This article was first published by Katherine Crosier on her blog “Another Year of Insanity: Musings From the Organ Bench” on December 5th, 2016. To read the original post on her blog click here

Saturday dress rehearsal

It’s a musician’s worst nightmare… being in the middle of a concert and the lights go completely black! Yes, it happened in Kona last night, right after the Kona Choral Society had performed the Hallelujah Chorus, and we were in the middle of “Worthy is the lamb.” All of a sudden, the house lights started to fade until the room was in the black!

My thought was “Hey, what is happening?!”

Luckily no one panicked, and the orchestra (of which I was a part), had stand lights so we were able to keep playing. And the choir amazingly kept singing! There was enough light from the the orchestra stands to get a glimpse of conductor Susan McCreary Duprey so we could cut off together.

Then Susie said, “Will someone please turn on the lights?!”

Someone must have realized that he or she had leaned on the light panel, and restored the lights to about halfway up but enough for us to perform. And we finished the concert to wild applause, whooping and hollering, as you can see and hear by the video taken by one of the tenors.

In the four years that I have played this concert, last night’s performance was

Proud parents; Olivia and Jimmy Castro

the best yet and their largest audience at 746 ticket holders. The Bach Magnificat just sizzled, and all the soloists, Mihoko Ito, Naomi Castro, Karyn Castro, Renson Madarang and Jeremy Wong, rose to new heights. I was especially pleased to hear Naomi and Karyn Castro’s solos, the first for them for this group, and as I was playing, I couldn’t help but think of Carl Crosier and that his passion for the works of Bach was continuing through these women, both of them who had grown up at the Lutheran Church of Honolulu. In fact, all of these soloists have sung Bach at the Lutheran Church of Honolulu. What a legacy!

Here are some of the Facebook comments which were posted after the concert:

Mahalo piha to all for having us – especially you Maestra! It was lots of fun and an honor to sing under your baton! (Renson Madarang). Mahalo to all! So much fun, absolutely loved being a part of this…thank you Maestra!! (Mihoko Ito). Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous! (S.N.) It was the best yet! (J.N.)

Also this was the first time in about four years that I heard Renson Madarang sing a solo, and my goodness, his voice and musicianship have matured so much! Here’s a short video clip of Renson during the rehearsal:

Susie told me that this was her first performance conducting Bach, and surely Carl, as well as Susie’s father, the legendary John McCreary, would have been smiling from heaven and so proud. What was all the amazing, not only in her conducting, was that Susie taught this group how to sing Bach—especially astounding and miraculous when she told me that the choir is non-auditioned and 70% of them do not know how to read music! As Carl said, “Bach is not for amateurs!” and my college teacher used to say, “Bach separates the men from the boys!”

Bravo, Kona Choral Society, Susie, Mihoko, Naomi, Karyn, Renson, and Jeremy!

L-R Renson, Mihoko, Karyn, Susie, Naomi and Jeremy