17 May 2010

A wonderful few days...

These past few days at the parish have been quite extraordinary, with the visit of Dr. Gerre Hancock and Dr. Judith Hancock, both acknowledged leaders in the field of sacred music, after some thirty years spent at St. Thomas, 5th Avenue, and now at UT Austin.  They began working with our students last Thursday, to prepare for the celebration of Solemn Evensong and Benediction which took place yesterday afternoon.

While they were here, a Spring Concert was presented by the students in third, fourth and fifth grades.  A highlight of the evening was when Dr. Gerre Hancock directed the students in singing "The Choristers' Prayer." 

It was especially gratifying to hear their professional opinion about the choral music program we have at the academy, which they described as being "one of the finest in the country."  This was high praise indeed, coming from experts who have a finger on the pulse of sacred music throughout the nation. 

The program on Sunday afternoon was breath-taking.  The recital given by the Hancocks was just remarkable, and the service which followed was tremendously moving.  With Gerre directing the students, and Judith at the organ, it was a loving act of worship, and it certainly gave glory to God.

We're particularly blessed to have Edmund and Chalon Murray as our musicians here in the parish.  Their work, especially with the students, is nothing short of astonishing.