The Choirs of St. Peter’s Church are honored to be the Choir-In-Residence at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London for the week of August 7 through 13, 2017. A total of 28 members of the Choir (19 adults and 9 youth), plus Music Director Dr. Darryl Roland and Organist Matt Boatmon, will sing Evensong six of the evenings and provide choral musical leadership for the principal Sunday Service of Eucharist. We will be joined by our Rectors, the Rev. Claire Nevin-Field and the Rev. Sean Lanigan, and 28 “Choir Groupies” (spouses, parents, and other friends of the Choirs).
St. Paul’s Cathedral is one of the oldest and best-known cathedrals in England. It has served as a site for worship, prayer, and music for more than 1,400 years! When its choir is on summer holiday, St. Paul’s invites Anglican and Episcopal choirs from around the world to lead the music of prayer and worship for one week at a time. Our Choir will lead Evensong on every day except Thursday, August 10, and we will sing the choral music and lead the musical responses at the 11:30 Eucharist Service on Sunday, August 13.
This trip would not be possible without the generous support of and donations from members of St. Peter’s Church and other friends of the Choirs. These supporters participated in our fundraisers, made donations, and served as a willing congregation when we sang Evensong monthly for a year in preparation for this trip. We are grateful to everyone who helped make this Choir Residency possible!
A cathedral is any church where a bishop has his or her “base of operations.” A special bishop’s chair (cathedra in Latin) sits in a place of honor in the church, indicating its status as a cathedral.
Evensong (also known as Evening Prayer) is a prayer service that is celebrated in the late afternoon or evening. Evensong at St. Paul’s Cathedral is a service that is mostly sung by the choir (just like it is at St. Peter’s). The voices of the choir allow the congregation to be “carried along” by the prayers and rhythms of the service. Two important Canticles are sung at Evensong: The Magnificat (or Mary’s Song from Luke 1:46-55 ) and the Nunc Dimittis (or Simeon’s Song from Luke 2:29-32).
Choirs and other artists are said to be “in residence” when they move from their regular place of service to another while still performing or providing artistic services. It is quite an honor for St. Peter’s Choirs to have been invited to this Residency at St. Paul’s.
St. Peter’s Choirs are well-known for excellence in presenting Anglican music: choral music that is written specifically for worship in Anglican (and Episcopal) churches. St. Peter’s Chorister Academy (the Boys and Girls Choirs) is a teaching program of the Royal School of Church Music, which was organized to provide formal musical education and vocal training for children.