At the end of last year, to say goodbye to 1999 and welcome in 2000, The Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan held "a sing-along session of songs from the good old days." Playing the piano and leading the songs was William Currie. The Press Club billed him as "the renowned singing father from Sophia University, and the president."

Currie says that since he became president of the university, some of his musical activities necessarily ended. These included monthly appearances he had put in for some time at a Nishi-Azabu piano pub, where he provided the accompaniment for enthusiastic sing-along sessions.

Currie, born in Philadelphia, is a Jesuit priest who has become a Tokyo institution. His first two degrees in English literature came from Fordham University. Then, he said: "I wanted to work somewhere outside the United States. From what I heard of the culture and temperament of the people here, I thought Japan could be a country I could be at home in." He came to Japan to study at a language school for two years, on the understanding that he would eventually work in one of the Jesuit educational operations in Japan. He also taught English in a Japanese high school, describing that as "a baptism of fire." He completed theology studies in Tokyo, and in 1967 was ordained a priest here.