20 October 2018

A kind of reunion

It is now some years ago that I sang in the choir of the Cathedral Church of St Paul in Boston, when Mark Engelhardt was Music Director, together with Ethel Crawford, David Frieze, Roberta Gilbert, Brian Gilbertie, and many others.  It was for me a musically enriching period, so I do look back on that experience with both fondness and gratitude.  Mark was an especially important champion of my music in those days, and it is to Mark that I owe the occasions for writing Nuhro, Timbrel & Dance, the choir, brass & organ arrangement of God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen, and of course, the notorious, seldom-performed organ Toccata.  (I do not know of anyone performing it at all, apart from Albert Ahlstrom in Atlanta.)

Last night was the Evensong to honor Ethel, as she retires after 40 years of service as the cathedral administrator, and we did indeed surprise her with Mark’s return to Boston to direct an enormous choir.  I was gratified to be allowed to play my latest clarinet-&-organ piece with Louise Mundinger for the Prelude.  (This recording, however, is a rehearsal Louise & I ran, on Sunday the 14th, hence the increasing hubbub toward the end . . . I think there was some sort of book-signing that was about to be held at St Paul’s.)