Choirs of St. Luke’s Episcopal Cathedral Concert & Reception
Choirs from Orlando Cathedral Will Sing Vivaldi’s Joyful Cantata ‘Gloria’
The Cathedral's last special concert performance of the season is at 5 p.m. Sunday, April 15, when the Choirs of St. Luke’s Episcopal Cathedral in Orlando will sing an hour long program, “Glory to God!” The choirs comprise the Cathedral Choir (adults), the Cathedral Choristers (youth), and the Orlando Boys and Girls Choirs (young people ages 8 to 18).
The program includes “Dona Nobis Pacem,” “Glory to God in the Highest,” “Christ, Whose Glory Fills the Skies,” “King of Glory, King of Peace,” and an organ solo, the “Epilogue” from “Suite Breve” by Craig Phillips. The centerpiece of the concert will be Vivaldi’s cantata, “Gloria,” sung in Latin. The English-language text of the “Gloria” is very familiar: “Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth....” The “Gloria in D,” whose lyrics date from the fourth century, is “one of sacred music’s most uplifting choral works,” the website classicfm.com says. “It is a joyful hymn of praise and worship divided into 12 relatively brief movements, ranging from festive brilliance to profound sadness. From lilting soprano solos to solemn choral singing with duets and four-part harmonies, this really is a master class in choral writing.” The cantata lasts about 30 minutes. The program ends with a rousing Caribbean song, “Halle-Hallelujah.”
The choirs come from the oldest Episcopal cathedral in Florida, in the Diocese of Central Florida. The worshiping community that became St. Paul’s was founded by Francis Eppes (1801-1881), grandson of Thomas Jefferson, who moved to the then-sparsely settled town of Orlando in 1869. The congregation achieved parish status in 1884. St. Luke’s was designated in 1902 as the cathedral for the Missionary Jurisdiction of Southern Florida, which The Choirs of St. Luke’s Episcopal Cathedral, Orlando. Later that became the Diocese of South Florida, and in 1969 it was divided into three: Southwest Florida (the Gulf Coast), Central Florida, and Southeast Florida (the Atlantic Coast). The music director and cathedral musician is Canon Benjamin Lane; associate cathedral musician, Michael Petrosh; and director of the choristers, Melissa Ramb. Canon Lane has been the music director since 1991. He is a conductor, teacher, composer, and consultant. His compositions include choral, vocal, and liturgical works. He previously taught at Nashotah House Episcopal Seminary (of which our bishop, the Right Rev. Dabney Smith, is a graduate). He holds degrees in organ performance and church music from the University of Southern Mississippi and Northwestern University. His choirs have performed in Europe, Asia, and Canada and throughout the United States, including three appearances at Carnegie Hall in New York City.