Next Sunday evening, February 16, we are very blessed to host the Choir School of Delaware for a special service of Evensong! It will also be a gentle first performance for our own Holy Apostles Choir School who will join their Delaware counterparts for several pieces. You are not going to want to miss this.
The Choir School of Delaware, located in Wilmington, began as the Cathedral Choir School of Delaware in 1883. It is one of the oldest continually operating children’s music programs in the country. When the Episcopal Cathedral closed in Wilmington, the Choir School continued independently. Today it is a thriving program which serves the children and youth of inner-city Wilmington, offering under-served families world-class music instruction, mentoring, homework help, college preparation, and more. The Choir School has performed in concert halls and churches all over the mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States, including singing Evensong at St. Thomas Fifth Avenue, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine and St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in New York City. Just wait until you hear these kids. You are going to be blown away.
The Director of Music and Operations for the Choir School of Delaware is none other than Arreon Harley-Emerson, who also directs our Choir School and frequently sings in our choir. Arreon is a gifted educator and a world-class professional musician. He oozes a contagious excitement for music and joy for living. He holds advanced music degrees from the University of Delaware and has conducted choirs in such venues as St. Peter’s in Vatican City, the Kimmel Center for the Arts in Philadelphia, and the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall in Baltimore. Have I mentioned that you are not going to want to miss Evensong on the 16th?
Evensong, or Sung Evening Prayer, is moving and beautiful service; one of the glories of the Anglican/Episcopal tradition. Though it follows the familiar pattern of Evening Prayer according to the Book of Common Prayer—psalms, readings from Scripture, and prayers—almost the entire service is sung by the choir and the officiant (although there will be several congregational hymns on the 16th). Not only will the music be beautiful, but since most the responsibility for audible prayer is delegated to the choir, the congregation has the opportunity for silent prayer and meditation, letting the prayerful music roll over them. It promises to be a peaceful and stress-relieving experience, and a perfect way to start a new week. Seriously, come to this service and invite all your friends and neighbors. It will not disappoint.