The First Church Choir sings Choral Evensong for the First Sunday in Lent. Tyler W. Robertson will be featured as the organist. Preces and Canticles (Second Service) by William Byrd (c. 1539–1623) will be featured at this solemn evensong. It is interesting to note that we present the music of Byrd in tandem with the choir’s upcoming residency at Lincoln Cathedral. Byrd was Organist and Master of the Choristers at Lincoln from 1563–1572.
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 their signature event on Sunday, December 17, at 4pm – the Annual Festival of Christmas Lessons and Carols. Don’t miss the end-of-year concert, Te Deum laudamus! on Sunday, May 6th, at 4 p.m. as they present Te Deum’s by Britten, Rutter, and Ēriks Ešenvalds. The Choir will be in residence at Norwich Cathedral and Lincoln Cathedral in July 2018.