This post could be variously titled “Easter at Rikkyo,” “I bought a wide-angle lens,” or “Two weeks without a day off.” Your choice. Whichever you choose, it is still Easter, and I wish you the best for the day. In Tokyo we went from moderately warming weather to a full-blown early-summer sort of day. Air conditioning in the chapel saved us (and the organ!) from melting. I wonder who the patron saint of air conditioning is? When I find out I’ll make a donation to his/her shrine.
A high mass in a university setting means that we have nearly infinite human resources to draw upon. Twelve trained acolytes are required? No problem! Six ushers in black suits? Fine! Forty experienced choir members at the beginning of the academic year? Of course! Six priests? Naturally! A full handbell choir? How about a double set? As always, Easter at Rikkyo is a joyous event. Not only because of the resurrection theme, but because is serves as sort of a reunion. Recent grads (we hold graduations in March, you will recall) attend, former choir members with babies come to show them off, and the fourth-year choir members temporarily on leave for job searches take the morning to come and hear their juniors navigating the music of the one hour forty minute high mass.
As is the norm for high masses recently, the choir moves from the balcony to the chancel. This means I can’t sneak any photos of the vent, colorful as it is. The best I can do is to share a choir’s view from the chancel before this morning’s rehearsal, and a closeup of the altar flowers.
Today was day thirteen of constant on-duty at the university. It feels like eons ago, but on April 4th and 5th Rikkyo University held a series of seven entrance ceremonies for the entering class of some 5,000. I directed the chorus and orchestra, while my colleague and university organist Yuko Sakiyama played the grand organ at the Tokyo Metropolitan concert hall. Photos of the hall and organ:
In between ceremonies students are allowed up to the organ for a bit of a play. This being Japan, all was done by committee:
Even the stop-pulling:
After thirteen straight days of work, and some twenty events for which the choir had to sing, “the wife” and I headed out for a casual lunch. Nothing like beer and burgers outside to refresh the soul and body!
Finally, I did mention wide-angle lenses, didn’t I? Well, I sold several unused lenses in order to buy a used super wide-angle lens for my camera (Fujifilm’s XF-10-24mm). What fun it has been to shoot with! All of the photos in this post were taken with it. I’m very pleased so far, and look forward to taking it to England the next time I visit. Look out, cathedrals!