Christ Church Easton Celebrates Advent

This Sunday, December 10, Christ Church in Easton will present music of the Advent season in two contrasting lineups.  During the morning 11:00 service, the Christ Church Brass will present two selections transcribed for brass from George Frederick Handel’s Messiah as well as other seasonal selections including J. S. Bach’s, Shepherds Wake!  A Voice is Calling often referenced as Wachet auf, ruft us dir Stimme.  Additionally, the Christ Church Choir will present Charles Villiers Stanford’s Benedictus in C, a majestic and powerful example of the English repertoire.  Prelude music will begin at 10:50 am.

At 4:00 pm, the music ministry will combine to present Advent Lessons and Carols which will include the Christ Church Choir, the Choral Scholars, St. Peter’s Carillion (the adult handbell choir), the Christ Church Boychoir, harp, oboe, flute, and organ.  The program, officially part of the Christ Church Concert Series, is a service of Advent music developed at Salisbury Cathedral and St. James Cathedral in Chicago.  Among the various musical selections are the work of composers including Palestrina, Johann Sebastian Bach, Elizabeth Posten, Francis Patrick O’Brien, Malcolm Archer, and others.  A freewill offering will be received, and the public is cordially invited to attend.  Support for this musical feast is given in part by the Talbot County Arts Council and the Maryland State Arts Council.  Doors open at 3:30 pm.  The church is located at 111 S. Harrison Street in downtown Easton.

Christ Church to Host Annapolis Chamber Ensemble and Two World-Class Pianists

The Christ Church Concert Series in Easton continues its 2017-18 season this Sunday afternoon at 4 pm featuring the Annapolis Chamber Players.  The ensemble whose members have been collaborating for more than fifteen years is composed of some of the finest musicians in the Baltimore-Washington DC area.  Known for their eclectic programs with repertoire ranging from the eighteenth through the twenty-first centuries, the ensemble specializes in mixed chamber music for winds, strings, and piano. Unlike homogeneous chamber groups, such as a string quartet or woodwind quintet, the Annapolis Chamber Players’ diverse instrumental colors and flexible instrumentation offers a variety of musical colors and styles.

Woobin Park and Stefan Petrov

While all six of the ensemble’s members unite to amass a most impressive cache of honors and distinctions, its two pianists, each a world-class talent, will perform on Sunday’s concert. Dr. Woobin Park made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2010 to critical acclaim. The New York Concert Review raved“…Park gave a brilliant performance, handling the virtuosity with beautiful sense of style…” She has appeared throughout the United States and South Korea in solo and chamber recitals as well as solo performances with orchestra. Park has performed in distinguished concert venues including Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Steinway Hall in New York, Strathmore Hall in Washington D.C., Elizabeth Horowitz Performing Arts Center in Maryland, Tedmann Concert Hall in Minneapolis, Auer Concert Hall in Bloomington, Indiana and Preston Bradley Hall of the Chicago Cultural Center. Her live performances have been nationally broadcast on WFMT in Chicago and KSJN in Minneapolis. Woobin has earned prizes in several competitions including the Los Angeles Liszt International Piano Competition, where she was also awarded “Best Performance of the Required Work,” San Nicola di Bari International Piano Competition in Italy, University of Minnesota Concerto Competition, and American Protege International Competition of Romantic Music. On Sunday, Dr. Park will perform Carl Frühling’s Trio for Clarinet, Violoncello and Piano, Op. 40 with clarinetist and ensemble director, Phyllis Richardson and cellist Dorotea Racz.  In addition to her performing career and masterclasses throughout the country, Dr. Park serves on the piano faculty at Washington College.

American-Bulgarian pianist Stefan Petrov, whose arresting interpretations and broad musical versatility has captivated classical music audiences as a soloist and a chamber musician in venues across Europe, North America and the Caribbean, will perform Johannes Brahms’ Trio in E-flat Major for Piano, Violin and French, Op. 40 along with violinist Kristen Bakkegard and hornist, Heidi Brown. Mr. Petrov’s performances have been broadcast on CBC (Canada), WDAV(NC), WFMT (Chicago), WMRA(VA) and Bulgarian National TVand Radio. He has appeared in Steinway Hall (New York, NY), Steinway Series at the Smithsonian Museum (Washington D.C.), the Bulgarian National Palace of Culture, Teatro Nacional (Dominican Republic), Chicago Cultural Institute and others. Equally at home as a collaborative pianist, Stefan partners frequently with Israeli-American cellist Amit Peled in recitals across the U.S., while also serving as head of the collaborative piano department at the prestigious Heifetz International Music

Sunday’s concert is partially funded by a grant from the Talbot County Arts Council and the Maryland State Arts Council.  Doors open at 3:30 pm, and the public is invited.  A freewill offering will be received to support this and upcoming concerts.  Christ Church is located at 111 S. Harrison Street in downtown Easton. For information call 410-822-2677 or visit www.christchurcheaston.org.

Christ Church to Host Multiple Music Events This Weekend

This Sunday, October 29, Christ Church in Easton will present multiple music events and invites the public to attend.  During the 11:00 a.m. service the Christ Church Brass will present music of the Reformation in Benjamin Culli’s Reformation Suite.  Carlos Zabala, a frequent trumpeter at Christ Church, will perform in collaboration with organ Voluntary for Trumpet and Organ by Domecq Smith.  Also, included in the musical lineup will be Sonata da Chiesa by Charles Callahan.  An original composition in three movements, the piece is characterized by expansive, flowing lines for the brass and its ongoing dialogue with the organ played by Dale Krider.  Concluding the morning service will be the brilliantly festive La Rejoussance from Handel’s Water Music Suite.  Prelude music will begin at 10:50 a.m.

At 6 pm in the evening, theater organist Michael Britt returns for the third consecutive year to accompany on the large screen the 1923 silent film classic The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The program, sponsored in part by the Talbot County and Maryland state arts councils, has become one of the highlights of the Christ Church Concert Series drawing enthusiasts of all ages for this capacity crowd event.  Doors open at 5:30 pm and early arrival is recommended.  Attendees are asked to note the time change of the event which is necessary for showing of the film.

For more information about either these or other music-related programs of Christ Church Easton, please call 410-822-2677 or visit christchurcheaston.org.

Christ Church Ensemble to Welcome Guest Musicians

On Sunday, October 22 at 11 am, the Christ Church String Quartet will be joined by bass player Christopher Hofer and local flautist Sally Montgomery.  One of two resident ensembles, the other being the Christ Church Brass, the quartet is a flexible ensemble that occasionally expands to include a variety of chamber ensemble configurations.  Also included in Sunday’s  appearance will be Dale Krider on the continuo part.  The ensemble will be directed by music director Wes Lockfaw.

The repertoire for Sunday will begin with a prelude starting at 10:50 am.  The first selection will be the four-movement Chamber Suite in D by George Frideric Handel.  Following the baroque sonata da chiesa form, meaning church sonata, the work was transcribed by Samuel Applebaum from the original Violin Sonata, Op. 1, No. 15.  The first movement Adagio is through-composed, a very common feature in many baroque compositions.  That is, the movement has a continual generation of thematic ideas.  The second and fourth movements, faster in tempo, are in sonata-allegro form which evolved from the binary dance form.  Movement three, like the first, is a slower Andante movement.  Following the suite, the chamber ensemble will perform a 2010 composition by German composer, Joachim Johow.  The piece which prominently features the flute opens with the flute on a simple but elegant theme accompanied by string orchestra and harpsichord.  Before proceeding to the second section of the work, the opening section repeats but with a much more complex and fluid flute part.  Like the opening section, the second section of the piece ensues with the flute playing a part that resembles the mood of the opening section, then following by a more improvisatory repeat.  The piece concludes by recapitulating the opening section.

During the service, the chamber ensemble will join the Christ Church Choir in a rendition of “O God Beyond All Praising” derived from the tune THAXTED.  A very familiar piece, the tune originated from Gustav Holst’s 1918 composition, The Planets.  At the communion, the string orchestra will render J. S. Bach’s beloved “Sheep May Safely Graze” followed by a hymn based on the lovely chorale “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” also by Bach.  Concluding the musical feast, Dale Krider will perform a Toccata by French composer and organist Théodore Dubois.

The public is cordially invited to attend Sunday’s presentation of music.  For more information contact 410-822-2677.  Christ Church is located at 111 S. Harrison Street in downtown Easton.

Christ Church Easton Celebrates Music Sunday

On Sunday, October 1 Christ Church in Easton will celebrate its second annual Music Sunday.  Started in October 2016, the emphasis was a way to recognize those who participate in the church choirs or ensembles.  During the midpoint of the service, a blessing will be said by the Reverend Dr. William Ortt recognizing all who participate in the various ministries.

Sunday’s Music Dedication will begin with prelude music starting at 10:50 am.  Selections will include Edward Elgar’s beloved “Salut d’Amour” featuring Carlos Zabala on the trumpet, “All Praise to Thee” based on George F. Handel’s Largo for handbells and organ, and Benedetto Marcello’s “Psalm XIX” for brass quintet and organ.  The latter, a Baroque piece based on the text “The Heavens Declare the Glory of God” is a ceremonial piece often associated with grand and glorious occasions.  Also featured within the service will be Elgar’s “Nimrod” from the Enigma Variations played by the Christ Church Brass Quartet with Dale Krider at the organ, Handel’s “The Trumpet Will Sound” from the oratorio Messiah” arranged for brass and organ, and a host of other iconic titles.  The centerpiece of Sunday’s selections will be the combination of adult and children’s choir, organ, brass, and timpani in Lloyd Larson’s festive anthem “Psalm 150” conducted by Wes Lockfaw, music director.

Christ Church is located at 111 S. Harrison Street in Easton, and the community is invited.  For information on this or other musical offerings at Christ Church, call 410-822-2677 or visit www.christchurcheaston.org.

Concert Organist to Perform at Christ Church Easton

Christ Church Easton opens its 2017-18 concert series on Friday, September 22 at 7:00 pm.  Inaugurating the new season is a superb, young organist recognized by Diapason magazine as one of America’s top twenty organists under thirty, Weston Jennings.

Having first encountered the pipe organ at the Interlochen Summer Arts Camp in Michigan at the age of sixteen, Mr. Jennings later graduated from the Interlochen Arts Academy.  He then entered the Eastman School of Music earning a Bachelor of Music Degree and also the prestigious Performer’s Certificate.

Later, he completed two years in England as the Organ Scholar of Canterbury Cathedral and Chelmsford Cathedral. During that time, he was also appointed the first Organ Scholar to the Royal Festival Hall in London.

In the spring of this year, Weston Jennings graduated with a Master’s degree in organ performance from the Yale School of Music and the Yale Institute of Sacred Music where he studied under Thomas Murray. Previous organ teachers include Michel Bouvard, Hans Davidson, David Higgs and Thomas Bara.

Following his recital debut at The Kennedy Center  in 2009, Mr. Jennings performed across the United States and Europe, including Westminster Abbey, Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue, The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels (Los Angeles), The Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception (Denver), the Chapel of the Queen’s College (Oxford), Royaumont Abbey (France), and the Berliner Dom (Germany).  Additionally, he has performed with The Philharmonia Orchestra of Yale, The Yale Concert Band, the Yale Symphony Orchestra and has collaborated with the Apollo Baroque Consort in a concert of Handel organ concertos from Mayfair’s Grosvenor Chapel as part of the London Handel Festival.  Forthcoming recital engagements include St. Paul’s Cathedral (London), St. George’s Chapel of Windsor Castle, the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (Moscow), Hildesheim Cathedral (Germany), Kelvingrove Art Gallery (Glasgow), and Christ Church, Easton.

An enthusiastic advocate for new music, Weston Jennings has premiered compositions by Molly Joyce, Soosan Lolavar, Mark Carroll, and Allison Willis. His performances and interviews have been broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.  Also committed to the education of new organists, Mr. Jennings presently serves as Instructor of undergraduate and secondary organ at Yale College. He has served on the faculty of the Interlochen Summer Arts Camp, the Department of Music at The King’s School, Canterbury, and taught and performed at several Pipe Organ Encounters across America.

While there is no charge for the Weston Jennings performance, a freewill offering will be received.  Doors open at 6:30 pm, and the performance begins at 7:00 p.m.  The Christ Church concert series is supported in part by a grant from the Talbot County and Maryland State Arts Councils.  The church is located at 111 S. Harrison Street in downtown Easton.  For more information call 410-822-2677.

Christ Church Choral Scholars Announcing Auditions

Christ Church Easton announces auditions for its 2017-2018 Choral Scholars program.  Now in its eighth year, the program offers gifted high school and college students the opportunity to sing a diverse body of musical literature spanning multiple centuries and musical styles.  The program is designed to provide excellence in training and reward deserving students with opportunities to expand their background in music while earning a monthly stipend intended to make possible additional cultural opportunities.

As part of the experience, students enrolled as Christ Church Choral Scholars are exposed to singing on an advanced level in both small and large group settings.  They also participate in a cappella singing to music accompanied by small ensembles and orchestra.  Additionally, scholars are entitled to professional vocal lessons as a benefit of their admission to the program.  In recent years, scholars have had the opportunity to participate in a variety of cultural opportunities as well, including performing at Bruton Parish in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia and choral festivals in Ocean Grove, New Jersey and regionally.

Auditions are now ongoing, and the deadline to apply is September 14.  For more information or to schedule an audition, contact music director Wes Lockfaw at 410-822-2677 or email weslockfaw@christchurcheaston.org.

World-Class Duo to Perform at Christ Church

The Christ Church Concert Series Concludes its 2016-17 season on Sunday, May 21 at 4:00 p.m. with the world-class Shtrykov-Tanaka Duo.  The program will include extended works by Johannes Brahms, Carl Maria von Weber, Camille Saint-Saëns, and Francis Poulenc.

Comprised of two sensationally gifted and acclaimed virtuosi, clarinetist Maksim Shtrykov and pianist Misuzu Tanaka, the Shtrykov-Tanaka Duo has been heard throughout the U.S., garnering an impressive record of instant engagements.  While clarinet and piano duos are still rare gems on the modern concert stage, the duo makes it their mission to transform the superb instrumental combination from a rare occurrence to a welcomed guest in concert series across the globe.  The musicians first met in December 2012 and, as avid chamber music collaborators, instantly felt a unique artistic connection resulting in an inspiring and creative friendship.  Both artists are graduates of the Juilliard School and enjoy extensive international solo careers that have heard them in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Germany’s Leipzig Gewandhaus, and Japan’s Izumi Hall.

Sunday’s concert is sponsored in part by a grant from the Talbot County and Maryland State Arts Councils.  Christ Church is located at 111 S. Harrison Street in downtown Easton.  The concert is free and doors open at 3:30 p.m.  A freewill offering will be received.  Call 410-822-2677 or visit www.christchurcheaston.org for more information.

Music for Brass Planned for Sunday, May 14th

This Sunday, May 14, the Music Ministry of Christ Church will present an uplifting and resplendent repertoire of music featuring multiple combinations arranged for brass.  The Christ Church Brass Ensemble, formed in the fall of last year, will perform numerous pieces arranged especially for brass quartet as well as pieces for brass and organ, brass with choir and organ, and also solo work for trumpet.

Beginning approximately ten minutes prior to the 11 a.m. service, the Christ Church Brass will begin with three pieces by Franz Joseph Haydn juxtaposed by a newly composed piece for brass and organ by composer Jeremy Niles Kempton.  The piece, is a bit of a musical sandwich in that it opens and closes with fanfare sections joined by the King of instruments but with a chorale in the middle section reminiscent of J. S. Bach along with many others.  The piece spares nothing in its lusterful conclusion which brings both the brass and the organ to a compelling conclusion.  Also programmed are numerous other pieces by Sir Edward Elgar, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, George Friderick Handel, and an anthem for choir, brass, and organ by the late Martin Shaw.  Shaw, known for more than 300 published works including “With a Voice of Singing”, wrote the piece in 1923 for the Annual Festival of the Rochester Diocesan Choirs Association.  Ninety-six years later, the piece remains a part of the repertoire for many collegiate and parish choirs today.

For more information about this week’s music or other musical events at Christ Church, call 410-822-2677 or visit www.christchurcheaston.org.  Christ Church is located at 111 S. Harrison Street in downtown Easton.

Christ Church Choir to Present Lenten Music

On Sunday, April 9 at 4 PM, the Christ Church Choir of Christ Church Easton will present as part of the Christ Church Concert Series, a Service of Lenten Music and Meditations.  The program will include Dale Krider at the organ and Wes Lockfaw conducting.  A time of refreshments and fellowship will follow in the parish hall.

Sunday’s program combines word and song outlining various aspects of the Lenten season and culminating with the Passion of Christ.  The program will begin with “Cross of Jesus, Cross of Sorrow” taken from The Crucifixion by English Victorian composer, John Stainer.  Immediately following are two chorus pieces taken from George Frideric Handels’ Messiah. Other selections will include pieces by Jonathan Willcocks, David Music, Craig Courtney, Gilbert Martin, and Jane Marshall.  One particular piece of interest is “Truly the Light is Sweet” by Carson Cooman.  An American composer with a catalogue of works ranging from solo instrumental pieces to operas, and from orchestral works to hymn tunes, Cooman’s piece is reflective of his organ concerts.  It opens with a brilliant opening for organ followed by the elegant strains of the choir before returning for a final riveting conclusion.  The piece was composed in celebration of the restoration of Appleton Chapel at Harvard University.  Prior to the program’s conclusion, the choir will sing “Pie Jesu” from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Requiem with soloists Hannah Zerai, soprano and Wes Lockfaw, tenor.

Sunday’s program is part of the Christ Church Concert series and is supported in part by a grant from the Talbot County and Maryland State Arts Councils.  The program is open to the public, and a freewill offering will be received.  The church is located at 111 S. Harrison Street in downtown Easton.  For more information call 410-822-2677 or visit www.christchurcheaston.org.