This week is the fourth Sunday of Easter, which is also known as Good Shepherd Sunday, as both the Psalm (23) and Gospel reading (John 10:11-18) for the day refer to God or Jesus as a shepherd. The choir’s two anthems also have a common theme of the shepherding God. The first, “The Lord Is My Shepherd,” a setting of the twenty-third psalm, is an arrangement by Larry Long of an African-American spiritual. The second, “When Some Kind Shepherd from His Fold,” is an arrangement of an American folk hymn by Alice Parker. The text is found in John Needham’s Hymns Devotional and Moral on Various Subjects (Bristol, England, 1768), while the music derives from American shape-note hymnals in the early nineteenth century.
This week the choir sings two anthems, the first an arrangement by Richard Shephard of the song “Be still, for the presence of the Lord,” written by David Evans. Evans is an English church musician and music teacher currently working towards a PhD in music psychology. Shephard, in addition to composing, serves as Chamberlain of York Minster in England. The second choral piece this week is “Creation of Peace,” an anthem by Mark Miller, an organist and composer who teaches at Drew Theological School in New Jersey.
On Sunday afternoon, April 15, at 4 pm, the Westminster Organ Concert Series presents an organ recital of music of Johann Sebastian Bach by organist Peter Sykes. Mr. Sykes is associate professor of music and chair of the historical performance department at Boston University, and also teaches at the Juilliard School of Music in New York. He has performed throughout the world and has made eight solo recordings, including music of Bach, Reger, and a transcription of the Gustav Holsts’s The Planets. Admission to the concert is free, and a reception will follow.
On Sunday, April 15, at 4 pm, the Westminster Organ Concert Series presents an organ recital by Peter Sykes. Mr. Sykes, who teaches at Boston University and Julliard School of Music, returns to Westminster for an all-Bach program. The concert is free, and a reception will follow.
On Easter Sunday the Adult Choir and the Singers will both participate in worship, singing at both the 8:30 and 11 o’clock services. They will combine to sing the introit, “He Is Risen,” by Michael Joncas. The Singers will also sing the anthem, “I Know that My Redeemer Lives,” by Austin Lovelace, an arrangement of a Sacred Harp tune. The Adult Choir’s anthem is “Christ Is Risen,” an arrangement by Michael Burkhardt of a chorus from Bach’s Cantata 207a. Amy Walder and Leah Patek, violinists, join the choir for this piece, as does Max Patek, who will play timpani.