Wow, it’s hard to believe that over a month has passed since my last Weekly, but such are the holidays. And add to that my mother’s memorial service on January 13, and a host of other both expected and unexpected activities, and the last month seems like a blur to me. So, my apologies for the lapse.

My mom’s memorial service was exceptionally beautiful, I thought. The entire St. Andrew’s Choir, supplemented by 12 singers from St. Martin’s Chamber Choir, sang the choral music* gorgeously; Ralph Valentine and Richard Robertson shared organ duties and played expertly (both very kindly accommodated specific requests from me — several Howells Psalm Preludes before the service, and the Vierne Carillon de Westminster as postlude); Jim Fittz added his rich cello to two of the preludes (both by Bach); my sister Tere gave an exceptionally beautiful eulogy; Elizabeth Randall’s sermon was marvelous and touching; my brother Dave read one of the lessons with grace and aplomb; my nieces (mom’s grandchildren) Krystal and Alexa carried the ashes out of the church afterwards; and we were graced by the presence of one of my mom’s remaining siblings, my Uncle Bud and his wife and daughter from North Dakota.

*In case any of you choral directors out there is interested, here’s a list of the choral music:

    • “I heard a voice from heaven” from the William Croft Burial Service
    • Psalm to Anglican chant by Henry Walford Davies (the one usually used for Psalm 121 — beautiful solos by Laura Tribby, soprano, and Bryan Grosbach, baritone)
    • “In Paradisum” by Terry Schlenker (Ashley Hoffman, captivating soprano solo)
    • “Tantum ergo” by Robert Lucas Pearsall
    • “As we have borne the image of the earthy” by Joseph Barnby
    • Nunc dimittis from the Evening Service in G by Charles V. Stanford (baritone solo beautifully rendered by Matt La Cava)
    • “Into paradise” Gregorian Chant.

(Should I die before I write out my exact wishes for music at my funeral, this could be used as a very close guide!)

Two upcoming things for St. Martin’s Chamber Choir in February. The first is where 16 St. Martin’s Singers are collaborating with the Pro Musica Colorado Chamber Orchestra on Bach’s Cantata #80, “Ein feste Burg.” These concerts are February 9 and 10 (Friday [Denver] and Saturday [Boulder]). For other works on the program (a Haydn symphony, for instance), the concert locations, and to pre-purchase tickets, see the PMCCO website here.

St. Martin’s’ next season concerts also involve instrumentalists, and a very unique program, in my opinion. On February 23 and 25, “Voices and Winds: Sonic Splendor” features St. Martin’s in collaboration with the Colorado Wind Ensemble on two main works, the Mass No. 2 in E Minor for 15 wind instruments and double choir by Anton Bruckner (1838-1896); and the world premiere of a gorgeous new piece by Daniel Kellogg commissioned and written for the occasion for the same instrumental/choral forces, called “Darest Thou Now, O Soul” (Walt Whitman text). Poulenc’s Suite Francaise will be played by the CWE alone; and St. Martin’s will be singing two a cappella works (“Faire is the Heavens” of William Harris and “In paradisum” by Terry Schlenker).

We’ve begun rehearsing for this concert, and I’m becoming quite fond of both the Bruckner and Kellogg. The Bruckner is by turns introspectively mystical and extravagantly bravura, very much in his late, highly chromatic style; and the Kellogg is harmonically rich and expressive. Here’s more info:
Friday, February 23, 7:30pm, Montview Blvd. Presbyterian Church, Park Hill
Sunday, February 25, 3:00pm, Bethany Lutheran Church, Cherry Hills Village
Get tickets online, or telephone the office at (303) 298-1970.