April 9, 2022
The St. Paul Choir & Chamber Orchestra will present a Holy Week concert, featuring works by Johann Sebastian Bach and Dietrich Buxtehude, on Sunday, April 10 at 4:00 p.m., in the nave of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 416 SE Grand Avenue at Lee’s Summit. The concert is free with the invited public. It will be followed by a wine and cookie reception presented by St. Paul’s Friends of Music.
St. Paul’s Music Director, William Baker, will conduct the hour-long concert, which will feature three masterpieces appropriate for the most solemn week in Christian tradition. Johann Sebastian Bach, 1685-1750, is considered one of the greatest composers in history. In 1726 Bach composed “Ich will den Kreutzstab gerne tragen” or “I will carry my cross with joy”, as a cantata for choir, orchestra and bass soloist. The work demands a high level of virtuosity, especially from the musicians in the orchestra and the soloist. The cantata’s performance at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church will feature bass soloist Ed Frazier Davis, a well-known composer once from the Kansas City area but now based in Chicago.
Although less well known than Bach, Dietrich Buxtehude, 1637-1707, was one of the most influential composers of the Baroque period. His music had a profound influence on many composers, including Bach. In 1705, 20-year-old Johann Sebastian Bach walked 250 miles from his home in Arnstadt to Lübeck and stayed for three months to hear Buxtehude’s music and learn from him. The St. Paul Choir & Chamber Orchestra will join bassist Ed Frazier Davis and soprano soloist Megan Moore to perform Buxtehude’s cantata, “Jesu, Meine Freude, or “Jesus, My Joy and Treasure.” Megan Moore is considered one of the most promising young professional soloists in the Kansas City area. She recently appeared in Lee’s Summit performances of Handel’s “Messiah” and Schubert’s “Mass in G.”
The final work on the program is an a cappella setting of “Anthems for the Cross” by Kansas City composer Geoffrey Wilcken. Dr. Wilcken, organist at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in downtown Kansas City and director of the Kansas City-based Songflower Chorale, composed the work for St. Mary’s Choir in 2017. In 2018, the Dr. Baker recorded the work on the Amber Waves label with the semi-professional William Baker Festival Singers. The traditional words of the “Hymns for the Cross” come from the Episcopal liturgy of Good Friday.
The music ministry at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church has grown exponentially over the past 18 months through frequent outreach concerts that welcome the general public, special worship events, and evening choral services. St. Paul Choir and St. Paul A Cappella will serve Holy Week liturgies at the church for Maundy Thursday April 14, Good Friday April 15 and the Great Easter Vigil on Saturday April 15. All evening liturgies begin at 7:00 p.m. The congregation will celebrate Easter Sunday with festive liturgies at 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m.
For more information about the Holy Week concert on Sunday, April 10, email Music@StPaulsLS.org or call 816-524-3651.