My choir is singing Evensong at Trinity

Here’s the text of an article that I wrote for my church newsletter that gives the details of my choir’s appearance at Trinity Cathedral in Cleveland on April 10th:

Chancel Choir Sings Choral Evensong at Trinity Cathedral
by Timothy Robson

On Sunday, April 10, 2005, at 5:00 PM, the EACC Chancel Choir will perform Choral Evensong at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Euclid Avenue at E. 22nd Street in downtown Cleveland. The service is open to all.

Evensong, as its name would imply, is the evening service in the Anglican religious tradition in which the prayers, canticles and psalms are sung rather than spoken. The congregation participates in the way of contemplation of the words that are sung. The texts and the structure of the service date back to 16th century England, although in some cases, the words have been updated to more contemporary language.

Among the common elements of evensong are the two “evening canticles”: the Magnificat (“My soul magnifies the Lord”), Mary’s great song of joy when she is informed by the angel Gabriel that she will bear the Christ; and the Nunc dimittis (“Lord, now let your servant depart in peace”), the song of Simeon when the baby Jesus is presented at the temple. The canticles are often sung to elaborate musical settings. The EACC choir will perform recent versions composed by the Scottish composer James MacMillan (b.1959). Several years ago the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus performed these works at Severance Hall and later in Edinburgh. These settings have a kind of austere majesty and beauty that is common to MacMillan’s music, reflecting his own deeply religious beliefs. Daniel Hathaway, Director of Music at Trinity, will accompany the EACC choir on the cathedral’s Flentrop organ. Rev. Felix Carrion, EACC Pastor, will give the homily.

The choir will also perform responses I have composed especially for this service, as well as a setting of the Lord’s Prayer by Sir John Tavener. The anthem for the service will be Heinz Werner Zimmermann’s “God Is Loving,” which the choir sang during morning worship on Easter Sunday.

When the choir last sang Evensong at Trinity Cathedral in 2002, many found it to be a moving experience. Please come and join us for beautiful music, magnificent setting and wonderful acoustics at Trinity Cathedral on Sunday, April 10.

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