Music at Nativity Cathedral is intentionally diverse with many opportunities for being involved with music-making. There are also many ways to experience, listen to, and absorb great music of the Church.
The Cathedral Choir rehearses weekly on Wednesday evenings 7-9 p.m. September through May to prepare and sing significant choral literature, much of it drawn from the rich Anglican tradition. This represents music that upholds and strengthens the great Liturgies of the Cathedral and Diocese throughout the year, and includes music that is ancient, recently composed, or somewhere in between.
Singers, mostly volunteer and skilled musicians, come from varied life journeys. They devote a number of hours learning many, many notes, and as with all dedicated musicians, members of the choir enjoy being challenged to improve their singing skills so the music always sounds its very best. If you are interested in singing with this choir, please contact Stephen Williams (610-865-0727 x303) or send along an email to set up an audition or make a date to observe a rehearsal or two.
Services of Choral Evensong are held during the church year, and always highlight significant music sung by the Cathedral Choir. Consult the church calendar for information about these beautiful evening liturgies, and, if interested in singing with the choir, contact the Director of Music directly.
For “321 Contact Worship” services of Holy Eucharist, there are Worship Ensembles that include many gifted vocalists and instrumentalists from the congregation. Pianists, guitarists, flutists, oboists, trumpeters and trombonists, and a variety of vocalists of all ages have found their way into this musical offering and experience. Those interested in participating are asked to contact the Church Office or the Music Office.
The Cathedral Girls' Choir is an ensemble of beautifully gifted and skilled teen girls who rehearse and sing on a flexible schedule, and often sing for festive seasons or occasions. Another occasional ensemble is the Hand-Chime Choir. Those interested in participating with these groups are encouraged to contact the Church Office, Music Office or Director of Music Ministries.
Musical events that seem to have become annual at the Cathedral include beautiful services of Lessons and Carols for both Advent and Christmas are offered during the weeks prior to Christmas.
Cathedral Arts is a series of musical offerings during the year that intentionally highlight fine artists or ensembles in a concert setting. Please mark your calendar, and try to attend these wonderful offerings. Upcoming musical events are:
Sunday, December 22, 5 p.m. A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols Christmas with Cathedral Choir & Friends: Cathedral Choir and Friends Similar to the Lessons and Carols service of King’s College. Choral music from ancient to 21st century, punctuated by harp and flute. A musical warming of our souls!
Tuesday, December 25, 3 p.m. Organ Noëls with organist Stephen Williams: Cathedral Organist Stephen Williams is joined by guests David Macbeth and his Choir from the Charter Arts High School in Bethlehem! This is a favorite annual concert for many, a musical gift to our community.
January 19, 4 p.m. Anthony Leach and Friends: Renowned and respected choral director at Penn State for many years, Dr. Leach, along with a few of his favorite singer friends – tenor Christyn Seay, baritone Denzel Fields, and soprano Orieyama Lineberger will offer a varied, moving, and informative program of music by African-American composers.
February 9, 4 p.m. Chester County Chorale Vocal Chamber Ensemble This very fine group of singers founded and conducted by Gary Garletts offers a varied and beautiful program of finely woven choral music ancient to modern.
NOT OFFERED: March 22, 4 p.m. Cathedral Choral Scholars in Concert Lauren Smith, Lauren Curnow, Joseph Mozingo, and Ian Murphy – They are section leaders and professional soloists with our Cathedral Choir. But their musical lives take them well beyond the Cathedral music they sing so beautifully – a bit of Broadway, maybe an opera aria or two, a folk song or three, maybe even a jazz arrangement. Whatever they sing, here’s the thing: Don’t miss hearing these singers! Ever!
NOT OFFERED: April 5, 4 p.m. Cathedral Choir A PALM SUNDAY CONCERT Choral music taking us from the exuberance of Palm Sunday to the sincerity and solemnity of Holy Week. The Palm Sunday concert includes Casals 'O vos omnes,' movements from Schubert's Mass in G, Mendelssohn's 'Verleigh' uns Frieden,' Martin's 'When I Survey,' and Mozart's 'Ave verum.' The centerpiece will be Pergolesi's 'Stabat Mater' sung by soprano Cristina Nassif and mezzo Lauren Curnow accompanied by a string ensemble.
Mar 1, 5 p.m. Lenten Evensong
May 21, 7 p.m. Ascension Day (Thursday)
First Wednesdays of the month at 9 p.m
Advent and Christmas
Dec 22 10:30 a.m. Church School Pageant
Dec 24 5 p.m. Christmas Eve Family Eucharist
10 p.m. Christmas Music Prelude
10:30 p.m. Candlelight Eucharist
Dec 25 10 a.m. Choral Eucharist
3 p.m Organ Noëls
Stephen Williams is Director of Music Ministries and Organist and is enthusiastic about helping grow a ministry of music that is inviting and inclusive of this congregation’s many gifts of music and the arts. Formal study includes Brevard College, Westminster Choir College of Rider University, The Juilliard School, and West Chester University. He works to expand and incorporate a variety of fine music and musicians into our liturgies, and continues to build upon the tradition of the Cathedral Arts as a ministry inside and outside our community. His door and mind is always open to thoughtful opinions and ideas, so please feel free to discuss with him anything to do with music at the Cathedral and beyond.
The cathedral possesses a magnificent organ built by the Austin Organ Company in 1998, and is designed to accompany the Anglican liturgy and ably perform the major schools of organ literature. It was dedicated on January 10, 1999.