How many organists does it take to change a lightbulb? This was no joke, but an actual quip when I hosted the Hawaii Chapter American Guild of Organists at my condo last night and we decided to take a group picture. I suggested that we turn up the lights, and told the group the switch was under the television. It took people several minutes and attempts to even locate the switch! Hence, “how many organists does it take. . . . ”
I had initially booked a reservation at our 8th floor party facility, the Koi Deck with its lovely waterfall and fish ponds, but because it has been so chilly at night (in the mid 60s!) I decided to move the party upstairs to my condo.
People congregated around the bar area where guest bartender Scott Fikse was making martinis, in the spirit of Carl Crosier, whose large gin collection I am always happy to share!
The night before, my houseguest Jason Anderson and I attended the German Vespers for Epiphany at the Lutheran Church of Honolulu, where Scott Fikse conducted Bach Cantata 123, Liebster Immanuel, Herzog der Frommen, with the Bach Chamber Orchestra. The German Vespers has been a tradition at LCH since the year 2002, but this was the first time it was done on Epiphany rather than New Year’s Day. The Rev. Anke Flohr, a native of Hamburg, Germany, was the guest homilist who preached in German. I was amazed to hear her German spoken so fast (!) especially as she led us in the prayers. Her sermon (also in German) told of her recent Christmas visit with family in Germany and the shock at the Berlin terrorist attack.
In case you’re wondering, my German vocabulary is still only limited to German chorale melody titles, so there was a complete translation of her sermon in the service bulletin. That’s how I knew what she was talking about!
Today I’ll be attending two more concerts—in the afternoon, the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra concert, “Made in America,” featuring the music of Barber – The School for Scandal Overture; Gershwin – Piano Concerto in F major; John Corigliano – Phantasmagoria Suite; and Bernstein – West Side Story Symphonic Dances. Maestra JoAnn Falletta will be conducting—what a treat to hear her two weeks in a row!
I can’t help but feeling sad, however, knowing that the HSO’s long-time principal bassoonist, Paul Barrett, is in the hospital with a pancreatic cancer diagnosis. I can certain relate, having gone through all that with Carl Crosier. Paul’s wife, HSO violinist Judy Barrett, is also on my mind—she has played with the Bach Chamber Orchestra for years. Seeing their two empty chairs on stage really fills me with sorrow for them.
In the evening I’ll be back at LCH to hear the Nā Wai Chamber Choir’s winter season concert, Affirmations of Love. The all-women’s choir will feature a program of Britten’s Ceremony of Carols, Whitacre’s Five Hebrew Love Songs, and a series of new compositions written in ‘Ōlelo Hawaiʻi.
All this plus designing a postcard for Early Music Hawaii’s upcoming concert, “Kings and Queens,” and writing blogs for the Burbank High School’s Class of 1968 makes for a rather full weekend, don’t you think?