Canterbury Cathedral Choir in Concert
St. Stephen's Church is thrilled to welcome the choir of Canterbury Cathedral, Friday, April 13, at 7:30 p.m. during this renowned choir's first trip to Richmond. The concert is part of a U.S. tour that will include stops in Beverly Hills, Houston, Birmingham, Ala., Charleston, S.C., and Summit, N.J.
The concert is open to the public. Tickets are available online here, and in the parish office (Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.). Tickets are also available on Sundays between the 9 and 11:15 a.m. services in the Fellowship Hall. They are $20 per person, with a special $10 ticket for students. Additional donations are also most welcome.
Canterbury holds a special place in the life of the worldwide Anglican Communion, of which the Episcopal Church is a part. It is the seat of the archbishop of Canterbury, "first among equals" in the group of archbishops and presiding bishops who lead the various provinces of this international church. It is the site of the once-a-decade gathering of all of the bishops of the Anglican Communion, known as the Lambeth Conference. It is also a World Heritage Site.
The choir sings at the daily services in the cathedral, providing music which enchants and delights the many thousands of visitors and pilgrims from all over the world, as well as the regular congregation. The choristers who will come to Richmond are ages 9-13; although the choir includes boys as young as 8, they do not tour. Choristers live in the ancient and beautiful Cathedral Choir House in the Precincts and attend St Edmund’s School. Each chorister learns to play at least two instruments as well as his very special training for his singing. Choir practice takes place every day, early in the morning before school and again before Evensong, and they perform music from the widest repertoire, medieval to modern.
Though there is a great deal of work to being part of such a renowned choir, the Master of the Choristers, David Flood, ensures that there is always plenty of fun as well. The boys find a tremendous fulfillment in performing and very quickly become at ease with the big solo on the big occasion. Such occasions can be anything from an archbishop’s enthronement, to a royal visit to a Christmas service with more than 4,000 in the congregation to the Lambeth Conference.
The choir also includes “Lay Clerks,” professionally trained singers who have “day jobs” outside the Cathedral. Some are teachers while others work in commerce or other fields. They sing seven services each week in the cathedral, which is a tremendous commitment, but the opportunity to perform an exciting repertoire in a place such as Canterbury Cathedral is a thrill, despite the effort it demands. We’re grateful that many of the cathedral choir’s Lay Clerks have made arrangements to join this tour.
In recent years the choir has toured in France, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Malta, Canada and the USA. These trips, along with television and radio appearances and recording CDs are some of the many exciting bonuses which come during a boy’s time as a chorister. It is a time which lives with them for ever and a training which is second to none, anywhere in the world.
We are thrilled to welcome the choir to St. Stephen’s Church on their very first visit to Richmond.
Program for April 13, 7:30 p.m.
Ave Maria – Parsons
Vigilate – Byrd
Loquebantur variis linguis– Tallis
Ecce vicit leo – Phillips
Organ: Fête – Jean Langlais
Ave Maria – Biebl
Agnus Dei – Ralph Vaughan Williams
For lo! I raise up – Stanford
Hymn to the virgin – Britten
Magnificat – Swayne
I wonder as I wander – Richard Lloyd
Lux aeterna – Edward Elgar
Venite Gaudete – Adrian Peacock
Nunc dimittis – Holst
Organ: Carillon de Westminster – Louis Vierne
O magnum mysterium – Gjielo
Gloria in excelsis – Dove
Stay with me, Lord – Todd
I was glad – Parry