A Note From the Director of Music
Canon and Director of Music
We’re coming into a season of creativity at Christ Church Cathedral. New music, and new collaborations defines the shape of the 2023-2024 concert season, with the familiar blend of world class-musicians from both near and far coming to share the best of what our community and the larger musical world has to offer. The season begins with an organ recital by Kola Owolabi, professor of organ at the University of Notre Dame. Having held similar positions at the University of Michigan and Syracuse University, Owolabi is a performer of international renown living right here in Indiana.
In February we welcome Heartland Marimba, an ensemble of percussionists bringing new and innovative programming to schools and concert halls throughout the midwest. In November, the Cathedral Choir and Orchestra present Fauré’s Requeim in a special Sunday evening liturgy, commemorating those who have died in the past year.
In March, Christ Church welcomes internationally recognized harpist Parker Ramsay to perform The Street by Nico Muhly and Alice Goodman. This piece for harp and narrator is a meditation on the stations of the cross and was recorded in 2022 at The Chapel of King’s College, Cambridge, where Ramsay was the first American to be appointed undergraduate organ scholar.
The season concludes with another collaboration between the Cathedral Choir and the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra to present Dido & Aeneas by Henry Purcell. Purcell’s telling of this tragic love story from Virgil’s Aeneid is considered one of the great operas of the baroque period, and one of Purcell’s masterpieces. You won’t want to miss this fully staged opera at Christ Church Cathedral, which is a first for both organizations!
Join us at Christ Church Cathedral for our 2023-2024 concert series to hear creative performances from local and international artists, creative compositions, both new and old, and creative partnerships between Christ Church Cathedral and artists and ensembles from across the globe. Purchase your tickets (The Street, and Dido & Aeneas) or reserve your free tickets today!
Music Concerts at
Christ Church Cathedral
Kola Owolabi, Organist
September 16 at 6:30 p.m.
Canadian organist Kola Owolabi comes to Christ Church Cathedral by way of South Bend, where he is Professor of Organ at the University of Notre Dame. Dr. Owolabi is an organist, conductor, composer, and teacher of great renown, having held positions at Syracuse University and the University of Michigan before his appointment in South Bend. His compositions have been heard throughout North America, including commissions by the Royal Canadian College of Organists and the Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto. Kola was awarded second prize and audience prize at the 2002 National Young Artists Competition in Organ Performance, and he has been heard in recitals at some of the world’s most prestigious venues. Join us on Sept. 16 at 6:30 p.m. to hear Dr. Owolabi perform on Christ Church’s instruments by Wolff and Taylor & Boody.
Silent Film: Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1920)
October 14 at 6:30 p.m.
This month, we welcome organist Robert Nicholls to CCC to improvise a live accompaniment for the film Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Robert is the 2012 winner of the American Guild of Organists National Competition in Organ Improvisation, and an accomplished singer and church musician. You won’t want to miss this film up on the big screen, with live, improvised accompaniment! Register today for your free tickets on Realm.
November 5 at 6:30 p.m.
The Requiem is an ancient rite that has taken on a life of its own in the modern musical era. You might spend an evening in a grand theater to take in one of music’s most celebrated inspirations: the relationship of the living with the dead. Performers fill the stage (and sometimes the balconies!) to bring Verdi’s Requiem or Britten’s War Requiem or Brahm’s German Requiem to life. These works say profound things, but they far exceed the origins of the form: a chanted mass with additional prayers for the repose of the soul of our beloved departed. Unlike these large, theatrical setting of the Requiem, Gabrie Fauré’s (1845-1924) setting was intended for liturgical use. While this famous work is often heard in concert, it is at its best in the context of the liturgy. Sometimes described as a “lullaby of death,” its gentle themes provide comfort and release over the course of a sometimes sorrowful liturgy. Join the Cathedral Choir and orchestra to experience this work as Fauré conceived of it, as music for divine liturgy to commemorate our faithful departed.
February 24 at 6:30 p.m.
Heartland Marimba is a midwest based percussion ensemble, whose members have a “deep passion to bring marimba performance to communities of all sizes, especially small towns, and under-served communities.” Through performance, outreach, and commissioning new music, Heartland Marimba is expanding their art form and bringing this repertoire to audiences across the midwest and the world. Join us on Saturday, February 24, for the unique musical experience at Christ Church Cathedral!
March 23 at 6:30 p.m.
The Street by Nico Muhly and Alice Goodman is the bringing together of a place, its purpose, and immense creativity. Parker Ramsay was the first American organ scholar at King’s College, Cambridge, where he played the organ for the daily services sung by the famous choir, in King’s famous chapel. After transitioning to performing as a harpist full-time, Parker has assembled American composer Nico Muhly and the American Librettist, and Anglican priest, Alice Goodman, to compose a piece for harp specifically written with the chapel of King’s College in mind. In the liner notes for his recording of The Street, Ramsay says “It was difficult to conceive of any work for King’s without acknowledgment of the chapel’s religious function and choral foundation. In my mind, any work written to be played in the chapel would necessitate some spiritual elements and even incorporate the choir.” The Street is a meditation on the passion of Christ, and is organized around the stations of the cross. Performed on the eve of Palm Sunday, this work for harp and narrator is the perfect passageway to enter into Holy Week at Christ Church Cathedral.
Dido and Aeneas
April 27 at 6:30 p.m.
The Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra and Christ Church Cathedral are thrilled to partner once again to present Dido & Aeneas by Henry Purcell (1659-1695). First performed at London’s Josias Priest’s girls’ school in 1688, Dido & Aeneas is Purcells only true opera and his greatest work written for the stage. In a prologue and three acts, Purcell tells the story of Dido’s love for Aeneas, and the tragedy that ensues because of the Trojan Wars. Purcell’s telling of this story from Virgil’s Aeneid is considered to be one of the great operas of the baroque period, and one of Purcell’s masterpieces. In a first for both the orchestra and the cathedral choir, this opera will be staged with costumes and sets, and performed in historic Christ Church Cathedral. Purchase your tickets now to hear this unique collaboration to bring this gripping story to life!