The First Church Choir sings Choral Evensong in celebration of the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. Preces and canticles in A Major by Herbert Sumsion (1899–1995) will be featured. This evensong, the Anglican expression of the Reformation, will be sung immediately preceding the concert setting of J.S. Bach’s Cantata 80, Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott, for choir, soloists, and chamber orchestra.
Choral Evensong, or sung evening prayer, is intended as a daily liturgy in the Anglican church. When Thomas Cranmer penned the first Book of Common Prayer in 1549, he combined all of the hourly monastic prayer services into two daily services, Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer. In most British Cathedrals, Choral Evensong is sung six days a week. It is increasingly popular in the United States, and has spread beyond The Episcopal Church into some protestant churches with traditional liturgies and music.
The First Church Choir is a 49 mixed-voice, adult choir that sings for the 11am service each Sunday during their season. They bring us the Anglican service of Choral Evensong seven times this year, as well as the cantata Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott by J.S. Bach, and, on Christmas Eve at 10.30pm, a powerful Nativity concert titled Magnificat! with music by Finzi, Howells, and Vaughan Williams. Don’t miss their signature event on Sunday, December 17, at 4pm – the Annual Festival of Christmas Lessons and Carols. The Choir will be in residence at Norwich Cathedral and Lincoln Cathedral in July 2018.