Choral Evensong is widely considered the jewel in the crown of the Anglican Choral Tradition. There are a number of opportunities to enjoy this service this year, including here at St. John’s on Sunday, October 18, and at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Clearwater on Sunday, January 10, 2016 at 4:00 p.m. (note venue and time). Evensong on October 18 falls on the feast of St. Luke, and among the music to be sung at that service will be the Magnificat and Nunc dimittis of Charles Wood in E flat, together with William Harris’ great anthem, a text particularly appropriate for feast, ‘Strengthen ye the weak hands.’
As we approach Advent and Christmas, you will have another opportunity to hear some new repertoire this year. Our Annual Service of Christmas Lessons and Carols will take place on Sunday, December 6, at 5:00 p.m., and will feature Francis Poulenc’s Christmas motet ‘Hodie Christus natus est’, which will be heard for the first time in St. John’s, as well as Philip Marshall’s fine arrangement of ‘I saw three ships’, together with carols for congregation and choir that are bound to enhance the season. Our Christmas Concert on Sunday, December 20, an event begun as a one time concert in 2007 and now very much a St. John’s tradition, will feature the first performance at St. John’s of Joseph Haydn’s ‘Missa brevis St. Joannis de Deo’, or ‘Little Organ Mass’, as it’s more commonly known. This charming and tuneful piece is full of spirit and will form the central part of this concert.
As we look into next year, we would like to draw your attention to a special Benefit Concert on Sunday, May 15, at 5:00 p.m. – ‘Music for Royal Occasions.’ We do hope that our followers will forgive Simon this rather British indulgence (!) England’s Queen Elizabeth II, as well as becoming the longest reigning monarch this year, will celebrate her ninetieth birthday in 2016. This is a wonderful opportunity to hear so many pieces associated with Royal occasions down the centuries, and will include, of course, Parry’s famous anthem ‘I was glad’, together with William Mathias’ anthem ‘Let the people praise thee, O God’ and ‘We wait for thy loving kindness, O God’ of Sir William McKie. There will also be the opportunity for our audience to join in singing some of the great hymns associated with these occasions, including ‘All people that on earth do dwell’ to the great arrangement of Ralph Vaughan Williams.
All of our concerts, apart from the Holy Week Concert on March 20, are followed by a reception in the Parish Hall to which all are most warmly invited. We look forward to seeing you at as many of our events as you are able to attend.