As you may remember from my recent post, “An early Christmas miracle,” I served as the co-chair for my building’s holiday party which happened on Monday. In the morning, in spite of getting lost and spending a half hour needlessly driving in circles, I picked up 28 tablecloths from a party rental business. I had the most fun, though, shopping at Costco and buying in bulk, including two large sheet cakes, 3 veggie trays, 12 apple and pumpkin pies, 6 six-packs of wine, four cases of bottled water, paper goods for 250 people, and 30 children’s toys.
The party was free for all residents, and when we ran out of 250 name tags, plates and silverware, we knew it was a smashing success. Luckily our general manager was able to come up with extra name tags, plates and silverware, so no one left hungry. There was even a small amount of food left over, thanks to our miraculous chef in the building’s restaurant. It did so remind me of the Biblical story of the loaves and fishes, the feeding of the five thousand with only a small boy’s lunch containing five loaves of bread and two fish. (Matthew 14:13-21)
After standing for nearly seven hours (I had arrived from 1:00 pm to start decorating for the party), I was pretty tired, but as you may remember, the next morning I had a 7:00 am rehearsal with the orchestra for the St. Andrew’s Schools’ Christmas chapel service. I was able to take this picture during the offertory when I wasn’t playing.
Yesterday, I returned to Iolani School to attend the winter concert by Orchestra 5 and the 108-member Chorus and Hokuloa Singers, along with other “retired” teachers and staff. I was blown away by the virtuosity of the high school orchestra, under the direction of Katharine Hafner, especially with their last selection, “Hoedown” from the ballet “Rodeo” by Aaron Copland. As you may know, over the years Kathy Hafner has frequently played gigs at the Lutheran Church of Honolulu as a violinist in the Bach Chamber Orchestra. Her conducting skills were amazing!
The Chorus sang many of the numbers they will be performing in Friday night’s concert, which I will be playing on the organ at St. Andrew’s Cathedral. Of course, since yesterday’s concert was in the gym, I was able to sit in the audience to enjoy their a cappella selections and those pieces with piano accompaniment.
Afterwards, the school hosted the retired teachers and staff (that included me!) at a luncheon. I was fortunate to sit next to John Bickel, who has recently been named a Senior Master at the school. He is one of Hawaii’s four electoral college electors who will vote at the state capitol on Monday, December 19. When I opened up today’s paper, I saw John’s picture!
John is also the officiant at Compline, which happens on the first Sunday evening of the month at the Lutheran Church of Honolulu.