Music of Immigrants and Refugees

Sunday, September 30, 2018
4:30pm | Saint James Episcopal Church, Dexter

Refugees, exiles, asylum seekers, immigrants. Like the Israelites and Jesus and his family, millions of people around the world move away from home and homeland seeking safety, employment, and a new life.

The modern American state was built by immigrants, ancestors to many of us. Do we now see ourselves as the new natives, protecting our borders from intruders? How do we interpret the biblical language of the “promised land” and the “city on a hill” in our contemporary contexts? Where is our final resting place? Where, or who, is our home?

Gather with us in a brief vespers service to hear and sing music exploring these biblical themes and music by immigrant composers as we experience together a beautiful evensong liturgy.

The gathered assembly will have many opportunities to join in the singing. Free childcare is provided. Reception to follow. Service and reception are free and open to the public.

And a few days earlier, come to our next Coffee & Conversation event—Immigration in Michigan: Our Neighbors’ Stories.

Evensong at St. James: Easter Vespers

Sunday 29 April, 2018
4:30pm | St. James Episcopal Church , Dexter

Featuring songs of hope and comfort from The Sacred Harp

Gather with us in a brief vespers service to hear and sing music from the Sacred Harp shape-note tradition. First published in 1844, Benjamin Franklin White and Elisha J. King’s now-famous hymnal is packed with vivid lyrics and familiar tunes, many of which adorn our modern hymnals.

The Elm Ensemble will lead the singing of a variety of selections from the hymnal, chosen to highlight the Easter themes of hope, comfort, and celebration of life. We will remember those in our community who suffer, especially those who suffer because of gun-related violence.

The gathered assembly will have many opportunities to join in the singing. Free childcare is provided. Reception to follow. Service and reception are free and open to the public.

stjamesdexter.org

Evensong at St. James: Annunciation Vespers

Sunday 18 March, 2018
4:30pm
 | St. James Episcopal Church, Dexter


Celebrating International Women’s Day & Women’s History Month

Women in the ancient world faced many challenges. Few possessed the power to control their own destiny. Some did not even have names. Gather with us in a service of evening prayer to remember two biblical women whose voices are still heard today—Hannah and Mary.

Mother of the prophet Samuel, Hannah lifted her voice in gratitude to God. Mary is the Theotokos, the bearer of God, who carried Jesus for nine months and brought him into the world. Her faithful response to Gabriel’s call—the Annunciation—is a blessing to us and a witness to the value and strength of women.

The Elm Ensemble will perform musical settings of Hannah’s Song and a variety of Marian hymns by European masters Gabrieli, Eccard, Victoria, Palestrina, and Guerrero. The service concludes with a hymnic nod to Saint Patrick.

The gathered assembly will have many opportunities to join in the singing. Free childcare is provided. Reception to follow in the fellowship hall. This event is free and open to the public.

Evensong at St. James: Reformation Vespers

Sunday 29 October 2017
4:30pm | freewill offering
Two days before the 500th of the beginning of the Lutheran Reformation, we gather in a service of evening prayer to sing an ancient liturgy and hear the music of German composers Heinrich Schütz, Johann Walther, J. S. Bach, and Luther himself.

The gathered assembly will have many opportunities to join in the singing.

Childcare provided. Reception to follow.
All evensong events are free and open to the public.

Evensong at St. James: Vespers for Peace

Sunday 24 September 2017
4:30pm | freewill offering
International Day of Peace on September 21, organized by the United Nations, is “a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.” We gather a few days later in a service of evening prayer to ask for peace, sing an ancient liturgy, and hear the music of English composers Thomas Tallis, William Byrd, Orlando Gibbons, and Ralph Vaughan Williams. The gathered assembly will have many opportunities to join in the singing. Childcare provided. Reception to follow.

Chorale Service of Holy Communion

Celebrating the 500th Anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation

Wednesday, July 26, 7:30pm
Hartwick Seminary Summer Institute of Theology
Atonement Lutheran Church Oneonta, New York

The year 2017 marks the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Lutheran Reformation. Martin Luther was at the dynamic center of the events in Europe during the 16th century that would reshape Christian culture and theology.

On Wednesday, July 26, the Elm Ensemble and leaders from the Hartwick Seminary Institute of Theology will present a Chorale Service of Holy Communion after the tradition of Martin Luther’s German Mass (Deutsche Messe).

This performance-worship hybrid event explores Luther’s revisions to the Latin mass. Luther set parts of the traditional mass to familiar tunes to help the congregation participate more easily. The Elm Ensemble will perform pieces by Luther, Johann Walther, Heinrich Schütz, and J. S. Bach. They will sing Paul Manz’s contemporary classic E’en So, Lord Jesus and a newly commissioned motetCome to Me—by Robert Buckley Farlee. The audience will have many opportunities to join in the singing.

This event is free and open to the public.

New Motet Commission: “Come to Me”

On Sunday 9 July, the Elm Ensemble premiered a new choral work—Come to Me—by Robert Buckley Farlee, cantor at Christ Church Lutheran in Minneapolis.

The motet is a lovely five-part arrangement of some verses from Matthew 11 (the lectionary Gospel text for that Sunday) juxtaposed with a brief excerpt from Luther’s last sermon in which Luther preaches on that same Matthew text:
Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28, 30)
Come to Christ, as he so lovingly invites us to do, and say: You alone are my beloved Lord and Master; I am your disciple. (from Luther’s last sermon preached in Eisleben only 3 days before his death)

The Elm Ensemble together with Christ Church commissioned the piece from Cantor Farlee on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation.

We hope the motet will be accessible to church choirs as well as professional ensembles. The piece is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Kay Madson, a beloved member of the Christ Church family, and was funded in part by gifts to her memorial fund.

The Elm Ensemble will be performing this new commission again at a worship service in Oneonta, New York, on Wednesday, July 26 as part of the Hartwick Seminary Summer Institute of Theology. The service is at Atonement Lutheran Church at 7:30pm and is free and open to the public.

Epiphany Eucharist at St. James

We enjoyed our time this past Sunday, February 19, at St. James’ Episcopal Church in Dexter, celebrating with a full congregation a service of word and sacrament. Have a listen here to some musical selections recorded by Paul Curtis. Paul’s a professional sound tech, and his contact info is below if you want to solicit his services.

Introit: Personent Hodie, Medieval European

Song of Praise: Hail the Blest Morn!, t. Reginald Heber, m. Southern Harmony

Anthem after Sermon: Almighty God, Your Word Is Cast (Milford), t. John Cawood, m. Sacred Harp
 (with the St. James church choir)

Offertory: Rejoice, Ye Shining Worlds on High, t. Isaac Watts, m. William Billings
Communion: There Is No Rose of Such Virtue, 15th century English traditional

Paul Curtis
310.414.2995
Pmcurtis@mac.com

Event: 2/19 Epiphany Eucharist

Epiphany Eucharist
Sunday, February 19, 9:30am
St. James’ Epispocal Church, Dexter

On Sunday, February 19 the Elm Ensemble will assist in Sunday morning worship service at St. James’ Episcopal Church in Dexter as they celebrate the Time after Epiphany.

The seasons around the Epiphany are a time to hear and meditate on the stories of Jesus’ life here on earth—his birth as a vulnerable human child, his intense adulthood, and his death at the hands of religion and empire. When our scandalously human God encounters our all-too-human selves, we have the opportunity to see our sins more clearly, to repent, and to live out our Christian callings with renewed hope and joy.

Introit: Personent Hodie, Medieval European
Song of Praise: Hail the Blest Morn!, t. Reginald Heber, m. Southern Harmony
Anthem after Sermon: Almighty God, Your Word Is Cast (Milford), t. John Cawood, m. Sacred Harp
Offertory: Rejoice, Ye Shining Worlds on High, t. Isaac Watts, m. William Billings
Communion: There Is No Rose of Such Virtue, 15th century English traditional