This is the last weekend before I board the plane for 40 days away from Honolulu, and what a weekend it will be! Nine organ lessons, one piano lesson, two church services, one orchestra rehearsal and two concerts all crammed into the next four days. And today in addition to teaching three other organ lessons, I played a Japanese wedding on ten minutes’ notice — I got one of those frantic calls from Kawaiaha’o Church (“we had a scheduling mixup and don’t have an organist… the bride and groom are here and waiting, can you come now?”) [And you call this retirement?!]
Tomorrow night is the orchestra rehearsal for the Hawai’i Vocal Masterworks Festival, presented by Chaminade University and the Hawai’i Vocal Arts Ensemble. In addition to the Fauré Requiem, I’ll also be playing the organ accompaniment to Johannes Brahms’ “Geistliches Lied,” and Edward Elgar’s “O salutaris hostia.” The two performances of this repertoire this weekend are just a warmup for the HVAE’s tour of Ireland in July, my first time ever to the Emerald Isle.
In addition to the rehearsal and two concerts this weekend, I’ll also be substituting at two services for organist Samuel Lam at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church. You may remember this is the Anglo-Catholic parish with an outside stairway to the organ loft — only in Hawaii!
My forty days away will begin with a week in Philadelphia at the Organ Historical Society convention, where I’ll be hearing the famous Wanamaker organ in the Macy’s Department Store, the Aeolian organ at Longwood Gardens, the Dobson organ at Verizon Hall in the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, and the Boardwalk Hall organ in Atlantic City, NJ among many others: altogether 24 organ concerts in five days!
Then it’s a hop over the pond to join the HVAE folks in Ireland where we’ll have performances at St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral (Cork), Christchurch Cathedral (Waterford), Christ Church Cathedral (Dublin) and St. Patrick’s Cathedral (Dublin), the latter of which will be with the Dublin Symphony Orchestra. Of course we’ll be doing some sightseeing along the way.
I’ll next spend twelve days as a tourist: five days in Iceland, four days in Paris, three days in Barcelona, and will end up at the Three Choirs Festival in Gloucester, U.K. where I’ll attend seven services and eight concerts before heading home to Hawaii for three weeks, only to get back on the plane and come back to Europe for two weeks in Alsace, France on an organ study tour! On this first 40-day trip, I think I counted up 40 concerts and/or musical services that I will be attending, plus the four concerts in Ireland that I’ll be performing. I’ll be on fourteen separate air segments and will stay in thirteen different hotels. Think of all the dirty laundry I’ll be bringing home!
If you think this is insane, you’re absolutely right!