At last Thursday’s regular choir rehearsal, we practiced music for next Sunday’s Joint Evensong service (April 3rd at 5:30 pm) with St. Andrew’s Cathedral choir, as well as next week’s Sunday morning service (April 3rd at 10:30 am). The music will be like night and day — a sharp contrast in styles. You’re mistaken if you think the LCH choir only sings Renaissance and Baroque music.
At the Evensong, we’ll be performing Magnificat and Nunc dimittis (St. Paul) by English composer, Herbert Howells , in addition to two Anglican psalms and a motet, “Ich lasse dich nicht,” formerly believed to be composed by Johann Christoph Bach, but now credited to J. S. Bach.
But in the morning, the choir will be singing spirituals! Georgine Stark will open the service with her special rendition of “He’s got the whole world in his hands,” arranged by Margaret Bonds (1913-1972). I remember years ago when she sang this piece as the prelude, which ends on a high “D,” one of the young children in the congregation exclaimed in a loud whisper, “WOW!” Everyone smiled. I have a feeling that people will feel moved to applaud afterwards.
The choir will be singing William Hall’s arrangement of “Let us break bread together” (with Georgine as soprano soloist) and William Dawson’s arrangement of “There is a balm in Gilead.” They have to make sure they correctly pronounce both “Gilead” (Gih-lee-AHD) and “balm” (not BOMB!).
The tract will be “I’ve just come from the fountain.” I’ll even play a spiritual on the organ: “Steal away to Jesus” arranged by Gilbert Martin. When asked why we’re doing so many spirituals in the morning, Carl said that the texts fit perfectly with the lessons of the day.
Just shows you how versatile the choir is — and the wide range of repertoire we do at LCH.