Music Notes from Adrian Archer, Director of Music

Music in the context of the Anglican Liturgy should never be haphazard. It is especially important at this time of the year as it helps in a major way to convey the “drama” that is Holy Week, with its emphasis on the three days of the Easter Tridiuum. I thought to give you a preview of the choral music which will enshrined our liturgy in the weeks to come. Here at Christ Church, that drama begins today, (Passion Sunday), where all of our crosses and icons have been veiled in purple. This old custom of veiling religious images is a way of focusing on the penitential aspect of this liturgical season. This tradition is linked to the Gospel text for Passion Sunday, which speaks of Jesus hiding himself from the people (John 8:59).

  The grandeur and triumph of Palm Sunday will be met with the Combined Choirs’ rendition of Becki Slagle Mayo’s “Blessed Is He Who Comes.”

  The Easter Tridiuum begins proper on Maundy Thursday evening with the Liturgy that commemorates the Last Supper, Washing of Feet and Watch before the Blessed Sacrament. The choir will present music around the theme for all aspects of the service including, “Wash Their Feet” by Pepper Choplin, “Ubi Caritas” by Becki Sladge Mayo (and sung by the children’s choir) and “To Thy Table, Lord” by David Ashley White. Flautist, Shavinica Saunders and pianist, Yvonne Foulkes will offer a number of musical selections during the washing of feet.

  The Solemnness of Good Friday and its various liturgical acts will be accompanied by hymns for the day and four musical selections including Gilbert Martin’s “When I Survey The Wondrous Cross,” Benjamin Harlan’s “Beneath The Cross Of Jesus”, Jane Marshall’s “My Eternal King” and David Naylor’s “Behold The Wounds In Jesus’ Hands.

  On Easter Sunday at 9:00 a.m. the full force of our music comes to a head with the Cathedral Choirs, Organs, Piano, Violin and our Easter Brass Ensemble. In addition to the triumphant Easter hymns, you can expect Leo Nestor’s “I Saw Water” at the Renewal of Baptismal Vows, the Offertory Anthem “The Lord Now Victorious” by Pietro Mascagni, “The Stone Is Rolled Away by Bahamian Composer, Victor Johnson” at the communion, G. F. Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus” for Organ, Choir, and Brass and at the conclusion of the service the musical postlude “Toccata IV” by Leon Boellmann (taken from his “Suite Gothique”).

  My appeal to members of the congregation is to assist in funding the music for this holy time which, from experience, is near $6,000.00. In all, it is a concert over three of the most important days of the Church’s life – and we hope that it will lead you to a new experience of the holy time.

Attending Summer Music Workshop


The Music Department is pleased to announce that Miss Morgan Lockhart and Master Aaron Humes have been selected to attend a Summer Music Workshop organized by the Royal School of Church Music America in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, June 25th to July 3rd, 2017. The RSCM America sponsors a number of summer training courses throughout the United States. Each course is as unique as its setting and provides the opportunity for choral training and exploring wonderful Choral Music in liturgical and/or concert settings.

The Charlotte course, being hosted by St. John’s Episcopal Church, will be held at Queen’s University for trebles and teens, who will rehearse daily with Mr. Julian Wachner, its director, and with other distinguished musicians, providing individual attention in small groups, voice instruction and theory classes. Recreation, fun, and worship are part of each day’s activities.

 The Workshop ends with a Pontifical Eucharist at which the participants will sing The Mass for Four Voices by William Bird, along with other anthems by John Ireland, G. F. Handel. In the evening the choir will close the day with choral evensong, the setting by Hebert Howells and other choral works which would have been a part of the week’s musical activities.

Funding for this musical learning experience is sponsored, in part, from the newly established Bryan A. Thompson Memorial Music Foundation. Persons interested in contributing to the ongoing work of the Foundation are kindly asked to contact: Mr. Adrian Archer, Director of Music at Christ Church Cathedral, P. O. Box N-653, Nassau, Bahamas. 

Summer Choir Visit

The Milwaukee Children’s Choir is Southeastern Wisconsin’s premier youth choir.  Since 1994, the Choir has been delighting audiences and providing children, ages 5-18, with exceptional choral music education and performance experiences that foster creativity, personal expression and social growth. While in The Bahamas the choir is expected to have a workshop and exchange with The Bahamas National Children’s Choir, give a free concert under the patronage of her Excellency, The Governor General, Dame Marguerite Pindling at our Cathedral on Saturday, July 1st, at 7:00 p.m. and be musical guests at the 9:00 a.m. Family Eucharist on Sunday July 2nd.

Facebook Group Page

The Music department encourages you to visit our Facebook Group page. There you will see photos taken at the Cathedral, see our music service schedule and get a better idea of our Cathedral Music program as it develops. If you are a member of Facebook please join. Look for Christ Church Cathedral Music Department - and join our group, or click the link below.

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