“You love life in the fast lane, don’t you” was a text message I received from my sister last night as I was sitting in Neal Blaisdell Center Concert Hall, waiting for the Beethoven Ninth concert to begin.
I had just gotten off the plane from 9 days on the mainland with my family in the middle of the afternoon when I realized that for the first time ever, I would be in Honolulu for its annual performance of the Beethoven Ninth Symphony. I did some banking, picked up a quick dinner, and was sitting in my seat by 6:30 pm, when “Concert Conversations” began with Iggy Jang, the concertmaster, Maestra Joann Falletta and guest soprano, Rachel Schutz. The rest of the soloists were all local to Hawaii: Charlene Chi, Kip Wilborn and Jeremy Wong. I was happy to read in Jeremy’s bio that he wrote:
Locally Jeremy regularly collaborates with Early Music Hawaii as conductor, soloist, and chorister, and has performed numerous solos with the Bach Chamber Orchestra and Lutheran Church of Honolulu Choir. Jeremy also mentioned his recent gigs with the Oahu Choral Society and Kona Choral Society (Bach Magnificat), which I performed.
Just before the concert began, I looked down the aisle, and to my delight, Jennifer Lane and her husband, Jim Carr, were walking into my row! As you may remember, Jennifer and Jim have been coming to Hawaii every year since Carl Crosier first engaged Jennifer to sing in our 2000 performance of the Bach St. Matthew Passion. I went a few seats over from my regular season ticket seat to sit with them for the concert. Being in front of the cellos instead of the violins gave me a new perspective—and I did enjoy this enthusiastic, joyful performance.
My nine days in California could not have been more different from my “regular” life. It consisted mostly of shopping, eating and living out a daily soap opera with my son’s three pet chihuahuas!
We did, however, take a couple days to play and perform Christmas duets together—my two sisters, Margo Ewing and Doris MacDonald, and my cousin, Mary Au. Our goal was simply to have fun and not worry about too many wrong notes! We were all basically sightreading when we performed “Ding dong merrily on high” for the family, as you can see by the video below.