Christ Church Music: 2017 Highlights

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In addition to the regular round of choral services, 2017 was an exciting musical year that included new recruits, special services, and spectacular events:

The St. Cecilia Choir of Girls provided music at a service of Choral Evensong, celebrating the season of Epiphany. This was the first in a series of several Choral Evensongs marking high and holy days during the church year.

February began with an Organ Recital by Jamie Hitel. The Christ Church Singers marked the beginning of Lent with a moving Ash Wednesday service.

March began with a sell-out Young Musicians Concert and ended with a joint Choral Evensong with the Choir of Saint Thomas, Fifth Avenue.

April began with the beautiful liturgies of Holy Week. Jamie Hitel introduced the Easter celebrations with an Organ Recital preceding the Easter Vigil, gloriously sung by the Christ Church Singers. On Easter Day our services featured choirs of Men & Girls, Men & Boys, and a brass quartet.

May provided the backdrop to the annual Casey Memorial Evensong, a fitting capstone to a busy program year.

June was a month for graduations, farewells, and celebrations. We recognized our many volunteers at an annual Choir Recognition on the lawn of the Tomes-Higgins House.

Choristers and leaders travelled to Camp DeWolfe on Long Island for a weeklong residential choir camp. Led by Jamie Hitel, along with theory and voice instructors, this was a fantastic opportunity for choristers to learn new repertoire and focus on our work together as a team.

Our 2017-18 musical season began with the Great Fall Festival. Choir Open Houses welcomed new recruits to the program.

October saw our first Choral Evensong of the new choir season, given by the Choir of Men & Boys. We welcomed Jonathan Vaughn as our new Associate Director of Music.

The Christ Church Singers gave a stirring performance of Fauré’s Requiem, conducted by Jonathan Vaughn, with Visiting Artist Philip Moore at the organ.

The month began with the traditional service of Advent Lessons and Carols, sung by the Choir of Men & Boys. We continued in fine musical style with GLORiA! –  a magnificent joint Christmas concert with the Young Artists Philharmonic. Britten’s ‘A Ceremony of Carols’ followed this the next day. Carols by Candlelight brought the musical year to a fitting conclusion.

Looking back, this has been an active and healthy year for the music department at Christ Church. Of particular note was the joint concert with the Young Artists Philharmonic – part of a concerted effort to promote the music program in the local community. This effort is set to continue in 2018, with plans for further communications campaigns and contact with schools.

I am indebted to all who have contributed so much to make our program so successful. I should especially like to recognize the hard work and commitment of former Associate Director of Music Jonathan Ryan as he takes up his new position as Director of Music at St Michael and All Angels, Dallas, TX. I am delighted that Jonathan Vaughn has joined us as our new Associate Director of Music, and look forward to working with him closely in the months ahead.

Finally, our ongoing association with Philip Moore continues to bless us as a church community. Philip has been Visiting Artist for a number of years. This program is made possible by the generosity of Robert and Susan Morris, to whom we continue to be extremely grateful.

Jamie Hitel
Director of Music


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