April 9, 2022
The St. Paul Choir & Chamber Orchestra will present a Holy Week Concert, featuring works of Johann Sebastian Bach and Dietrich Buxtehude, on Sunday, April 10, 4:00 PM, in the nave of the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 416 SE Grand Avenue in Lee’s Summit. The concert is free with the public invited. It will be followed by a wine and cookie reception presented by the Friends of St. Paul’s Music.
St. Paul’s Music Director William Baker will conduct the one hour concert that will include three masterworks appropriate to the most solemn week in the 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 Gladness,” as a cantata for choir, orchestra and bass soloist. The work requires a high level of virtuosity, especially from the orchestra players and the soloist. The performance of the cantata at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church will feature bass soloist Ed Frazier Davis, a well-known composer formerly of the Kansas City area, but now based in Chicago.
Though less well-known than Bach, Dietrich Buxtehude, 1637-1707, was one of the most influential composers of the Baroque era. His music had a profound influence on many composers, including Bach. In 1705, the 20-year-old Johann Sebastian Bach walked 250 miles from his home in Arnstadt to Lubeck and stayed three months to hear Buxtehude’s music and to learn from him. The St. Paul Choir & Chamber Orchestra will join with bass soloist 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 region. She has appeared recently 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 the “Anthems for the Cross” by Kansas City composer Geoffrey Wilcken. Dr. Wilcken, organist for the St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in downtown Kansas City, and director of the Kansas City-based Songflower Chorale, composed the work for the Choir at St. Mary’s in 2017. In 2018 Dr. Baker recorded the work on the Amber Waves label with the semi-professional William Baker Festival Singers. The traditional words of the “Anthems for the Cross” are from the Episcopal liturgy for Good Friday.
The Music Ministry of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church has grown exponentially in the last 18 months through frequent outreach concerts that welcome the general public, special worship events and Choral Evensong services. The St. Paul Choir and St. Paul A Cappella will be serving Holy Week liturgies at the church for Maundy Thursday, April 14, Good Friday, April 15, and the Great Vigil of Easter on Saturday, April 15. All evening liturgies begin at 7:00 PM. The congregation will celebrate Easter Sunday with festive liturgies at 8:00 and 10:00 AM.
For additional information about the Holy Week Concert on Sunday, April 10, email Music@StPaulsLS.org or call 816-524-3651.