirit” for opening day of the convention. We began with a grand reception on the front lawn of St. Andrew’s Cathedral, followed by a wonderful concert by organist Gerre Hancock of St. Thomas Church, New York City. At the conclusion of the concert, the lights dimmed, and we heard the spine-tingling and absolutely gorgeous chant coming from the Compline Choir, who sang from the back of the cathedral (underneath the Great West Window).
I still remember that first performance of “Come, holy Spirit” and especially those excruciating dissonances which melted into beauty and deliciousness. The anonymous prayer, “Come Holy Spirit” was offered by the Right Reverend Alan Jones as an introduction to a series of lectures presented at St. Mark’s Cathedral, Seattle, Washington in 1979.
Come Holy Spirit and wound us and make us whole. Come Holy Spirit and smite us and give us peace. In your hands we rest, In the cup of whose hands an ark sailed rudderless and without mast. In your hands we rest, And own a providence as large as sea and sky that could make of the aimless wandering of the ark a new beginning for the world. In your hands we rest, Ready and content this night. To see thee is the end and the beginning. Thou carriest me and thou goest before. Thou art the journey and the journey’s end.
In researching this anthem, I found Ken Peterson’s blog post about the Honolulu Compline services (which sadly, are no more), and his remembrances of that opening service. Ken writes: I first remember Carl from the summer of 1979, when the Seattle Compline Choir made a trip to Honolulu to sing at a regional convention of the American Guild of Organists. Peter wrote his anthem “Come, Holy Spirit” for the occasion, and we sang it at a candlelit Compline service at the Episcopal Cathedral. We also sang Compline with Carl’s choir at the Kawaiahao Church. Over the years, Carl has sung with the Seattle choir, including our travels to Russia and Scandinavia (1997) and England (2000).
Ken posted Roland Roy’s design for the LCH Compline Choir on his blog, and I was curious to find out what Roland is doing these days. In the 70s he was a parishioner of the Lutheran Church of Honolulu, and a policeman. As I remember the story, he was writing down a description and details of a “perp” and started sketching. His drawing was so good and realistic that they actually “caught the guy” based on his artwork. Here’s Roland’s bio:
I was born and raised in Honolulu and developed an interest in Art as an adult working for the Honolulu Police Department. Art became my sanctuary from my job, and I drew furiously for a year, while a friend sent my drawings to art colleges on the mainland. I chose Art Center in Pasadena and ventured off to California. After Art Center, I pursued a career in television and design that led to numerous awards, including the New York Film Festival Award for a documentary he co-wrote and directed. I also designed the CBS promotional Fall Campaign in 1986 and followed with the Star Wars Congressional Presentation for Ronald Reagan with Bob Able and Associates. I retired soon after that to concentrate on my own Art. I convey many moods in my work and am more interested in the effect of a subject than its correctness. I like to explore all facets of art from music to poetry, sculpting to stage plays. I want to touch, to feel everything.
You might remember that he also a designed a logo for our wedding in 1977! Here is a video of some of Roland’s impressionistic artwork. I believe he now lives in California.