Tears of happiness

The 2016 graduating class gathers 'round the fountain after the ceremony.

The 2016 graduating class gathers ’round the fountain after the ceremony.

This afternoon, I will be playing for the St. Andrew’s Priory Class of 2017 Commencement ceremony at St. Andrew’s Cathedral. I remember that it was always one of Carl Crosier’s favorite events of the year—he says it always filled him with such pride and joy. Even though he did not ever actually have a daughter in the school, as a member of the administration, he told me he felt a tremendous sense of accomplishment, educating these young women in the tradition of Queen Emma, who founded the school in 1867, now one hundred fifty years ago.

Today's program

Today’s program

One of the features that sets the Priory ceremony apart from the typical high school graduation is the amount of music, and not just from me as the organist. Today I will start the program by playing Gordon Jacob’s Festal flourish as the prelude, and then the girls will sing an oli, a Hawaiian chant. Then I will launch into a grand processional, David Johnson’s Trumpet Tune in C while the administration, faculty and graduates slowly enter the nave.

Next will be the opening hymn, Hawai’i Pono’i, the invocation, then The Queen’s Prayer, Queen Liliu‘okalani’s beloved hymn written during her exile at Iolani Palace. After addresses by the senior class president and outstanding student scholar, the girls will sing their class hymn, Seek ye first the kingdom of God. The graduates from the classes of 1947, 1957, and 1967 will be recognized, then the class’s Hawaiian song will be sung and danced to hula.

Dr. Ruth Fletcher, head of school, will give an address, followed by the distribution of diplomas during which time I will quietly play Edward Elgar’s famous Pomp and circumstance. I will next play the Priory Alma Mater, which I think I can still play from memory even though it has been 40 years since I was the official Priory organist at graduation in 1977! My postlude will be Komm heiliger Geist from Bach’s Great Eighteen Chorales. Hey, it’s also Pentecost!

What I remember from Priory graduations in the past was the fact that the girls always cried! —something you don’t normally see at a high school graduation. Perhaps it is because the classes are small (this year’s graduating class only has 20 students), the girls become very close, and then there is all that music to start the tear ducts flowing.

Here is a video I found from 2014 with the Priory graduation highlights. You can clearly watch Carl directing traffic during the procession! (John Renke is the organist).

A new Crosier generation

A new Crosier generation

I can imagine Carl weeping tears of joy, not only at graduation, but also yesterday at the birth of our first grandchild, son of Stephen and Jessica Crosier, who was born yesterday! When we FaceTimed with Jessica during Carl’s home hospice, he cried tears of joy after hanging up.

The new grandchild

The new grandchild





Imagine how he would react to Andrés, born yesterday at a healthy 7 lbs, 14 oz.

Soy abuela! (I am a grandmother.)



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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7 Responses to Tears of happiness

  1. The Very Rev. Drew A. Kovach, MD, MDiv. says:

    Dear Kathy,
    Warm congratulations and many blessings to you and your family at the birth of your first grandson. I have three grandsons that are grown and a great grand daughter who will be age 5 around Thanksgiving this year. They all live in Denver. Sorry we didn’t get to chat at the AGO banquet. I am off to Salt Lake City late this next week for the Western AGO Conference. I played my senior recital on the Tabernacle organ back in the mid 60’s! It will be nice to visit again on its 150th anniversary.
    All best wishes,

  2. john bicknell says:

    Felicidades! Congratulations! Andres will know all about his Grandpa because you will be able to share this information with him. My best wishes and you probably felt that Carl was in that delivery room ,filled with happiness!

  3. Gordon Tokishi says:

    Thanks for playing for us, Kathy! And thanks for posting this 2014 Graduation. So many faces that I haven’t seen since then. Carl always looked so sharp in his black and white vestments. Take care of yourself and for goodness sake, be careful around organs. Those things can be dangerous!

  4. Cathy Baptista says:

    Congratulations, Kathy, on this most wonderful of occasions. Prayers for many blessing on this precious new life. ❤️

  5. Richard Sparks says:

    Congratulations on your first granddaughter. We all wish Carl could have been there, but I’m sure he’s smiling down (and crying) from heaven! Much love from Kathryn and me.

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