Our annual Lenten series will begin this year on Shrove Tuesday, February 13, and continue weekly through March 20. Please note that this program will be offered on Tuesday evenings this year. Each evening begins at 5:30pm with Holy Eucharist in the Children’s Chapel. A potluck supper follows at 6pm in the Parish Hall and the program begins at 6:45pm. The presenter this year will be our organist, Haig Mardirosian. Haig’s illustrated talks (with sound and visuals) will focus on the pervasive and ancient phenomenon of music in religion and ritual. Each presentation will introduce a specific dimension on the overall topic.
February 13 – “The human origins of music.”
Humans occupied a very specific place in the invention of music. They appropriated the principles of physical science in the world around them but also ascribed mystical and divine properties to their invention of music.
February 20 – “The global tradition of chant.”
Music in ritual, from the most remote of times and places, has shared techniques, characteristics, and textures. There is a common thread to these ritual chants, be it in origins of Western art music in Gregorian Chant, the ritual song of the Middle Eastern or Asian traditions, or even current practice of contemporary composers writing for the modern church.
February 27 – “The polyphonic revolution.”
The pivot in Western Music happened at the Millennium in the late Middle Ages, and it stirred up a revolution that set the stage for virtually anything that we recognize as “standard” musical textures since. Thus also began a struggle between the concepts of sacred and secular in musical art.
March 6 – “Music in Evangelical and post-Evangelical churches.”
This session will be conducted by guest lecturer, our choirmaster, Dr. Rodney Shores, who will explore the phenomenal rise of new musical languages common to the Evangelical movement and what has now become the post-Evangelical church.
March 13 – “Why the organ?”
Is it a coincidence that the pipe organ became the “standard” instrument in Christian musical practice nigh on 700 years ago? Where did this instrument originate? How did it get attached to Christianity? Will it endure?
March 20 – “Mors et ressurectio: The musical narrative of the Passion and Resurrection.”
There is no liturgical and musical drama as powerful as the violent and glorious juxtapositions commemorated during Holy Week for which composers have been compelled to create a musical framework. We conclude the series with a taste of the narratives of light and dark, triumph and shame, death and resurrection.