4 January, 2017
In this issue:
- What’s next for SMCC
- This week at St. Andrew’s
Another Christmas come and gone (although there’s one “last hurrah” at St. Andrew’s tomorrow – see below). St. Martin’s Chamber Choir turns its sites to our February concert, entitled – quite appropriately this year, it seems (at least in Colorado so far) – “Winter Winds.” I’m putting the final touches on the actual programming (good thing, as rehearsals start this Sunday!), but the concert will include wintry works by William Byrd, Claude Debussy, Ned Rorem, Gustav Holst, Abbie Bettinis, Benjamin Britten, Joachim Raff, Edward Elgar, and – of course – Ralph Vaughan Williams (rare is the Krueger concert that does not include him…), among other lesser knowns. This is the full choir – 24 voices – in the classic a cappella sound and repertoire that we established our reputation on.
If you’re hungering for a potpourri of unaccompanied works; if you’re looking for warming up in a frigid season; if you’re looking for calm and comfort in the face of a world in uproar – come and bathe in the beauty of this concert. It will both send chills down your spine and warmth into your heart.
Here are the concert dates and venues:
Fri., Feb. 17, 7:30pm – Montview Blvd. Presbyterian Church, Park Hill (Denver)
Sun., Feb. 19, 3:00pm – St. Paul Community of Faith (formerly Lutheran), Capitol Hill (Denver)
I hope to see you there!
This week provides the “last hurrah” (mentioned above) of the Christmas Season this Thursday (tomorrow!) at 5:45pm – on the 11th day of Christmas, the Eve of the Epiphany – with what we call “An Epiphany Procession.” It’s a Lessons & Carols service with the addition of a procession that moves around the church during carols, symbolizing the journey of the Wise Men to Bethlehem. Normally we have children depicting the Wise Men, dressed up and bearing the gifts if gold, frankincense, etc. around the church, which they place at the altar near the end; but, because of the snow storm that is forecast for tonight and tomorrow morning, it may be that no children will show up, in which case we’ll have invisible Wise Men. It’s one of my favorite services at St. Andrew’s, mainly because of the music, which is found below:
January 5, 2017, Epiphany Processional Lessons & Carols (5:45pm)
At the beginning, the sanctuary is dark, the office lights unlit.
Introit: Natus est nobis by Manuel da Fonseca (b. 1540)
Bidding Carol: Hymn 109 The First Nowell
Lesson 1: The Shepherds adore the newborn babe. Luke 2:15-20
Carol: Hymn 93 Winchester Old (during which the procession moves half-way down the south aisle)
Lesson 2: The Blessed Babe is given a Name. Luke 2:20-21
Carol: “A Babe is Born I Wys” by Frederick Bainton (d. 1958)
(during which the procession moves around the front of the church to the north aisle)
Lesson 3: The Wise Men seek the birthplace of the King of the Jews. Matthew 2:1-6
Carol: Hymn 128 Three Kings of Orient (during which the procession moves to the choir crossing)
Lesson 4: The Journey of the Magi. T. S. Eliot
Carol: The Three Kings, by Peter Cornelius, arr. Ivor Atkins (during which the procession moves up the center aisle to the foot of the sanctuary steps; lights in sanctuary are illuminated.)
Lesson 5: The Wise Men are directed by a star. Matthew 2:7-10
Carol “There shall a star” by Felix Mendelssohn (during which the procession moves into the sanctuary, and the children playing the kings set their gifts on the altar).
Lesson 6: A wise man adores the light. Rumi
Carol: Lux arumque by Eric Whitacre (during which the processional party remains in place)
Lesson 7: The Holy Family flees to Egypt. Matthew 2:13-15
Carol: Hymn 247 Coventry Carol (during which the procession scatters into the ambulatories, and the wise men depart)
Lesson 8: Herod slays the Innocents. Matthew 2:16-18
Carol: “Almighty God, whose praise this day” by Thomas Tomkins
Lesson 9: Isaiah Exults in the Coming of the Light. Isaiah 60:1-22
Carol: “Now there lightens upon us” by Leo Sowerby
Recessional Hymn: 119 Dix
If you care to brave the snow, there are some real treasures (pun intended) to be heard at this service.
Then this coming Sunday is the First Sunday after the Epiphany, or The Baptism of Our Lord (Jesus grew from birth to 30 in very short order!), and here’s the music:
January 8, 2017, Epiphany 1
*Introit: My Dancing Day, arr. Clifford Harker (1912-1999)
Anthem: “There shall a star” by Felix Mendelssohn (1809‑1847)
*Fraction Anthem: O nata lux by Thomas Tallis (c.1510-1585)
Communion motet: Hodie in Jordane by Luca Marenzio (1553-1599)
Hymns: 135 (Salzburg), *120 (Solemnis haec festivitas), 121 (Caithness) 616 (Es flog ein kleins Waldvogelein)
The world of Church Music never ends. You get Jesus birthed, and soon you’re putting him the grave. You get him out again, and it’s not that long before you’re getting him back into the womb… 😉
Seriously, though, it is a great honor and pleasure to spend one’s life committed to the cycle of seasons, the traveling of well-worn paths, the discovery of new in the old, the reminder of past joys and sorrows – I am very fortunate. And to do it in the company of wonderful musicians and clergy (some of the former and latter are not so wonderful, I’ve heard tell; but I am fortunate in not having to deal with any of those at present) is a great joy.
Before the Christmas Season is completely over, let me wish you all, once more, a Merry Christmas, and now a Happy New Year.
Timothy J. Krueger
Choirmaster, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Denver
Artistic Director, St. Martin’s Chamber Choir (professional)
Affiliate Music Faculty, Metropolitan State University of Denver