For those of you who are not FaceBook users, I would like to share a couple of pictures taken by Jean Lilley at last night’s Advent Procession. (FaceBook users can view the pictures on LCH’s FaceBook page).
When people came up to me after the service and asked me how I felt about it, to tell you the truth, it all felt a little strange. That is because Carl Crosier had planned all the music, and the Compline Choir even sang his arrangement of “Cuncti simus,” a medieval carol. [When Miguel Felipe was hired at “the twelfth hour,” Carl was asked by Pastor Jeff to plan all the music through Christmas, to make it easier on his successor.] However, Carl was thousands of miles away in Seattle where he attended the “O Antiphon” service at St. Mark’s Cathedral in Seattle with composer Peter Hallock.
We had a few scary moments musically when things didn’t line up exactly right, but I guess the important thing is that the choir got back on track to finish together, most notably in Samuel Scheidt’s “Duo seraphim,” and Herbert Howell’s “A spotless rose.” And I survived playing the syncopated organ accompaniment to Kenneth Leighton’s “Magnificat” from the Second Service. Whew! Thanks to Carol Langner who took some of the stress away by turning my pages in that piece. In case you’d like to look at the program, you can click here for a PDF version. By the way, Miguel did not insert an offertory (and how can you have a service without taking up a collection!) so the ushers passed the plates during the final carol, “All in the morning.”
And although I mentioned in an earlier post that I liked Carl’s setting of “Veni Emmanuel” better than mine, I have to say that mine does work, too. The memorable part is when the piece ends with the choir processing into the courtyard, ringing two big bell chords over and over, the sound dying away gradually as they get further out of the building. That for me is the magical part of the piece. Thanks also to the congregation for being super-quiet during this special moment.
Well, it’s on to the next! In church music, there is always another Sunday or another service to get ready so I’m off to practice.