Ever since I returned from my mainland trip, I have had to hit the ground running. For the last three nights I have rehearsed with the Early Music Hawaii Chamber Singers for our concert tomorrow night, 7:30 pm at the Lutheran Church of Honolulu. It has made for some very long days, each beginning with 8:15 am chapel at Punahou School and ending with rehearsal as late as 10:00 pm—jet lag notwithstanding! For the last three nights I have woken up promptly at 3:15 am!
The Kings and Queens concert is sub-titled “Intimate Music for and by Themselves.” Ian Capps, in the program notes, writes: From medieval times through the Baroque, the principal patrons of music were the royal families of Europe. Their public profile was very high but, like most of us, they valued what private time they had to appreciate, and often participated in more intimate music.
What is unusual is that the program is being presented twice, once in Honolulu and again in Kona on the Big Island, with two sets of singers. Only I as the keyboardist will be common to both groups.
In Honolulu, there are seven singers, Naomi Castro, Georgine Stark, Karyn Castro, Guy Merola, Bowe Souza and Scott Fikse, in addition to Anna Callner (viola da gamba) and Philip Gottling (recorder) plus myself on harpsichord and organ. We will be presenting vocal and instrumental medieval and Renaissance music by Guillaume Dufay, Gilles Binchois, Ludwig Senfl, Josquin des Prez, Henry V, Henry VIII, William Byrd, John Bennet, Cristofor Malvezzi, Giulio Caccini, Antoine Boesset, Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre, Marc-Antoine Charpentier, Michael Lambert, Henri Dumont, and Tomas de Torrejon y Velasco.
Next weekend I will fly to Kona to join the Early Music Hawaii Chamber Singers of Hawai’i Island where the singers will consist of Rachel Edwards, Mary Garris, Susan Leonard, Kelsey Mordecai, Ian McMillan, Daniel Mahraun and Steve Kaplan; Geoffrey Naylor, Garret Webb and Harry Zola on recorder and myself on harpsichord—same program!
I guess that something I have taken for granted all these years is that being an organist, either I am hidden, or my back is to the audience. However, I am mostly playing harpsichord in this concert and I am definitely out of my comfort zone for a number of reasons. For one thing, my face will be visible to the many people in the audience. Unfortunately I have a tendency to make a face when I make a mistake!
Tonight at rehearsal, Scott Fikse who is directing the Honolulu group, reminded us that the last three nights we have had our “working faces” on, but that he expected us to show some animation for the concert.
That reminds me that years ago, I did a special with the local public television station about various organs in town. The producer had me do several takes because I was not smiling when I was playing the organ! Jeepers, as an organist I’m NOT used to smiling when I play the organ, especially with my back to everyone.
Let’s hope I don’t make too many faces tomorrow while playing the harpsichord!
Tickets are available at the door, or by going to the Early Music Hawaii website.