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Sermon for Diocesan Training Day by Canon Anne Kitch

Festive Evensong at Mediator Allentown, May 2

On May 2, the Fifth Sunday of Easter, Mediator’s Choir will sing a Festival Choral Evensong at 4:00 p.m. The service music, Preces and Responses, is by the English composer, John  Barnard, born in 1948,  and the canticles, Magnificat and Nunc dimittis are sung to settings by Charles Villiers Stanford (1852-1924). The opening Introit was composed by the American composer, David Gerig who was born in 1948 in Wooster, Ohio and now teaches at the University of New Mexico.
The Anthem at the Offertory, a long time favorite of the Choir, is Edgar Bainton’s setting of the text from the book of Revelation, “And I saw a new heaven”. The Revelation passage is included in the Epistle Lesson for the day. Bainton was born in London in 1880, the son of a Congregational minister. He won an open scholarship to the Royal College of Music to study theory with Walford Davies and in 1899 he received a scholarship to study composition with Stanford. He wrote extensively in all areas of musical performance including three symphonies and other orchestral music, chamber music and a great deal of choral and vocal music both sacred and secular. “And I saw a new heaven” is his most well known sacred choral composition. In 1933 he emigrated to Australia where he taught at the New South Wales State Conservatorium of Music where he founded an opera company and also founded the New South Wales Symphony later to become the Sydney Symphony. He died on December 8, 1956 at Point Piper, New South Wales.
2010 is the 100th anniversary of the birth of the noted American composer, Samuel Barber. He was born March 9, 1910 in West Chester, Pennsylvania and died on January 23, 1981. He is best known to the general public by his orchestral piece, Adagio for Strings, composed in 1935 and premiered in 1938 by the NBC Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Arturo Toscanini. Originally written as the slow movement of his String Quartet, Opus 11 it has been transcribed for several musical media including an organ transcription by the organist/composer William Strickland a friend of Barber’s. Mr. Miller will play the Strickland organ transcription of the Adagio as the concluding voluntary.

 A gala reception will follow the Evensong in Commons Room.


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