Music for Palm Sunday

Holy Week is imminent! One of the musical highlights you can look forward to is an intense choral anthem for Palm Sunday’s 9am service and Good Friday’s 7pm service by the Canadian composer Sarah MacDonald (shown here). MacDonald is the Director of Music at Selwyn College, Cambridge (UK) and Director of the girl choristers at Ely Cathedral. She also led a Royal School of Church Music course in Portland in summer 2018 (including a special Evensong at St. Michael’s), which was attended by two of our now high school aged Choristers.

Other choral highlights for Holy Week will include a traditional Irish carol called Jerusalem, to be sung in heterophony (each individual voice overlapping one another) on Maundy Thursday by the St. Michael’s Singers and Choristers spaced out around the church; as well as a grand Anglican choral anthem, Ye choirs of new Jerusalem, by C.V. Stanford featuring the Portland Brass Quintet on Easter Sunday.

During the Easter Vigil on April 8, listen for a solo piano reflection after one of the readings. Margaret Bonds’ “Troubled Water” is an incredible work that utilizes the tune of the Spiritual “Wade in the Water.” Bonds was one of the first Black composers and performers to gain recognition in the United States and frequently collaborated with Langston Hughes.