679 Farmington Avenue, West Hartford, CT 06119
The ancient and beautiful service of Choral Evensong is presented on the fourth Sunday of selected months at St. John’s.
Join us on February 23 at 5:00pm for music by the professional choral ensemble Voices of Concinnity under the direction of founding director Sarah Kaufold, with Scott Lamlein, organist.
Click here for Service Leaflet
Musical Selections for February 23:
Canticles: Tallis Dorian
Responses: Ayleward in Eb
Anthem: Abendlied (Rheinberger)
Solemn Melody by Henry Walford Davies
Carillon de Longpont by Louis Vierne
(Scroll down for more details about the music and the guest choirs.)
What is Choral Evensong? “Evensong … is a very tiny fragment of something else: it is a fragment of the worship which is offered to God by Christian people every hour in every part of the world. When you come to Evensong here it is as if you were dropping in on a conversation already in progress — a conversation between God and people which began long before you were born and will go on long after you are dead.”
Why celebrate Evensong? Evensong offers to us the opportunity to gather and spend time in prayer while listening and participating in music that is especially selected to bring us into deeper understanding of the mysteries of our faith.
How long does Choral Evensong last? Approximately 35-45 minutes
What should I expect at Evensong? Hymns, readings, Anglican chant and anthems sung by the choir
Will there be a sermon? No.
Why does the choir sing so much at Choral Evensong? In Choral Evensong the choir sings on “behalf of” the congregation. The settings of the Canticles of Mary (Magnificat) and Simeon (Nunc Dimittis) are always sung by the choir alone. The Suffrages (prayers) and the Responses between the Officiant and People are also sung between the Officiant and Choir on behalf of the people. This allows the congregation time to meditate and enter into deeper prayer through words and music.
What does the congregation do in Evensong? The congregation joins in the singing of the hymns, the Apostle’s Creed and the Lord’s Prayer. The congregation joins in silent meditation through the prayers and canticles.
How will I know what I should do during the service? A bulletin outlining the service will be available.
What is a canticle? A canticle (from the Latin canticulum, a diminutive of canticum, song) is a hymn (strictly excluding the Psalms) taken from the Bible.
The music for the service on Sunday, February 23, includes choral settings by Richard Ayleward (English, 1626-1669) and Josef Gabriel Rheinberger (German, 1839-1901).
Not a great deal is known of Richard Ayleward, who was organist and choirmaster of Norwich Cathedral in England during the 1660s. However, his settings of the Preces and Responses, traditionally sung at morning and evening prayer, remain in the repertoire and are frequently performed.
Rheinberger’s lushly-Romantic motet “Abendlied,” composed when he was just 16 but with a wisdom far beyond his years, offers a meditation on evening with “exquisitely voiced walls of sound.”
The service is framed by music played by Scott Lamlein on the 3,271-pipe Austin organ at St. John’s, opening with the contemplative Solemn Melody by Henry Walford Davies (English, 1869-1941) and closing with the richly-textured Carillon de Longpont by Louis Vierne (French, 1870-1937).
About the Voices of Concinnity: Dedicated to incorporating the role of vocal color into crating exquisite music, Voices of Concinnity is a 12-voice professional chamber ensemble of dedicated, seasoned choral artists from diverse backgrounds who strive to cultivate the art of choral singing. Their sound described as being “like silky smooth butter in musical form” by an audience member, Concinnity works to maximize overtones and unity of sound to create a harmonious, artful landscape of voices. Directed by Sarah Kaufold, Concinnity was founded in 2018 to help create affordable access for the community to experience professional-level choral music. The word “concinnity” means the harmonious arrangement or fitting together of the different parts of something, which encompasses our ensemble’s dedication to exploration of “coming to agreement” of our unique voices in lieu of altering our individual vocal timbre. Through the performance of choral music from the Renaissance to the contemporary, Concinnity is dedicated to creating innovative and provocative music programs that encourage the engagement of the community in quality, living music. Voices of Concinnity is sponsored by Consonare Choral Community, a non-profit community arts organization with a mission to build community through choral music, based in Mansfield, CT.
About Sarah Kaufold: Sarah Kaufold is an experienced conductor, singer, and music educator who strives to interweave the teaching of vocal pedagogy into the choral experience. Sarah has directed choirs for singers of all ages, range of abilities, and in a number of settings, which include: church choral programs for children and adults, teaching middle and high school, collegiate choirs, adult community programs, and now at the professional level. With a supportive group of musicians, Sarah embarked on the creation of non-profit arts organization called Consonare Choral Community in 2018 to explore building community through choral music, where she directs Choir Matrix and Voices of Concinnity in addition to managing the organization. Sarah holds a M.M. in Choral Conducting from UConn with extensive graduate study in choral conducting from California State University, Los Angeles. She obtained a B.A. in Psychology from Cal Poly Pomona where she also began her studies as a music educator. She currently sings with two professional chamber choirs, Collegium Ancora and Alchemy, and directs the choir at First Church, Mansfield. She rounds out her musical life with three active children and a very supportive spouse.