Organ music in a Buddhist temple!

Higashi Hongwanji Mission

Higashi Hongwanji Mission

This weekend, Joey Fala will play a concert at Higashi Hongwanji Mission in Hilo on the Big Island. According to Bob Alder, who does electronic organ service in Hawaii and is underwriting Joey’s transportation to Hilo through his firm, Church Organs Hawaii, said:

“This organ has always been used by Higashi Hongwanji for their regular services. As far as we know, the Higashi Hongwanji pipe organ has not been in a public concert since its dedication concert was played by Dr. Frank Tabrah in 1962. Rick Mazurowski and I talked it over and both felt that this was the right time for this magnificent organ to be heard by music lovers on the Big Island. Being the largest musical instrument on this island, and the largest outside of Honolulu, makes it unique and very special. Having a musician of Joey Fala’s talent available to perform on it was an opportunity that we just couldn’t pass up.”

Rick Mazurowski, the organist of Holy Apostles, who was mentioned in the paragraph above, said:

“Joey was giving another organ concert in Honolulu, and desired to play at an outer island this time.  We were very lucky that he decided to choose Hilo, since he is an exceptionally virtuosic and moving artist.  I have only been lucky enough to hear him play once about 10 years ago, when I took one of my students to Honolulu for Kathy Crosier’s Young Organists Concerts.  At that time he was a teenager who could hold his own with any seasoned adult organist.  It was a beautiful experience hearing his skills at such a young age. “

Rick has helped Scott Bosch (another AGO member on the Big Island) maintain the beautiful old three manual Wicks organ at Higashi Hongwanji several times a year since retiring to Hilo in 2004, and has always viewed it as an unknown “diamond” that needed to be heard by the local community. Luckily the fairly new sensei at the temple, Rev. Sawada, was open to hosting a community concert!

Rick continues,

“It is truly a concert instrument with beautiful gilded exposed pipework and excellent acoustics.  Music lovers in Hilo will simply be delighted to discover this amazing instrument played under the hands of such an amazing artist, Joey Fala. Joey’s program is varied and will show the many capabilities of this instrument:  whisper soft Erzähler stops, fiery trumpets, and heart stopping thunderous full organ sounds! Audiences will also experience the welcoming beauty of the congregation and leadership from Higashi Hongwanji members!”

Poster for Joey Fala's concert in Hilo.

Poster for Joey Fala’s concert in Hilo.

If you would like to see the actual concert program, you can click here.. The concert is Sunday, March 12th at 3:00 p.m., Higashi Hongwanji Mission, 216 Mohouli Street, Hilo; corner of Mohouli and Kapiolani.

Don’t forget Joey’s Honolulu concert the following Sunday, March 19th at 7:00 pm at Central Union Church!




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 Organ music in a Buddhist temple!

  1. John Alexander says:

    Sure wish I could be there — sounds fantastic!! -j*

  2. Barbara Adler says:

    When I lived in Hilo, I used to play for weddings at Hilo Higashi Hongwanji. Sometime in the 1980s I received a letter from James Welch in California, asking if I could arrange for him to play a recital there (gratis). I did and he played a recital.

  3. Pingback: A visit with Dr. Tabrah | Another Year of Insanity

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