CHRIST CHURCH MUSIC
Christ Church's Music Program enriches parish life, Christ Church liturgies, and the greater Rochester community. Together with the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester, and the Eastman School of Music, Christ Church offers a unique convergence point in sacred music education. We foster vocational development and training for future leaders in church music through practical application. Programs that facilitate this training are our Organ Scholar and Choral Scholar positions, as well as ensembles such as the Christ Church Schola Cantorum (available for course credit for students of the Eastman School of Music), the Christ Church Choir, and the Christ Church Baroque Consort. Compline is a liturgy of musical outreach and enrichment for the Rochester community. It is sung by the acclaimed Christ Church Schola Cantorum. Compline brings thousands of people to Christ Church each season, and the Schola Cantorum's recordings are sold all over the world. Beginning in 2014, the Vanderlinder Fellows program for sacred music training to Eastman Students will begin. This program currently in the planning stages, will be unique to any sacred music training program in the country.
Stephen Kennedy, Director of Music and Organist
Chelsea Barton, Organ Scholar
Prince Nyatanga, VanDerlinder (pilot) Fellowship
Wai Ki Wun, Eastman-Christ Church Choral Scholar
David Higgs, Organist in Residence
Announcing the release of "MENDELSSOHN RARITIES"
$20 through Christ Church (585) 454-3878
This is a collection of exquisitely crafted and rarely performed organ and choral music from the great prodigy of the early 19th century.
The Christ Church Schola Cantorum, directed by Stephen Kennedy, sings both introspective and dramatic choral works that reveal Mendelssohn’s lineage to the contrapuntal tradition of the great masters such as Palestrina and J.S. Bach. The Schola Cantorum sings the Office of Compline every Sunday night at 9pm at Christ Church, 141 East Avenue, and is comprised of ESM, U of R, and RIT students and faculty. Participation in the Schola is offered for course credit at Eastman.
Mendelssohn’s organ works are illuminated by the captivating sounds of Eastman’s Craighead-Saunders reconstructed baroque pipe organ at Christ Church. This organ sings with lively and evocative sounds that would have been familiar to the composer. Solo organ works are performed by faculty David Higgs, Hans Davidsson, William Porter, and Stephen Kennedy, as well as several current organ students and recent alumni. Liner notes by our former Visiting Professor of Musicology, Wm. A. Little.
Candlelight Concert Series
Candlelight Concerts precede Compline on the first Sunday of each month (October–April) at 8:30 P.M. with Compline following at 9:00 P.M. Friends of Music supports this concert series. Receptions follow Compline on these Sundays at 9:30 P.M.. Please contact us if you would like to receive emails concerning upcoming concerts.
Fall Concerts will be posted soon.
FRIENDS OF MUSIC
Please contribute to our Friends of Music Fund. Your support is essential for our Music Program. Please call the church office at (585) 454-3878
CHRIST CHURCH RECORDINGS: available at $15 through Christ Church (585) 454-3878
The Inaugural recording of the Craighead-Saunders Baroque Organ at Christ Church. This Inaugural recording of the instrument by the three ESM Professors: Hans Davidsson, William Porter, and David Higgs features a work by Stephen Kennedy. Proceeds benefit Friends of Music for future recordings.
THE CHRIST CHURCH SCHOLA CANTORUM 2004 recording
The Schola’s debut album, distributed by Gothic Records, has been re-issued for sale through Christ Church. Proceeds benefit Christ Church.
“The recording is beautiful and I am glad to have been introduced to the Schola Cantorum and the work of Stephen Kennedy. The CD has been a joy to listen to.....terrific sound, wonderfully balanced with perfect pacing!” May 7, 2008, Steve Staruch, Host/Cultural Programming, Minnesota Public Radio
This 2008 recording of the Schola Cantorum is of selected sacred choral works of David Conte. Also featured are organist, David Higgs; Harpist Kathleen Bride; and the Rochester Philharmonic Brass Quintet. [Temporarily Sold Out]
Soon to be released! Schola Cantorum: Mendelssohn choral and organ works on Loft recordings
REVIEWS AND COMMENTS
“I was also invited… to attend Compline last night which was probably one of the most moving experiences in my life. I've attended a few Compline services, but none were as rewarding as yours….They were exquisite!” April 14, 2008, Dr. Craig Scott Symons, Director of Music/Organist, First United Methodist Church, Royal Oak, MI
“Jacques van Oortmerssen, who shared a programme with the Schola Cantorum of Christ Church Episcopal, conducted by Stephen Kennedy. Van Oortmerssen's assured performances on the Casparini organ, coupled with the exquisite singing of the Schola, made for a memorable conclusion to EROI's Mendelssohn cycle.” November 2009, Westfield E-Newsletter of the Westfield Center, Vol. XXI, No.7; “EROI Festival 2009: Mendelssohn and the Contrapuntal Tradition” by Aaron James.
CHORAL AND INSTRUMENTAL ENSEMBLES
The Christ Church Choir
The Christ Church Choir's principal function is to sing the 11:00 A.M. Sunday Eucharist. This auditioned choir builds upon a long tradition of musical quality through a broad variety of musical styles. Repertoire includes Gregorian Chant, Anglican Chant, and motets from the Renaissance to the 21st Century. Membership is drawn from parishioners of Christ Church, students at Eastman, as well as individuals from the Rochester community. Rehearsals take place on Wednesday evenings from 6:45 P.M. to 8:00 P.M., as well as Sunday mornings at 10:00 A.M. Christ Church Choir’s season begins after Labor Day, and continue through the day of Pentecost.
The Schola Cantorum
The Schola was founded in 1997 by Stephen Kennedy for the purpose of performing the weekly Office of Compline at Christ Church. The intention was to provide a service to the community in which musical art and liturgy were seamlessly interwoven. Since its inception, the Schola has performed the Office of Compline on Sunday evenings from October through April. Participation in the Schola is offered for course credit at the Eastman School of Music. Specializing in Renaissance and Baroque music, the ensemble has been featured in various festivals and concert series, including the annual Eastman Rochester Organ Initiative Festival. The ensemble is also devoted to choral improvisation and to new music, having commissioned, premiered, and recorded works by a growing list of composers. Minnesota Public Radio and “With Heart and Voice” have featured the Schola in national broadcasts on many occasions. Our reissued 2004 debut recording was originally distributed by Gothic Records and has garnered considerable critical acclaim. The Schola’s second CD of the music of David Conte was released in 2008 on the ARSIS label. A recording of Mendelssohn’s choral and organ works featuring the Schola Cantorum and the Craighead Saunders Organ at Christ Church will be released on the LOFT recording label in 2012. Several new recording projects are currently in planning stages. The Schola is comprised of Parishioners of Christ Church, Rochester-area musicians, and Eastman School of Music faculty and students, all who volunteer their time and talent.
The Christ Church Consort
The Christ Church Consort is made up of Eastman School of Music students who are studying "period" instruments of the Renaissance and the Baroque from being enrolled in one of the Eastman School of Music’s early music classes (either Collegium or Baroque Chamber Music). Instruments presently include gut-string violin, viola, and violoncello. Students gain experience and utilize historic performance practices by performing with the Christ Church Choir and the Baroque Organ for the 11:00 A.M. Sunday Eucharist.
Lauren Densinger, violin
Angelina Weber, violin
Erin Kirby, viola
Jake Hanegan, cello
Samuel Pierce-Ruhland, cello
This ensemble is open to all ages. Rehearsals are on Wednesday evenings at 8:00 P.M.
SUNDAY MUSIC AT CHRIST CHURCH
SUNDAY 11:00 A. M. EUCHARIST
- CHRIST CHURCH CHOIR: Stephen Kennedy, Conductor (sings from the Sunday after Labor Day through Pentecost)
- CHRIST CHURCH CONSORT (Renaissance and Baroque instrumentalists from the Eastman School of Music accompany choral motets during the academic year)
- CRAIGHEAD-SAUNDERS BAROQUE ORGAN (preludes, postludes, and accompaniment to hymn singing and motets)
- THE HOOK AND HASTINGS AMERICAN ROMANTIC ORGAN (preludes, postludes, and accompaniment to hymn singing and motets)
- HANDBELL CHOIR: directed by the Organ Scholar (seasonal performances)
SUNDAY 8:50 P. M. PRELUDE TO COMPLINE (October through April)
- Preludes played on the Craighead-Saunders Organ by organ students from the Eastman School of Music and guest artists.
SUNDAY 9:00 P. M. COMPLINE (October through April)
- The Office of Compline is Christ Church’s most popular liturgy. The Schola Cantorum sings the Office of Compline by candlelight to a large congregation each Sunday evening from October through April at 9:00 P.M.