11 time zones away

What time is it in the U.K.?

I typed this in my browser repeatedly last night to make sure I knew what time it was in England.

You see, I was counting down the minutes it would be exactly April 4th at 10:00 am in England—that was when tickets would be available for this year’s Three Choirs Festival which is scheduled to take place in Hereford, U.K.

That meant it would be 11:00 pm in Hawaii and at 10:55 pm I logged on to their website and waited. At precisely 11:00 pm the magic box appeared: Book Now and I pounced!

The Three Choirs Festival is a weeklong music festival which brings together the cathedral choirs of Hereford, Worcester and Gloucester—and is billed as “The World’s Finest Choral Music.” The three choirs have met together every year (except during world wars) for over 300 years, and celebrated the 300th anniversary of the first festival in 2015. Over the course of the week, the three choirs perform major works with orchestra in addition to smaller concerts—in all, about 80 concerts, lectures, recitals, services and outings during the week.

In 2016 I attended my first Three Choirs Festival in Gloucester and was immediately impressed with the new as well as traditional repertoire in addition to the extremely high standards of music making. “…died and went to heaven,” you might call it!

Last summer I was in Worcester and met up with Joe Hansen (the Lutheran Church of Honolulu’s Music director in the early 1970s.) This summer I will be joined by former Honolulu resident Joan Ishibashi for three days of the festival. Joan was so taken with my blog posts about the Three Choirs Festival from last summer that she was interested in hearing some of the concerts for herself, now that she lives in London.

Listen to this description of a concert I booked called “Tenebrae,” which includes the Choral music of John Tavener, Hubert Parry, Edward Elgar, and Herbert Howells:

This programme marks a gentle reflection on the final year of the World War I centenary, telling a story of loss and an earnest wish for peace. Including many composers with strong connections to the Three Choirs Festival, and the premiere of a psalm originally intended for Torsten Rasch’s 2014 piece A Foreign Field, commissioned to mark the start of the centenary, this is sure to be a moving commemoration from one of the UK’s most exhilaratingly refined vocal ensembles.

Among the 17 events I booked, I signed up for a drumming workshop (what fun! “Use recycled bottles, buttons, bearings, buckets, broom handles and barrels to play some musical games and compose your own percussion piece. To add some upcycled melody, you can make your own lollypop kazoo to take home afterwards and carry on the fun!”)

I also signed up for a walking tour of Hereford, and a concert of Gustav Holst’s The Planets. Joan and I will take in a performance of the Monteverdi Vespers, Elgar King Olaf, Bruckner Te Deum, Mendelssohn Lobgesang and an organ concert by superstar Olivier Latry, titular organist of Notre Dame, Paris.

In the meantime, I’m scrambling to get out of town next week Tuesday when I go to visit Joey Fala and Linden Doescher in North Carolina and the tulips in Amsterdam!

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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5 Responses to 11 time zones away

  1. James Coupe says:

    Dear Catherine,
    It has been a great pleasure to read your blogs since we met last year in Worcester. Sadly, the IAO festival is in Peterborough and Cambridge the same week, so I will miss being able to attend the Hereford 3CF. I know you will have a wonderful experience. The Willis organ is very fine, but best heard in the choir where you get an aural and physical sound experience. I always sit opposite the organ and in the stalls under the console. If you get the chance to get in the organ loft, be careful, the climb is precipitous.
    Worcester is currently under flood from the river Severn and the cricket ground swamped – and only a few weeks to the first county matches.
    Best wishes from the UK.
    James Coupe
    Secretary the Worcestershire Organists’ Association (WOA)
    jascoupe@gmail.com +447774 215251

  2. Dear James,

    Thank you for the suggestions regarding the organ in Hereford! And thank you for reading the blog. Looking forward to the 3CF…

    • James Coupe says:

      It’s now 18.08 British Summer Time (BST) as we moved forward an hour from GMT on March 25th. Hope this helps. My best, James

  3. Peggy Rickard says:

    Dearest Katherine, (this is really a personal email for you, not a post)

    I’ve just spent quite a bit of time roaming through your posts and photos and my breath has been taken away. It wasn’t you I was originally looking for, but you are such an inspiration that I feel I must do more growing in my personal life. Starting this minute! 🙂

    I went in search today of your BFF Joan Chiaki Ishibashi and that’s how I found you. Amazing! Yesterday and today, for some reason, a very, very dear deceased friend had been on my mind. I went to his obituary and realized it’s now just over ten years since his death – Kim Hauenstein was such a significant person in my life – we were friends for just shy of thirty years. Somehow, shortly after his death and once or twice after, I was in touch with Joan via email. She was such a gift to Kim as he was to her, as well.
    I dropped Joan an email at her old aol email account today and thought it probably wasn’t active any longer, so I searched her name and discovered you – and her beautiful awesome news! She was married nearly five years ago and that made my heart sing. (Gee, do you wonder if Kim had a role in having Joan’s step-daughter introduce Joan to her future husband?)

    I’m thrilled Joan is doing well and I so enjoyed the beautiful wedding photos. No wonderful she meant the world to Kim. Could you please tell Joan that I’ve thought her of often in last ten years and that I am ecstatic that she has married – and he sounds like a wonderful man.

    I’m so impressed by all you do and the people you have in your life. I was saddened to read of Carl’s death. People wrote to express such eloquent sentiments – you are loved. I will have to spend more time on your website. So rich with the gifts of music, food and friends.

    Continued blessings to you and the same for Joan.

    God Bless!

    • Dear Peggy, I am always amazed when people read my blogs. I will forward your message to Joan who will be glad to reestablish contact with you. She and I will see each other again this summer in London in addition to Hereford.

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