This week we celebrate the time and effort that the choir dedicates to worship each week as they sing the last Sunday of the academic year. The adult choir sings two anthems, one by the English composer and Westminster favorite Andrew Carter (b. 1939) and the other based on music by Claude Goudimel (c. 1520-1572), a French composer of the late Renaissance. Goudimel is most famous for his settings of the Genevan psalter, a metrical French translation of the psalms made under the supervision of John Calvin for the use of Reformed churches in Geneva. Goudimel converted to Protestantism shortly after leaving university, and in 1572 was a victim of the St. Bartholemew’s Day Massacre, in which thousands of French Protestants were murdered.
This week the Singers and Choristers lead worship together. The Choristers will sing a traditional song, Rejoice in the Lord Always with lively movements. The Singers and Choristers together will sing Look and See, an arrangement of a Korean folk tune by Hal Hopson. The Singers conclude the confirmation service with a beautiful anthem by Mark Miller, Child of God.
We celebrate the return of our organist, Jonathan Schakel from his time of study at Cornell University. He will play Prelude on Land of Rest by American composer, Richard Proulx. Land of Rest is the tune name for the hymn Lord, When I Came Into This Life which will be sung in the worship service. The closing voluntary will be Praeludium in C Major fürs volle Werk by German composer J.W. Häßler.
On Wednesday, May 10 Westminster is participating in a city-wide interfaith concert performance of J. S. Bach’s Emmaus Road Cantata at 7:00 pm at the Haven. The event will feature soloists and combined choir with instrumentalists, including musicians from several faith communities in Charlottesville. A collection will be taken during the event to benefit the International Rescue Committee and the Haven. Please plan to attend this event to support refugees and the homeless in our community.
This week the adult choir will sing Christ Hath a Garden set to the well-know tune The Water Is Wide, arranged by American composer Gerald Near (b. 1942). They will also sing Rejoice together ev’ry one by Australian composer Barrie Cabena (b. 1933).
Jane Edmister Penner is our organist on Sunday. These are her notes on the organ music this week:
Sunday’s organ music is in two contrasting styles. German Baroque composer Georg Böhm (1661-1733) wrote a number of suites for keyboard instrument. The Suite in F major has a stately Allemande as well as a Sarabande in triple meter with its Double or variation. Bryan Kelly (b. 1934) is a British composer of choral and organ music. The Postlude is march-like and is moderately dissonant.
Jane Edmister Penner
This week the music will carry us from the betrayal of Jesus on Thursday evening, to his crucifixion on Friday, and finally to the joyous resurrection on Sunday morning. At the Maundy Thursday service the adult choir will sing a setting of Drop, drop, slow tears by Kerry Andrew. On Friday the congregation will hear readings and have time to reflect while singing meditative chants from the Taizé community in France. Lynanne Wilson and Winston Barham will add instrumental parts on cello and recorder while the chants are sung.
Easter morning begins with the exuberant Christ Has Arisen, Alleluia! set to a Tanzanian melody. The Singers will sing Come, Ye Faithful by British composer R. S. Thatcher, and the adult choir will sing Let Your Alleluias Rise! also by a British composer, Jonathan Willcocks. Jonathan will play music by J.S. Bach and Dieterich Buxtehude for the opening and closing voluntaries. With full organ, timpani, and the zimbelstern (turning star bells on the organ), Easter should be a joyful worship experience for everyone.