Clavierübung—so many notes!


Yesterday I have to admit that the period between 5:30 and 6:15 pm was pretty frantic.

I actually had a relaxing day, as my only task was to find a piece of jewelry to wear to dress up my outfit. And I finally found it—an opal-esque pendant from Walmart that only cost $5!

We took a group selfie in the board room before the concert.

We took a group selfie in the board room before the concert. [L-R] Back row: Karyn Castro, Mihoko Ito, Bowe Souza, David Del Rocco, Karol Nowicki, Scott Fikse. Front row: Kathy Crosier, Naomi Castro

However it took me three trips to load up the car—I had to take my purse, two platters of cookies, the box of programs, and most importantly—my music! During the afternoon, I brought my music upstairs and “read” the entire concert from ending to beginning, away from the keyboard, in an attempt to “practice” the music without actually touching the organ. This has been my practice over many years now, and it has not failed me.

I was the first to arrive, and it then took me another three trips to unload my car, unlock the gates, and turn on the air conditioning. The choir arrived about 5:45 pm and started to turn the pews to face the organ while I was rushing around like a mad woman to clean up the area around the organ. “You mean we have to turn the whole church!” Naomi Castro asked in disbelief. “And we’re supposed to warmup in 15 minutes!?”

In fact it was not until 6:15 pm that the church was ready for the concert and we practiced the transitions from the organ pieces to the chorales. After having given many concerts over these years, I wasn’t nervous, but I continually ask myself, “Why do you have to make things so difficult?! Why do you want to do this to yourself?” We walked out in a procession about 7:03 pm, took our bows, and away we went.

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With Daryl Akamichi

With Daryl Akamichi

I was surprised at how well the congregation sang during the “Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr” (Gloria in excelsis) and “Wir glauben all an einem Gott (Credo) — in German no less! (I understand it was folks from Our Redeemer Lutheran who jumped the gun and started singing during my organ intonation!)

After it was over, it was such a treat to greet current and former students who had attended. It was especially heartwarming to see Geri Ching, my very first student in Hawaii 42 years ago, who is now my successor at Iolani School.

Other former students included Christobel Sanders and Kathryn Klingebiel. I also was very glad to see Daryl Akamichi who studied with me thirty years ago, and has now returned to the islands.

“Kathy, what a moving concert.  I was actually quite emotional after the St. Anne’s fugue and … had to stand up for a while and allow the feelings to pass.  I always look forward to your concerts at the Lutheran.  There are so many memories and feelings it brings back, some of which … are surprisingly strong.  It reminds me that my initial attraction to the organ remains in me, even after a 20+ year hiatus from musical activity.  (I also told her that you let me press the button for the spinning bell thing (sorry, I can’t remember the name) [it’s called a zimbelstern! -ed] when you gave me a Daquin Noel.)  Thank you for a wonderful concert and for taking me as a student those many years ago.”  -Daryl Akamichi

[Ed. note. I used the zimbelstern in the last 8 bars of the St. Anne fugue!]

With my student Naomi and her mother. I also taught Naomi's two brothers who are now in college.

With my student Naomi and her mother. I also taught Naomi’s two brothers who are now in college.

“What a gift! Your performance of the Bach Clavierubung III not only demonstrated the extraordinary musical gifts that you have, but it was also a gift to all of us in attendance.  Thank you!  What I was most grateful for, though, as I listened, was that you are were playing at all after the scary news a number of years ago about your eyes.  I am just so grateful that you are able to see the notes and that you are able to continue to make beautiful music. Thanks be to God!  I’m sure this was a poignant night for you without Carl by your side.  You are a strong and resilient woman, and I admire you. God’s peace, Diane (Martinson)–my former colleague from Iolani School.

OMG that was amazing!! Loved every second!! -C.S. … Breathtaking performance! -L.P. … Fabulous music! -S.A.W. …  Bach Clavierubung III: wonderful! -D.H. … Beautiful evening with Great music -A.C. … A wonderful recital of beautiful music, well played. Many thanks and blessings. -D.K. … What a wonderful concert! We enjoyed it so much. And the spinning star on the organ is just a hoot. Mahalo for all your talent and hard work! -A.M.

We both thank you so much for the wonderful evening last night.  You are an inspiration, taking on such a huge project and learning new pieces, etc.  It was truly beautiful, and I thought the organ itself sounded great.  the choir was also very good.  The whole evening just sparkled, and the attendance was so fine, a real tribute to YOU, and of course, Carl. … this was balm for our souls. mahalo nui loa,  C.L. and F. F.

Afterwards, everyone got a cookie (baked by the students in the Culinary Arts Program at KCC)

Afterwards, everyone got a cookie (baked by the students in the Culinary Arts Program at KCC)

You are going to be flooded with congratulations–and rightly deserve all praise and thanks for last night’s program. Jean-Paul and I were proud to be there to cheer! And the cookie was a great touch. Mille mercis, Kathryn [Klingebiel]

What a wonderful concert! Thank you for preparing so wonderfully and putting this all together. Thank you, again, for a wonderful evening. P.S. The cookie was delicious! -R.H.

Yellow roses (Carl's favorite!) given by Elizabeth Wong,

Yellow roses (Carl’s favorite!) given by Elizabeth Wong,

Carl, this concert was for you.



About Katherine Crosier

In addition to playing the organ I am interested in documenting life's special moments through journaling, scrapbooking, photography and slideshow production. My family just groans.
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3 Responses to Clavierübung—so many notes!

  1. Erin Richardson Severin says:

    It was a truly magnificent concert, and a stunning reminder of the depths of Bach’s genius. SDG!

  2. john f bicknell says:

    I am sure that Carl was there by your side. bravo-bravissimo! jb

  3. Michał Nowicki says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed this concert, Kathy! Thank you so much for exposing me to wonderful organ music!

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