This trip to Ireland by the Hawaii Masterworks Chorus is a reunion for many people– it is a reunion with choristers who moved away from Hawaii, plus a reunion with family members. As I wrote in a previous post, we have 78 people on the trip, 56 of them who are singing, and the rest of them non-singing family members and friends. People have come from North Carolina, Oklahoma, Ohio, Finland, Germany, Canada, New Jersey, New Mexico, and 10 of Tim Carney’s family members have come from New York.
Tonight our concert at Christchurch Cathedral in Waterford was also a reunion with former LCH choristers Mark Boyle and his wife, Jane, who moved away from Hawaii 16 years ago and now live in Pennsylvania. They celebrated their 20th wedding today by driving over 2 hours to our concert, and what a joyful reunion we had! Jane moved in 1999 but Mark stayed to sing in our 2000 performance of the St. Matthew Passion, and according to Mark, it set the course for his life! It was because of Carl Crosier that he has become a fan of this monumental work and he says he now owns 48 recordings of it!
We finally gained access to the organ at our pre-concert rehearsal, and from what I could tell, it was a fine instrument. Built originally in 1817 by Thomas Elliot with additions by William Telford in 1876, it was restored by Kenneth Jones & Associates in 2003, after having not being played for over 30 years. There was a closed circuit television, but the camera was focused on where the clergy sat, and therefore not useful for me. For the one piece that I played, the Mozart Laudate Dominum, Naomi Castro came upstairs to sing her soprano solo, so at least we were together. I had less than 5 minutes to find suitable stops for the accompaniment!
The choir gave an especially fine performance tonight, and we had a full, enthusiastic crowd who gave the singers a standing ovation.
The program began with about a 25 minute concert by the Trinity Gospel Choir, a local Irish singing group who clearly had a lot of fun, singing, swaying, and clapping to gospel music. It reminded me a little of “Sister Act!”