April 1, 2023

The 12-voice St. Paul A Cappella, a select choir from the music ministry of the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Lee’s Summit, will perform a Holy Week concert on Sunday, April 2, 4:00 PM, in the circa 1879 chapel of the church at 416 SE Grand Avenue in historic downtown Lee’s Summit. The program is free to the public and will be followed by a Wine & Cookie Reception presented by the Friends of St. Paul’s Music.

The primary selection in the one-hour program will be one of the greatest musical accomplishments of the Renaissance, the “1605 Requiem” of Spanish composer Tomas Luis de Victoria. Victoria, 1548-1611, is one of the most famous composers of the late Renaissance, and certainly the most famous Spanish composer of the era. Victoria was born in Avila, Spain, and demonstrated exceptional musical skill in childhood. His music has seen a revival in the last half century because of its inherent beauty, passion, mysticism, deep religious fervor, intense emotionalism and vivid word painting. The “1605 Requiem” is Victoria’s most famous work, composed for the funeral of Dowager Empress Maria. The Requiem was the last known composition of the composer.

“This is one of the most challenging projects I have attempted in my over 45 years of church music leadership,” says William Baker, music director for St. Paul’s Episcopal Church since 2020. “The Victoria Requiem is unacompanied in six choral parts that sing with great independence. The intensity of the harmonies present additional challenges, but it is those harmonies that give the work its luminous beauty.” Notes from Tomas Luis de Victoria’s time indicate that the work was intended to be sung with only two singers on each of the six choral parts. St. Paul A Cappella will perform the work in exactly the same way with two singers on each part.

The program will also include a setting of the ancient Holy Week chant Pange Lingua and a setting of O Vos Omnes by 20th century Spanish composer Pablo Casals.

St. Paul A Cappella is a select ensemble of the music ministry of St. Paul’s Church. It includes both professional and highly experienced volunteer singers chosen by audition from the membership of the full St. Paul Choir. In addition to its service to the weekly liturgies at St. Paul’s Church, St. Paul A Cappella presents concerts for the wider community, most recently a program of early American music from the Colonial, Sacred Harp and Spiritual traditions.

For information regarding the April 2, 4:00, Holy Week Concert, please call 816-524-3651 or email Music@StPaulsLS.org.