Last night I hosted (with the help of the Executive Board) the Hawaii Chapter American Guild of Organists on the eighth floor party facility of my building. It was a welcome home reception for our homeboy, Joey Fala, whose passion for the pipe organ began when he was in preschool at Holy Nativity in Aina Haina, and whose quest to become a concert organist started in the fifth grade. That’s when I met him and gave him seven years of organ lessons before he left for college. In the fifteen years since then, we’ve all seen him grow up and realize his dream.
The room was noisy with laughter and excited conversation and as Erin Richardson Severin wrote on Facebook, “the pride for Joey was palpable.” Every single one of us had to feel an enormous sense of joy and pride as we greeted Joey and reflected on his journey from a little kid to a mature adult.
I had to smile a little, when I heard Joey’s interview yesterday on Hawaii Public Radio, because Joey gave me a shout-out as being his mentor and his teacher, as well as his “second mom.”
Except for an afternoon doctor’s appointment, I took the entire day off yesterday to prepare for the reception, and put together smoked salmon cucumber chips, a fresh fruit platter, a cheese platter, honey-glazed chicken wings and lemon square bars. (Click the link for the recipe! They were all gone by the end of the evening!) Karl Bachman, the chapter Dean, took four hours to make homemade Chinese dumplings, and even had help via a FaceTime call to China!
Tomorrow night is the Twelfth Annual Organ Concert at Central Union Church, March 19th at 7:00 pm. The program has a little something for everyone— Joey said he programmed the Elgar because it is his teacher, Thomas Murray’s favorite composer, plus jazz (George Shearing), Bach of course, and at my request, a hymn so that Joey can show off his masterful and creative hymn playing skills. He also programmed Dupré, knowing that I was a former pupil of his in 1968!
Edward Elgar (1857-1934)
Pomp and Circumstance March No. 4, Op 39 (Arr. Sinclair)
George Shearing (1919-2011)
There is a Happy Land
J.S. Bach (1685-1750)
Fantasia and Fugue in G minor, BWV 542
“Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele” BWV 654
César Franck (1822-1890)
Choral No. 1 in E Major
Josef Rheinberger (1839-1901)
Organ Sonata No.8, Op.132: Introduction and passacaglia
Herbert Howells (1892-1983)
Rhapsody No. 1 in D flat major, Op. 17
Thierry Escaich (b.1965)
Cinq versets sur le “Victimae Paschali”
HYMN: Be Thou My Vision
Marcel Dupré (1886-1971)
Prelude & Fugue in B Major Op 7 No. 1
What a spectacular program it promises to be! Several of the pieces have a special history for me: I played the Bach G-minor Fantasy and Fugue on my senior recital, the Franck E Major Chorale on my master’s recital, and the Dupré B Major during graduate school.
Don’t miss this concert by perhaps Hawaii’s only concert organist! We are so very proud of Joey!