VERO BEACH — On Sunday, March 6, 2011 at 4:00 p.m., the Trinity Episcopal Choir will offer a Service of Choral Evensong. Organist & Choirmaster Jason Hobratschk will direct the Trinity Choir, and Organist & Choirmaster Emeritus Donald Ingram will serve as organist. Choral Evensong is one of the oldest and most exquisite services in the Anglican tradition, codified in the first Book of Common Prayer of 1549. In it, we, through the voice of the choir and through our own, sing praise to God. Though paltry in comparison with that of the angels, our song is that ancient vessel into which we pour our efforts and our very selves in adoration of God.
In the Preface to the Order of Evensong of King’s College Chapel in Cambridge, England, Evensong is described as “a liturgical, architectural and musical space into which … you may gather the preoccupations and anxieties of your own life and hold them together with recollections of the God whose acts we celebrate…. The service becomes the medium for our self-offering. By that offering we become open to receive again the love and mercy of God.”
Evensong incorporates elements of the daily monastic offices of Vespers, sung at sunset, and Compline, sung before retiring. Among the musical highlights of Evensong are one or more Psalms set to Anglican Chant; a “Service,” a setting of the Magnificat (the Canticle of Mary, Luke 1:46-55) and Nunc Dimittis (the Canticle of Simeon, Luke 2:29-32); congregational hymns; and choral anthems. Trinity’s inaugural Choral Evensong will feature Psalm 150 chanted to the captivating Anglican chant by Sir Charles Villiers Stanford.
The Service is that of the renowned organist, choirmaster, and composer T. Tertius Noble, who came from York Minster in England to St. Thomas Episcopal Church in New York in 1913. During his thirty-year tenure at St. Thomas, Noble instituted Choral Evensong and founded the famous St. Thomas Choir School. Additionally, the choir will sing four anthems by Richard Shephard, Jason Hobratschk, David Mennicke, and Simon Lindley.
Evensong will be preceded by a half-hour organ recital-prelude commencing at 3:30 p.m. Jason Hobratschk will serve as organist for the recital, which will include works by Mendelssohn, Davies, Pärt, and others.
A freewill offering will benefit the Trinity Episcopal Church Music Program, and a reception will follow in the Great Hall.