Although organist Hannah Brewer is not offering a Halloween Organ Spooktacular this year, listen for the spooky prelude and postlude at this Sunday’s 9am and 11am services, programmed in honor of Halloween.
Both adult choirs will be featured on Sunday. At 9am, the St. Michael’s Singers will offer the classic Anglican anthem Beati quorum via by C.V. Stanford (1852-1924), written for an unaccompanied six-part choir and based on the first verse of Psalm 119 (“Happy are they that are upright in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord”). Published in 1905, it has remained a staple of Anglican choral repertoire ever since, and you’ll hear why!
At 11am, the Saints & Singers Choir sings the African-American Spiritual “I know de Lord’s laid His hands on me,” arranged by the influential black composer Harry T. Burleigh (1866-1949). Burleigh was known for introducing black music (like spirituals) to classically trained musicians, such as Antonín Dvorák, by arranging them in a more classical form. He was a lifelong advocate for the spiritual, but he was also known in his day as a singer with a powerful baritone voice. Despite his race, Burleigh was hired as a soloist by St. George’s Episcopal Church in New York City in 1894, remaining in the position for the next 52 years!