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Music for Advent and Christmas

Lessons and Carols is a traditional service alternating readings from the Bible with carols, hymns, and anthems. For 45 years, it has been part of the preparations for Christmas here at the Cathedral. This year, our service will be at 4pm on December 17. I hope you will plan to attend and invite your friends to this special celebration.

One of the treasures of this cathedral is the pipe organ. Rebuilt 10 years ago by Schantz Organ Company, the organ contains over seven thousand pipes. While you can see some of them in the rear balcony, approximately 20% of them are in the front of the church behind the main altar. This large number of pipes spread throughout the building make the organ an orchestra of musical colors for the player to explore. Even after three years here, I am still discovering new combinations of sounds. Preludes, postludes, and other concerts and events like Lessons and Carols provide opportunities for everyone to hear some of the beauty of this instrument.

Because this is such a special instrument, I believe it deserves to be heard and recognized beyond the local area. To that end, I have started making CD recordings for distribution. This past March I released my first recording, Out of the Depths: Music for Lent and Holy Week. This was a recording of the program I played when I first started here. Recently, I finished my second recording, A Child Is Born: Music for Advent and Christmas. Many of the preludes and postludes I will play in December are included on this new release. The physical CD will be available at Lessons and Carols on December 17. Both albums will also be available digitally through iTunes, Amazon, and Spotify.

The music of Advent and Christmas is abundant. Enjoy that abundance by attending Lessons and Carols, and share that abundance with others by purchasing a CD. After all, even if the stores have been trying to get us to buy Christmas presents for the past month, I’m sure you still need to buy a few more gifts. I haven’t even started…..