Wow! Small world!

I am now in Sacramento, California, where I have been with my siblings and nieces to celebrate the marriage of my niece, Nancy Au to Matthew LePage. It was an outdoor wedding where the weather could not have been more perfect. Not too hot and not too cool.

Father-daughter dance with Nancy and my brother Rick

So it was some excitement that during the reception, I received this photo from former organ student Joey Fala, now Organ Scholar of Duke University.

Joey Fala with Diane Rose Amidon at Duke University

You see, I would never have guessed that these two people would meet: the woman that Joey is pictured with is Diane Rose Amidon, my former classmate from the USC School of Music. After I graduated from the University of Southern California and then Westminster Choir College, I moved to Hawaii and reunited with Diane, who was by then the soprano soloist in the Lutheran Church of Honolulu. That was 40 years ago!

In fact, the year 1977 saw three weddings among the choir members within the space of a couple of months. Sandra Wagner, alto, married Joel Seavey in May. Then Diane Rose, soprano, married tenor David Amidon. I played the organ for Dave and Diane ‘s wedding. A few weeks later, I married LCH’s organist, who was Carl Crosier.

Joey played Evensong at Duke University tonight in which there was a reception afterwards. Joey texted me: There was a donation of a ton of organ music to the organ scholar by the wife of an organist who passed away: Witts. Today they had his family and friends come to evensong and she was among the guests.

Dave and Diane Amidon

When Joey was introduced as being from Hawaii, she came up to him and told him of her connection to the Crosiers and John McCreary!

My reaction to Joey was, “Wow! Small world!”

I wrote about Dave and Diane Amidon previously: “Called to ministry out of the choir”— they both went to seminary and became pastors. Now they have moved on to other careers, and are grandparents!










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Where to next?

By far the question that people ask me most is, “Where are you going next?”

Why, thank you for asking. Tomorrow I’ll be taking a quick trip to Sacramento, California, where I’ll be attending a niece’s wedding. Luckily I have no responsibilities except to show up and enjoy the festivities. But I’ll be home by Monday morning, meaning that I will be gone scarcely 30 hours, so that I can teach an organ lesson by early afternoon!

I also just booked my air ticket to Kona on the Big Island, where I will again play organ continuo for the Kona Choral Society’s annual Messiah the first weekend in December, my fourth year in a row of doing this. This year the chorus will also sing John Rutter’s Gloria. 

Last night, though, I booked tickets for two weeks in Querétaro, Mexico, where I’ll be spending Christmas and New Year’s.  In addition to experiencing how my daughter-in-law’s family celebrates these holidays, we’ll also celebrate the baptism of grandson Andrés, a huge deal in Mexican culture. My daughter-in-law Jessica says that the festivities will go on for many, many hours!

Of course we have been very concerned the last few days since the 7.1 Mexico City earthquake, and worried about Jessica’s family. We are told that they are shaken, but are okay, and have not suffered any property damage.

The organ at Iglesia de San Antonio, Querétaro

In doing a little research, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the historic downtown Querétaro is a UNESCO World Heritage site. There are several historic churches in Querétaro, and there are even historic pipe organs! In fact, my new friend Jieun Newland told me that she went on tour with the Yale Institute of Sacred Music to Mexico, and they were able to play numerous historic organs.

And in 2005, Minnesota Public Radio host, Michael Barone, led a tour group to Mexico. You can see some of the publicity materials here.

He writes: Were you aware that well into the 1800s, two historic pipe organs in the Cathedral of Mexico City were the largest musical instruments in the Americas and maintained that status for more than a century? And did you realize that the playing of pipe organs in the New World was documented as early as 1545?

Europe may be the traditional seat of historic organ culture, but the Spanish incursion to Mexico planted a positive artistic seed, the fruit of which we will savor during this exciting nine-day adventure. In Mexico’s past centuries, untold wealth made possible the construction of vividly decorated church buildings and the inclusion in them of intricate, vibrant musical instruments.

Looking forward to a Christmas adventure in Mexico!

Interior of the Cathedral in Querétaro

La congregacion de Guadalupe, Querétaro

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Insane harpsichord madness!

Last Sunday, I was privileged to be a guest in the home of Mark Russell, owner and builder of what my late husband used to call “the finest harpsichord in Honolulu.” It was a chance to show off the instrument to Jieun and Ben Newland, newcomers to Hawaii. You may remember that she was the harpsichordist who played in last weekend’s Purcell concert, and that I wrote a post about her called “A new organist in town!”

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In addition to hearing Jieun and Mark play a little “home concert,” we reminisced about the four harpsichord concert that was held at the Lutheran Church of Honolulu—one of the craziest and most insane ideas Carl Crosier ever dreamed up! Even Carl called it “Absolutely insane!”

You can read Steven Mark’s excellent article in the October 26, 2007 Star-Bulletin here.

From the Oct. 26, 2007 Star-Bulletin newspaper

Harpsichord madness

Four of Bach’s concertos will be performed for the first time ever in Hawaii

“Absolutely insane!” is not the way one would typically describe a concert of Bach’s music.

But that’s how Carl Crosier, conductor of the Bach Chamber Orchestra, describes this weekend’s concert at the Lutheran Church of Honolulu

The concert will feature, for the first time in Hawaii, four of Bach’s harpsichord concertos: one each for solo, duo, triple and quadruple harpsichords. The accumulation of so many of the keyboard instruments, which date back to 17th- and 18th-century Europe, was no mean feat.

“It was difficult to find not only four instruments that are reasonably compatible with each other, but also harpsichordists who can play all this stuff,” he said.

The harpsichord is the precursor to the modern piano and was the main keyboard instrument of Bach’s time. (While Bach is the most famous composer to write for the instrument, the most famous performer — to the chagrin of other harpsichordists — is probably Lurch, the butler on “The Addams Family” of 1960s TV fame.)

A harpsichord produces sound by a mechanism that plucks the strings, rather than hammering them as a piano does. Its sound is softer than a piano’s, but it has unique timbre that is in a way more resonant and more colorful.

Instruments built in the various regions of Europe had their own distinctive qualities designed to fit the style of the local composers, creating a compatibility problem, but what makes the harpsichords particularly notorious in performance is keeping them in tune. As an all-wood instrument, they are sensitive to heat and humidity, much as a guitar is — except that a harpsichord has dozens of strings.

“We’re going to have the audience go outside during intermission so that we can tune the instruments,” Crosier said.

Crosier had to send out recordings to each harpsichordist to give them an idea of how he thinks the pieces should be performed, but the details couldn’t be worked out until this week, when the performers worked together for the first time on Monday.

Bach would have been at the height of his fame while producing these concertos, which were composed roughly between 1730 and 1740. He was already musical director of the two main churches in Leipzig, Germany, when he was appointed director of a student orchestra that performed at a local coffeehouse. (Those who think that listening to music while drinking a brew at Starbucks is a modern invention, think again.)

The concerts provided Bach ample incentive and opportunity to produce new chamber works. His efforts resulted in energetic, virtuosic pieces that display his trademark complexity and inventiveness. Albert Schweitzer, who prior to becoming a medical missionary in Africa was a noted Bach scholar and performer, said of the triple harpsichord concertos, “At every hearing of these works we stand amazed before the mystery of so incredible a power of invention and combination.”

Bach scholar Christoph Wolff wrote that the works “set new standards for the dynamic interplay between keyboard soloist and instrumental ensemble — indeed (Bach) established a new genre that his sons consolidated and that by the end of the century had become the most favored concerto type so far.”

Local piano teacher Mark Russell, who will perform in the quadruple harpsichord work, called it “quite difficult.”

“The harpsichords all play off each other,” he said. “Each has its own part, but they come in at odd moments. … There are lots of interesting themes and configurations that we’ll need to work out.”

Russell’s contribution to the concert will be not only as a performer. He built one of the instruments that will be used in the performance, from a kit. The elaborately decorated instrument took nine months to build.

“I studied the manual, and restudied it and restudied it again,” Russell said. “It’s not like the pieces fit together perfectly, there was a lot of woodworking and figuring things out. … It’s like you’re actually building the instrument like a 17th-century craftsman, except you’re using power tools.”


The two concerts were wildly successful, with the line to get in the door of the Lutheran Church of Honolulu going out to the sidewalk. What I remember, though, was that the concerts took place in the days before the church got cool LED lighting, and with the hot spotlights on the harpsichords, they were sooooo out of tune, especially on the Friday night concert!

By the next night, we had the brilliant idea to leave the lights off over the harpsichords, and the tuning was better, even though the performers were partly in the dark.

But Carl also did it to himself, in that he programmed himself to play in five of the six concertos, and conducted the sixth! During intermission, he and Mark Russell sent everyone outside so they could attempt to bring four harpsichords into tune with one another. So—Carl never got a break the entire night! But he did it to himself!

Here are some of the pictures I took at the time. Sorry they are kind of fuzzy, but we didn’t have such good cameras back then.

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The poster for the Harpsichord concert, October 26-27, 2007


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Still aglow from Purcell

From Ian Capps, the president of Early Music Hawaii about last night’s concert at the Lutheran Church of Honolulu, “Henry Purcell: Royal Odes and Anthems:”

Congratulations and a big mahalo for a spectacular performance at all levels. The soloists were all outstanding and the ensemble singing was inspiring and perfectly nuanced. Special thanks to Scott (Fikse) for his meticulous preparation and conducting (and of course fine bass voice!) It was also a delight to have both organ and harpsichord playing together for the first time and a resident lutenist in Luke Trimble. A warm welcome to Jieun (Newland) and Luke, consummate professionals adding more depth to our kama’aina resources. Long may the relationship flourish.

A near capacity audience was lucky to witness such a performance of what turned out to be a perfectly balanced program of music by one of England’s most influential composers. Their applause speaks for itself and the many spontaneous, individual responses we received at the end, especially from discriminating and long-time supporters, have done wonders for your own and EMH’s reputation. In addition, a significant number of first-timers, most likely originally attracted by Purcell’s reputation, said they would be back for more concerts.

Here are more pictures taken from various audience members.

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Thanks for coming! See you at the next Early Music Hawaii concert, “Music of Three Faiths: Medieval Gems from Christian, Sephardic and Moorish Spain,” with the Peabody Consort of Baltimore:

Saturday, Nov. 11, 7:30 pm  Lutheran Church of Honolulu
Sunday, Nov. 12, 3:30 pm Lutheran Church of the Holy Trinity, Kailua-Kona




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Standing ovation for Perfect Purcell 

Most of these photos were taken by Ben Newland, Jieun’s husband, who apologized for his photography but explained that he was too distracted by the lovely music!

Fantastic Early Music Hawaii concert at LCH tonight! Congratulations and thank you to Scott Fikse for leading the charge, Katherine Crosier and the orchestra for great music and the singers, notably Naomi Castro, Keane Ishii, Karol Nowicki, Sarah Lambert Connelly, Mitchell Moriwaki, Bowe Souza, Taylor Rei Ishida, and Georgine Duncan Stark for a wonderful performance! (Michal Nowicki)

Lovely concert this evening—music by English composer, Henry Purcell. Chorus, soloists and string ensemble with lute, organ and harpsichord…. Thank you for the ticket and opportunity, Katherine Crosier! (Hari Bayani)

Today’s Early Music Hawaii presents Henry Purcell. One of my favorite composers! Lots of friends in musicians and audience as usual! It was beautiful! We really enjoyed the concert! Thank you! (Yoko Kokuni)

These were some of the reactions on Facebook after tonight’s stunning Purcell concert as the season opener of Early Music Hawaii. By the end of the concert, everyone in the audience was standing and clapping and clapping and clapping—the ovations went on for several minutes as all the performers “got lei-ed.”

All of the choral singing was fantastic but special mention must be made to the outstanding soloists, Sarah Lambert Connelly and Naomi Castro, who absolutely rose to the occasion—Sarah for her expressive alto arias, and Naomi for the heartfelt “Dido’s Lament.” It all gave me goosebumps, or chicken skin, as they say in Hawaii!

By the way, you might be amused by these pictures of the choir warming up!

A huge part of tonight’s success must be given to director Scott Fikse, who kept the ensemble light, buoyant and moving forward with clear conducting gestures. He really did himself proud and carried off both directing and solo singing with a core musicality and excellence. I know for a fact he put a lot of effort into this concert and it showed!

Thanks also to the instrumentalists, Darel Stark and Maile Reeves, violin; Anna Womack and Steve Flanter, viola; Sung Chan Chang, cello; Luke Trimble, lute; Jieun Newland, harpsichord and I played continuo organ (aw shucks!). What was nice was that sometimes Jieun and I played together in the ensemble, but mostly she played the fast, exciting choruses with the harpsichord, and I contrasted by playing the slower, more introspective accompaniments on the organ.

As Ian Capps, president of Early Music Hawaii, said in his opening remarks, tonight was the first time Early Music Hawaii had the ideal vocal and instrumental forces—perfect for Purcell—8 singers and 8 instrumentalists.

What a glorious night for Henry Purcell and for Early Music Hawaii! (And Carl Crosier, who was mentioned in the program as the founder of the Early Music Hawaii Choir and Orchestra, would have been so proud!)

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Double duty

Jieun Newland took this photo at the rehearsal. You can see me at the organ.

Tonight was our dress rehearsal for tomorrow night’s all-Purcell Early Music Hawaii concert at the Lutheran Church of Honolulu. It was the first and last time all the players and singers came together to rehearse this glorious music before the concert. Contrary to dress rehearsals for play and opera productions, the singers and players do not wear their concert garb, but come casual as you can see in the photo above.

It’s a time when everyone can get their signals straight, and to make sure that we are all on the same page! In this particular concert, there are many sections which are indicated as being repeated—however, we are not always taking the repeats, to make the concert more efficient. So, of course, this had to be communicated to everyone.

We also discovered that sometimes the singers’ and players’ parts did not always match—sometimes the orchestra had repeats while the singers didn’t. Hopefully, we got it all straightened out for the concert!

Here Scott Fikse is conducting the singers and players.

Director Scott Fikse is doing double duty—he is not only conducting the choir and orchestra, as seen above, but at several points in the concert, he will turn around and sing the bass solos and a two-bass duet with Keane Ishii. Those sections needed a little extra attention because during those solos and duet, the orchestra will have to play without a conductor.

Do you remember that is something the late Carl Crosier did? I remember he said it was particularly challenging when he would conduct an energetic and vigorous chorus, then immediately have to turn around and be calm while he sang the alto solos, trying not to sound too breathless.

By the way, Scott is sounding marvelous on his solos, and has to sing many low notes, including low Ds and low Es. And he can be heard above the orchestra, to boot!

Other particularly lovely solos will be sung by alto Sarah Connolly and Naomi Castro. Naomi will be singing the famous “Dido’s Lament” from Dido and Aeneas.

Alto Sarah Connelly.

There are several “a cappella” anthems.

If you want to take a sneak peek at the program, you can click here.

Tickets will be available at the door or online on the Early Music Hawaii website. It’s a concert you won’t want to miss—such appealing music performed at a high level.


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Today is September 11th

Carl was ever the gracious host.

Today is September 11th. And for the years 1977 through 2000, it was just an ordinary day in the year except that it was also the day of Carl Crosier’s birthday! However in 1992, it was also the day that Hurricane Iniki struck Hawaii.

Then in the year 2001, our world changed forever when two planes struck the Twin Towers in New York City, a third plane crashed into the Pentagon, and a fourth plane came down in a field in Pennsylvania.

The year after, in 2002, it seemed like everyone was singing Requiems on September 11th, and Carl said, “I want to change my birthday!” He almost got his wish, as that year his passport came due, and it came back with the date September 18th! Of course, we had to send it back to be corrected.

But now it is the year 2017, and Carl would have been 72 today. God! He always said he’d never make it to his 70th birthday, and sadly, he was right. I myself can’t imagine what he would be like at 72 years old, probably a little grumpy, although he mellowed out in his last few years.

Mark Boyle

Mark Boyle, whom I wrote about on his new appointment as the Director of the Pittsburgh Compline Choir, wrote this today on his Facebook wall:

Today, while a somber day in many respects, is a joyful day for me. It’s Carl Crosier’s birthday. As many of you know, Carl directed the Compline Choir at Lutheran Church of Honolulu (as one of his many duties as Canon and Music Director), where I was introduced to Compline. He passed away in 2014, leaving a legacy of musical beauty. With his wife, Katherine Crosier, he planned monumental works at that church which positively impacted so many lives. It was Carl who introduced me to the Bach St. Matthew Passion—even asking me to sing one of the false witnesses.

During the hymn last night (For the Splendor of Creation – text by former Pittsburgh Compline Choir member Carl P.Daw, Jr. and sung to Thaxted), when the text “for the teachers who inspire us to summon forth our best” rolled around, in that moment, sitting in the choir stalls of the magnificent Heinz Memorial Chapel – singing the Divine Office of Compline, I couldn’t help but think of Carl. And yes, I cried. I had to stop singing, actually.

Happy birthday, Carl!

I have had many amazing applied music teachers in my life to whom I will be always grateful – Diane Polzen, Robert Coture, Gail Longo Tanguay, Carolyn Whinnem, Hank Podolak, Bob Zysk, Cy Stretansky, Kathy Hartzell, Jeffrey Ballard, Mei Zhong, Vicki Gorman, Douglas Amman, Bob Kvam, Jeffrey Carter, Jeff Pappas, and the man who led me through my DMA and cemented the conductor I am today, Patrick Gardner. But when it comes to what it means to be a church musician, my most important teacher was Carl Crosier. I learned from his example on a weekly basis.

Today, I celebrate that Providence, the universe, or simple, good fortune ushered Jane and me through the doors at the Lutheran Church of Honolulu so we could experience a master at his craft. Today, on his birthday, I celebrate Carl Crosier and his musically spiritual influence that is still felt by so many.

Happy Birthday, Carl.

And thank you for inspiring me, summoning forth my best.

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Good Lord, deliver us!

First United Methodist Church of Dickinson, TX after Hurricane Harvey

The last couple weeks have seemed like one disaster after another, wouldn’t you agree?

While I was still in Italy, Houston, the fourth largest city in the United States, was overcome by Hurricane Harvey and massive amounts of rain, resulting in devastating flooding. One of the participants from the Historic Organ Study Tour was from Houston, and of course, his flight home was cancelled, coming on the heels of the hurricane. All of us on the tour were worried for the safety of his wife and their home, as well as for friends we knew who live in the Houston area.

I’m wondering whether there were any church organs that were damaged by flooding? There was a little humor expressed on the Facebook Organists’ Association page: One organist said she was going to play several movements of Handel’s Water Music! Another suggested Handel’s chorus, The heavens are telling!

Then last weekend, we all held our breath and prayed for deliverance during the La Tuna Canyon fire in Southern California — a very short distance from my family’s former home in Burbank, California and just across the street from my sister’s home in Sun Valley.

Here’s a slideshow of my sister’s photos of the fire. Fortunately, the helicopters dropping water saved their hillside, just in the nick of time. My sister was also impressed with the fixed wing aircraft which dropped fire retardant.

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Then a few days ago, there was an 8.1 magnitude earthquake in Mexico, one of the most powerful in that country, but thankfully, not very near to where my son’s in-laws live. Still, the pictures looked devastating.

And this weekend, I have been mesmerized by the media coverage of Hurricane Irma, which is still not over. The damage is still to be assessed, but I know already that people were concerned about the fate of several fine pipe organs in the South Florida area.

All these natural disasters reminded me of Sunday morning, October 15, 2006, when an earthquake of 6.6 magnitude struck Hawaii. The power went off, and there was no light in the nave. For the 8 am service, the piano was rolled out into the courtyard where the service was held. Then for the 10:30 am service, the choir tried to rehearse in the nave, getting close to the fire exit doorway in order to use the light from outdoors to see the music, but it was hopeless! We ended up moving to Isenberg Hall, where I used the harpsichord to accompany the hymns and choral anthem for the service.

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So, after all these disasters it was a blessed relief when former student, Joey Fala, sent me a link to today’s live-streamed video of Duke University evensong where he is the Organ Scholar. The videography is really interesting, using multiple camera views, and of course, you can hear and see Joey playing the organ. He played music by William Mathias, who was his favorite composer while studying organ in high school. Accompanying the excellent Evensong choir must be absolutely thrilling, especially in those reverberant acoustics. I bet Joey is having a blast playing the 1932 Aeolian organ!

Apparently all the services are videotaped and posted to the internet, so I decided to subscribe.

Isn’t the Internet great!

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Prepping for Purcell

Henry Purcell: Royal Odes and Anthems

Henry Purcell: Royal Odes and Anthems concert is next weekend!

Enough of this jet lag! Just yesterday, I figured that I’d better start working on the music for next weekend’s Early Music Hawaii concert, especially since I was to attend my first rehearsal last night. The concert features Scott Fikse conducting the Early Music Hawaii Singers and Players and will take place at the Lutheran Church of Honolulu, Saturday, September 16 at 7:30 pm.

“We celebrate England’s greatest 17th century composer with his magnificent Ode welcoming King James II to London and the first of the famous Birthday Odes for his beloved patron Queen Mary.” That’s what Ian Capps, president of Early Music Hawaii, wrote as a description for this concert. In addition to two Royal Odes, the group will also perform Purcell’s Bell Anthem: Rejoice in the Lord alway; Remember not O Lord; I was Glad; and excerpts from Dido and Aeneas, including the famous lament.

Scott Fikse rehearses his solo with Jieun Newland and Sung Chan.

Local singers will be Georgine Stark, Taylor Ishida, Naomi Castro, Sarah Lambert Connelly, Karol Nowicki, Keane Ishii, Bowe Souza, Mitchell Moriwaki and Scott Fikse. The local “Continuo Contingent,” one of our biggest ever, will include Luke Trimble on lute, Sung Chan on cello, Jieun Newland on harpsichord, and myself on organ. What a great group!

Luckily, I found excellent recordings on YouTube of the two major works we are performing: Now does the Glorious Day Appear and Why are the Muses Mute? (Thank God for YouTube! It’s one of the quickest ways I know to learn new music!)

Here’s a little sample of “Why are the Muses Mute” to whet your appetite. The recording is part of a CD by a British group called “Tragicomedia,” and features singers Suzie Le Blanc, and Barbara Borden, soprano; Steve Dugardin, alto; Douglas Nasrawi, tenor; Harry van der Kamp, and Simon Grant, bass.

As their CD is available on Amazon, there is only one review, but it’s so hilarious I’d like to share it with you. It is rated 5 out of 5 stars with the title, Ravishing.

The singers are nothing less than sublime, without a trace of the Brit fuddy-duddy vibe that has afflicted other recordings of these works. So because of them this is the first time I have really enjoyed these works throughly. In fact Nasrawi’s voice, singing in Latin no less, is perhaps the sexiest-sounding male voice I have ever heard in my whole life… a Purcell elegy for the Queen in Latin that brings out the almost erotic sinews of this fellow’s amazingly gorgeous voice. Listening to it bestirs me in a way that serious music never does in fact. It must be heard to be believed, so beautiful. 

As an aside, did you know that Henry Purcell died at the very young age of 35 or 36? According to Wikipedia: “Purcell died in 1695 at his home in Marsham Street, at the height of his career. He is believed to have been 35 or 36 years old at the time. The cause of his death is unclear: one theory is that he caught a chill after returning home late from the theatre one night to find that his wife had locked him out.” (Wow!)

Whatever, he composed beautiful music in his short career, and I urge you to mark your calendars to attend this concert. Tickets are available at the door or at the Early Music Hawaii website.

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A Compline alumnus

Interior of Heinz Memorial Chapel, University of Pittsburgh

It’s been four days since I returned home to Hawaii from Italy and I’ve crashed—hard. Talk about jet lag; this time has found me wandering around my apartment from midnight to 4 am, looking for food to eat, and conversely, napping in the afternoon from 1:00-5:00 pm, when I really should be up and about. Well, what do you expect? I am completely upside down from Italy’s time zone, which is 12 hours earlier from Hawaii! When it’s midnight in Honolulu, it’s noon in Venice the next day.

So that’s why I haven’t yet shared this the great news I received from Mark Boyle, an LCH Compline alumnus, who sent me this text last Friday:

Mark and Jane Boyle

Hi Kathy!

I just wanted to drop you a line and tell you I was thinking of you and Carl over the last month. I applied for the Pittsburgh Compline Choir post and found out on Wednesday evening that I (was) unanimously selected by both the search committee and the choir from a field of 12 candidates.

Once again—my time at LCH has had a positive impact on my career. After being away from compline for too long I will once again be able to take part in its beauty. Services are held at Heinz Memorial Chapel—a beautiful space.

As I move forward in this role, a bit of Carl will always be with me.

Trusting you are well…

Pittsburgh Compline Choir (2017)

Today on his Facebook wall, Mark posted:

It’s official! It is with great joy that I share the following news—I have been offered the position as the next director of the Pittsburgh Compline Choir! I gratefully accepted and look forward to making music with these wonderful people!

I have missed Compline immensely after my time with the Compline Choir of the Lutheran Church of Honolulu and the Compline Choir of East Central Indiana. If you have never experienced the last Divine Office, you should come by Heinz Memorial Chapel any Sunday evening at 8 pm during the Pitt academic year and check it out for yourself. Compline is a wonderful way to spiritually close the day with beautiful sacred music offered by an amazingly committed group of musicians.

For a really cool experience, click here to have a 360° view inside Heinz Chapel. You can also hear podcasts of the Pittsburgh Compline Choir here. 

You may recall that I last saw Mark and his wife, Jane, last summer in Ireland, when I was on tour with the Hawaii Masterworks Chorus and the Boyles were celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary. Mark is the Director of Choral and Vocal Activities at Seton Hill University and Jane teaches music in the Plum Borough School District. Go back and read my post about our joyful reunion.

Both Mark and Jane sang with the Lutheran Church of Honolulu’s mixed choir and Mark also sang in the LCH Compline Choir. Mark also sang in our performances of Bach St. Matthew Passion (17 years ago!), and I recall that Jane sang in an all-women’s concert of the music of Hildegard von Bingen.

Mark and I perform Rex: The King of Instruments

Mark and I perform Rex: The King of Instruments (2000)

If you go back even further, you can read about my performance with Mark in Rex: The King of Instrumentswhich we also did in the year 2000 for the 100th anniversary of the Lutheran Church of Honolulu.

And to think that the whole Compline phenomenon in the USA started when Peter Hallock, our former business partner and long-time friend,  returned home to the Seattle area in 1956 from England where he had sung Compline regularly in the crypt of Canterbury Cathedral! Carl Crosier brought it to Hawaii where the service was sung every week from 1976 to 2013, and it now is sung on the 1st and 3rd Sunday nights at 7:30 pm.

Now Compline has spread all over the United States and Canada—you can find a list of locations  on Ken Peterson’s Compline Underground blog where Compline is sung on a regular basis.

Thank you, Peter! Thank you, Carl!

And congratulations, Mark!

From the Seattle Compline Choir website


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