2013-08-11 Director of Music’s Reflections

1605by Scott Youngs, Director of Music

Yes. its’ true. I have the best job in the world! I am honored to make music with all of the adults and children who come through these doors.  The music program at All Saints’ is truly an educational endeavor.  Anyone who offers to join the choir does so through a month-long process of learning our ways, our style, and our strengths and weaknesses; James and I spend our days working with the 70 plus choristers from the Day School in their Royal School of Church Music training program; the choir gave up their Wednesday evenings this summer for an eight week music theory course; James writes the weekly notes from the bench series; we will both be teaching classes and commentaries on the music this year in our worship together.  It is so very important that we understand why music in the liturgy is such an integral part of our worship together.  All Saints’ has the rare privilege of presenting music that you will not hear anywhere else in Arizona.

Over time, we have built a program which allows us to stretch both the singer and the listener.  Works like the John Tavener Lament for Jerusalem and the Requiem by Daan Manneke are chosen not only for their outward beauty, but also for their depth of meaning.  When you walk into All Saints’, you immediately see beauty and hear beauty.  There is a great deal of thought put into the choice of what you hear, what you sing, and what you say together.  You can go to the website and see for the entire year which hymns, psalms, and anthems have been chosen to support and enhance the words of the day.  In the season ahead, you will hear eight Arizona premiers and two American premiers.  These choices are being made to stretch you a bit further and have you listen differently to the text being sung.  Please join us in that process of active listening which is worship.  I challenge you to bring a guest to hear and enjoy our unique musical experiences.

Some special treats will occur during the Evensong services.  We start rather calmly in October with works by Herbert Howells and Philip Stopford, lovely and easy to listen to.  By November, we are pushing the boundaries and singing the Requiem of Danish composer Daan Manneke for choir and harp.  In December, you will hear the “O” Antiphons for Advent Lessons and Carols as set by Seattle-based composer John Muehleisen.  I hope that both of these new works will allow you to hear the texts in a new way. In January, at Evensong you will hear more John Tavener, along with contemporary Americans Byron Adams and Stephen Caracciolo.  Composer Michael McCabe will be with us for the February service when we sing his setting of the Magnificat and Nunc dimittis, and this Evensong will take place in conjunction with our first ever choral festival.  March Evensong will debut a brand new Chorister Choir, the Magnificat Choir, whose membership will be those who have successfully challenged the third level of RSCM training, and the Evensong season ends with American composer Vincent Persichetti represented in both the service and the preceding recital.  Our featured works for Good Friday include Franz Liszt’s “Via Crucis” and Bern Herbolsheimer’s “Seven last Words.”

Where there is beauty apparent, let us enjoy it.
Where there is beauty hidden, let us unveil it.
Where there is beauty defaced, let us restore it.
Where there is no beauty, let us create it.
– Robert McAfee Brown (1920-2001)

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One Comment to “2013-08-11 Director of Music’s Reflections”

  1. We are anxious to listen and share the experience of this great offering. Your gifts inspire our spirit.
    Thank you. Graham and Barbara Kretchman

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