Bach Marathon

bach marathon flierOn Saturday, March 5, 2016, beginning at 10:00 a.m. in the Church, St. Philip’s Friends of Music presents the 25th Annual Bach Marathon, a celebration of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. The 10:00 a.m. concert features University of Arizona Fred Fox School of Music international touring performers — UA Musicians on Tour —performing Bach in some unusual combos, such as a bassoon quartet and a saxophone quartet, in addition to the more usual voice, strings, harpsichord, piano, organ, and oboe. Their programs will highlight not only music by J.S. Bach but also transcriptions of music by his contemporaries and other musicians that Bach influenced. These gifted musicians will articulate the immense diversity, texture and influence of the master with a variety of instruments, repertoire, and style.

The morning concert is followed by a “Bach’s lunch” — a box lunch for a modest fee available to order at the door prior to the morning performances. Join fellow concertgoers, friends and family for a light repast and stimulating conversation about the performances.

biggersContinuing at 2:00 p.m., acclaimed organist Jonathan Biggers will perform on the 1986 Holtkamp Organ Bach’s Sinfonia from Cantata 29; Two Chorale-Preludes: Allein Gott in der Höh sei ehr (“All Glory be to God on high”), BWV 662 and Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir (“Out of the depths I cry unto Thee”), BWV 686; Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in C-major, BWV 564; concluding with Prelude and Fugue in E-major, BWV 566. Hailed by NPR as “one of the most outstanding concert organists in the United States,” Jonathan Biggers maintains an active career as both a professor of organ and harpsichord, and as a concert recitalist of the first order. He holds the prestigious Edwin Link Endowed Professorship in Organ and Harpsichord at Binghamton University (State University of New York) and has presented hundreds of concerts in music halls, church and university settings throughout the U.S.A., Canada, and Europe. He will bring incomparable flair, style and energy to the organ music of Bach.

The concert admission is $25 per person for either the morning session only or the afternoon session only; $40 for both; $10 Bach’s lunch on sale at the door prior to the morning performances. Student admission is $10 for both morning and afternoon sessions.

The mission of Friends of Music is to enrich the musical experience of the parish and community through events such as concerts, outreach, education, scholarships, commissions, and support of special musical events. Click here for more information or call 520.222.7277.

St. Philip’s is located at 4440 N. Campbell Avenue at River Road. Ample parking is available in the north parking lot or under our solar parking structure on the east side. The Friends of Music phone number is (520) 222-7277.

 

ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND INFORMATION

UA Musicians on Tour is an outreach program sponsored by the Fred Fox School of Music that presents music majors in a variety of performance venues throughout corners of the Southwest. Students participate in organized tours, on concert series, for schools, and in a variety of community settings. The School believes that the hands-on experience gained through performance out in the real-world and through student interaction with presenters, teachers and diverse audiences is essential to the musical education of its students.

 

Jonathan Biggers, hailed by NPR as “one of the most outstanding concert organists in the United States,” maintains an active career as both a professor of organ and harpsichord, and as a concert organist of the first order. He holds the Edwin Link Endowed Professorship in Organ and Harpsichord at Binghamton University (State University of New York), and has presented hundreds of concerts in concert hall, church and university settings throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe, including solo and concerto performances for several regional and national conventions of the American Guild of Organists, including the opening solo concert for the 2010 AGO convention held in Washington D.C. He has appeared as a featured soloist with orchestras in the U.S., Canada, and Europe, including performances with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Binghamton Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, and has been featured frequently on NPR (“Pipedreams”), the Canadian Broadcast Corporation, and on Radio and Television Suisse Romande broadcasts in Geneva, Switzerland. Scott Cantrell of The Dallas Morning News, writes that Biggers’ performances demonstrate “authority and eloquence,” and adds: “were there more performers like this, the organ would be far less a minority interest.”

Ash Wednesday and Lent at St. Philip’s

ashes3 croppedSt. Philip’s offers four services on Ash Wednesday, February 10. At 7:30 a.m., Holy Eucharist Rite I and Imposition of Ashes; at noon, Holy Eucharist Rite II and Imposition of Ashes; at 5:30 p.m., All-Generations Eucharist and Imposition of Ashes, and at 7 p.m., Sung Eucharist Rite II and Imposition of Ashes.

In addition, the “Ash Mob” from St. Philip’s will be administering “Ashes To Go” at various locations around town: Raging Sage Coffee House on Campbell (8–10 a.m.), Northwest YMCA (9–11 a.m.), Starbucks at Campbell & River (10–11:30 a.m.), the River Walk at Campbell & River on the south side of the river (10–11:30 a.m.).

Ash Wednesday is preceded by the annual Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper on Tuesday, February 9, at 6 p.m. in the Murphey Gallery. The tradition of eating pancakes on Shrove Tuesday comes from the need to use up such ingredients as sugar, fat, and eggs, whose consumption was traditionally restricted during the ritual fasting associated with Lent (“Mardi Gras” is French for “fat Tuesday”). Proceeds from this fun night of fellowship and yummy food ($7 person/$20 family) prepared by the J2A youth and parents go toward the J2A pilgrimage. At 7 p.m. we will transition from Epiphany to Lent with the Burning of the Palms in the Fishpond Garden.

On Wednesdays during Lent, the J2A youth and their parents host Lenten Soup Suppers at 6 p.m. in the Murphey Gallery. Hearty, homemade soups (including a vegetarian option each week), bread, salad and dessert ($7 person/$20 family). Why cook when you can support the J2A pilgrimage, share a Lenten tradition, and enjoy fellowship over a delicious bowl of homemade soup at the same time?

At 6:45 p.m., the Rev. Canon Ted Holt leads an evening class. He invites you to explore sin, evil, and guilt as realities that have affected us all ever since the mythical days of Adam and Eve and that Slippery Serpent. Weaving Biblical, theological, and psychological ways of viewing the themes of sin, evil, and guilt, he will do so in a way that will likely be quite new to you, and along the way expand your understanding of how each functions (as well as malfunctions) in your life and the lives of those around you. The class will end with Close of Day Worship at 7:30 p.m.

Miranda Agnew, trumpetOn Thursdays during Lent, Friends of Music presents noontime recitals beginning at 12:15 p.m. Entitled “Rising Stars in the Next Musical Generation,” the series showcases young high achievers in the Tucson area who will dazzle with their professional polish, maturity and technical prowess. Listen to the newest generation of musicians as they ascend to the professional stage — an entertaining and relaxing way to spend your lunch hour. All concerts are held in the Bloom Music Center. Suggested admission is $10. The series begins on Thursday, February 11, with trumpeter Miranda Agnew performing contemporary classical works. Click here to read more about the series.

rob voyleOn Saturday, February 27, St. Philip’s offers a special Lenten Retreat Day: entitled “Discover Your Purpose” with the Rev. Dr. Rob Voyle. Click here to read more about this offering and to register.

Click here for a schedule of Lenten services, classes, recitals, and other events.

Thursday Noontime Recital Series

St. Philip’s Friends of Music presents noontime recitals during Lent on Thursdays at 12:15 p.m. beginning February 11, 2016 in the Bloom Music Center. Entitled Rising Stars in the Next Musical Generation, young high achievers in the Tucson area will dazzle with their professional polish, maturity and technical prowess. St. Philip’s Friends of Music proudly showcases the newest generation of musicians. Listen to them as they ascend to the professional stage — an entertaining and relaxing way to spend your lunch hour.

Miranda Agnew, trumpetThe series begins on Thursday, February 11 with Sound the Trumpet: Miranda Agnew, trumpet. A participant in the Arizona All State Concert Band for the past two years, Miranda is a member of the Tucson Jazz Institute’s award-winning Ellington Band, selected for the Essentially Ellington competition in New York City in 2015 where she received special honors. In this concert of contemporary classical music, Miranda will play works by Stevens, Arutunian and Tchaikovsky.

 

Grace Sheppard, guitarOn Thursday, February 18, Guitar Masterpieces: Grace Sheppard, guitar. With international competition acclaim and her own YouTube channel, Grace Sheppard is unsurpassed as an “under 18” soloist and chamber music ensemble performer for guitars and harp. Grace’s program includes works from Rodrigo, Brouwer and Barrios.

 

 

Daniel Rosenberg, baritoneOn Thursday, February 25, The Life of the Wanderer: Daniel Rosenberg, baritone. Daniel Rosenberg began his career as a treble in the Tucson Arizona Boys Chorus. He’s had national first place vocal recognition for four years running, plus Best Actor at the National Musical Theater Awards places Daniel in stratospheric musical territory.

 

 

Carissa Powe, violinOn Thursday, March 3, Voice of the Violin: Carissa Powe, violin. Hailed by the Arizona Daily Star for her “warm, rich tone,” at age 16 Carissa Powe is a rising talent not to be missed. Current concertmistress of the Tucson Philharmonia Youth Orchestra, Carissa takes top prizes in local competitions and has been showcased in performances with several regional orchestras, including the Tucson Symphony Orchestra.

 

Cameron Williams, pianoOn Thursday, March 10, 10 Fingers, 88 Keys: Cameron Williams, piano. In only seven years Cameron Williams has become a rising constellation. In addition to winning Tucson Young Composers competitions, his latest public acclaim was performing Saint Saëns’ Piano Concerto No. 2 in G Minor with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra in 2014. Cameron Williams brings breathtaking interpretive technique and expression to this memorable concert.

Claire Thai, harpThe series concludes on Thursday, March 17 with Glissando! Claire Thai, harp. Internationally recognized harpist Claire Thai fell in love with the harp when she was 2, began lessons at age 5 and never looked back. She has won acclaim locally, nationally and internationally through competitions as one of the most accomplished high school harpists in the U.S.A. She will delight us with virtuosity and her personal musical portrayals of harp repertoire gems.

St. Philip’s is located at 4440 N. Campbell Avenue at River Road. Ample parking is available in the north parking lot. All concerts are held in the Bloom Music Center which is just south down the breezeway from the north parking lot. Suggested admission is $10 to St. Philip’s Friends of Music. Friends of Music provides support to the music program at St. Philip’s, through sponsoring concerts, special musical events, commissions, scholarships, and community outreach programs. For more information click here or call (520) 222-7277.

Friends of Music Presents the Bolton Guitar Quartet

Processed with Rookie Cam

Nicholas Epple, Grace Sheppard, Bin Hu, Misael Barraza Díaz

On Sunday, January 31, 2016, at 2:00 p.m. in the Church, St. Philip’s Friends of Music presents the Bolton Guitar Quartet.

Presenting a showcase of musical treasures from the traditional Spanish repertoire for guitar, this concert features four competition winners studying under University of Arizona Fred Fox School of Music Professor Tom Patterson: Misael Barraza (Mexico), Nicholas Epple (South Korea), Bin Hu (China), and Grace Sheppard (U.S.A.). Not only will the audience listen to artists from different parts of the world playing as one; this thrilling debut performance offers a combination of ensemble settings.

The suggested concert admission is $20 per person. The mission of Friends of Music is to enrich the musical experience of the parish and community through events such as concerts, outreach, education, scholarships, commissions, and support of special musical events. For more information click here.

St. Philip’s is located at 4440 N. Campbell Avenue at River Road. Ample parking is available in the north parking lot or under our solar parking structure on the east side. The Friends of Music phone number is (520) 222-7277.

Additional Information:
Misael Barraza is one of the most talented Mexican guitarists of his generation. Born in Hermosillo, Mexico, in 1990, Misael began his guitar studies at age eleven; and one year later was invited to join the classical guitar ensemble “Staccato” at the University of Sonora, with whom he recorded a CD in 2005 entitled “Aire Latino.” In 2008, Misael was accepted at the University of Arizona to study classical guitar performance with Professor Thomas Patterson.

Misael graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Master Guitarra Alicante, where he studied with world renowned musicians such as David Russell, Manuel Barrueco, Ignacio Rodes, Paul O’dette, Hopkinson Smith, Fabio Zanon, Roberto Aussell, and Shin Ishi Fukuda. Misael holds both a Master’s degree from the Master Guitarra Alicante (Spain) and a second Master’s degree from the University of Arizona (U.S.). Misael was presented as the guest guitarist in the “Gala Importantes” in Alicante, Spain — an annual event attended by the most important figures in Spain. Misael was also the featured solo guitarist for the World Premiere of “Passionately, Piazzolla!” — a collaboration between Tucson Desert Song Festival, Ballet Tucson and the Tucson Guitar Society. Misael has been awarded first place at numerous international and local competitions, most recently first place at the “David Russell Bach Prize”, the “Indiana International Guitar Competition”, and the “Montreal International Guitar Competition.” In March 2015, he was awarded second place at the Culiacán International Guitar Competition, the largest guitar competition in México. Misael is pursuing his Doctorate in Musical Arts at the University of Arizona.

Nicholas Epple, born in Seoul, South Korea, and raised in Bozeman Montana, has played music since the age of 5 when he began learning the violin.  He was self-taught on the guitar until receiving formal training during his Bachelor’s degree at Montana State University, graduating with highest honors, studying both classical guitar and violin.  During his time at MSU, Nicholas studied under Michael Videon (guitar), and Angella Ahn (violin), of the internationally renowned Ahn Trio.  In 2010, Nicholas spent the summer in Siena, Italy, where he studied the guitar with Dario Vannini.  Nicholas was awarded his Master’s in Guitar Performance from the University of Arizona in the spring of 2015, studying under Tom Patterson and artists in residency, David Russell, Odair Assad, and Sergio Assad.  He has continued his studies in this program currently pursuing his DMA.  This last summer, Nicholas was awarded a scholarship to study in Volterra, Italy with Antigoni Goni and Rene Izuierdo.  Nicholas has been a finalist in the David Russell Bach Prize and the Douglas Sholin memorial competition.  Nicholas has taken master classes from Christopher Parkening, Paul O’Dette, Denis Azabagic, Pavel Steidl, and Judicaël Perroy.

Bin Hu was born in 1987 in Tianjin, a city near Beijing in China. He began his guitar study under Zhiwei Li and Jiajiong Li, who are, among others, the leading guitar educators in China. In 2005, he was admitted to the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre for his bachelor studies. Since then, he started his 10-year experiences studying abroad. During that time, he has visited 9 European countries and the United States — attending master classes with world renown guitarists such as David Russell, Sergio Assad, Leo Brouwer, Manuel Barrueco, Ricardo Gallén, Timo Korhonen and Thomas Müller-Pering. In 2002, he completed his Master Degree at the Universität Mozarteum Salzburg under Professor Marco Tamayo with the best grade.

Bin has been awarded a great number of top prizes in various guitar competitions around the world, including 2nd prize in the VII Guitar Competition of Nordic Countries and Baltic Academies, 3rd prize in the IV Annual Indiana International Guitar Festival and Competition, 2nd prize in the 2014 Sholin Memorial Guitar Competition and 1st prize in the Tucson Flamenco Festival VI Guitar Competition. He was also selected as one of the finalists in the First David Russell Bach Prize. His exquisite performing style and flawless technique have earned him the highest praise from audience and critics. “Hu played with a commanding technique and stoicism, captivating the audience with his pensive interpretations. Hu managed to convey a meditative aura underscored with shades and hints of tastefully applied power and delicacy.” — a concert review by Adam Brown from Indiana University.

As one of the most active guitarists of his generation in China, his performances have taken him throughout Europe, the United States and China. He was featured as soloist in various symphony orchestras and collaborated with conductors such as Jorma Panula. With the Pärnu City Symphony Orchestra (Estonia), he gave the world premiere of the guitar concerto Dos mundos written by Spanish composer Jorge Rodriguez-Caballero in 2008. As chamber musician, he also works on the enlargement of repertoire by arranging works of other instruments. In 2013, his arrangement of the Ouverture de I Masnadieri by Giuseppe Verdi was recorded in a CD dedicated to Verdi’s 200 years anniversary.

Bin Hu is currently a Doctor of Musical Arts candidate at the University of Arizona, where he also serves as the teaching assistant in Bolton Guitar Studies Program under Pofessor Thomas Patterson. He is invited regularly to perform at festivals, give master classes and judge guitar competitions. In 2014, he was selected by the GFA committee and featured in the GFA Regional Symposium Showcase Concert in Phoenix. As one of the pioneer classical guitar researchers in China nowadays, he has received numerous invitations around China to give lectures. In June 2015, he was invited to give a lecture at Shanghai Conservatory of Music and Shandong International Forum of Classical Guitar Elites. His workshop “Baroque style and performance practice” aims on the comprehension of Baroque common performance practice and its influences on Classical Style. His 2015 concert tour in China took place in 9 cities and provinces. Several local music periodicals have written reviews on his activities.

Grace Sheppard began her study of the classical guitar at age 6. Grace has placed two years consecutively in the Guitar Foundation of America International Youth Competition. Grace is distinguished by the fact that she is the only American female to win first place in the youth division. At the age of fourteen and in her very first guitar competition, Grace won the 2013 Guitar Foundation of America International Youth Division Competition, held in Louisville, Kentucky. The following year, she placed second as a fifteen year-old in the 15-18 year old division. This highly talented guitarist also took gold medals in the youth division of the 2013 and the 2014 annual Tucson Flamenco Festival.

Grace regularly performs at the Tucson Guitar Society’s “Guitar In The Woods” and at the University of Arizona’s Guitar Area Recitals. She has an active YouTube Channel, with over 100,000 views. Grace regularly contributes to the Tucson community with volunteer concerts for various local charities, nursing homes and for children autism programs.  In addition to solo classical guitar repertoire, Grace has performed chamber music works for multiple guitars and guitar and harp. She studies annually in master classes with acclaimed classical guitarists Sergio and Odair Assad, and David Russell. Grace currently studies with Professor Tom Patterson, Director of the Bolton Classical Guitar Studies Program at the University of Arizona. Grace is a sophomore at Catalina Foothills High School and also enjoys singing, drawing and being a big sister to triplet siblings.

Amahl and the Night Visitors

It takes a village to raise an opera — in this case the village of St. Philip’s In The Hills Episcopal Church. On January 9, 2016, parishioners with professional credentials in voice, instrumental playing, conducting, stage management, and executive production enable the wider Tucson community to experience Gian Carlo Menotti’s one-act work Amahl and the Night Visitors.

To cast the title role of Amahl, Woosug Kang, director of music at St. Philip’s, approached Julian Ackerley, the director of the Tucson Arizona Boys Chorus, who had the perfect boy for Amahl among his choristers: Liam Boyd. Pierre Isaac, also a Boys Chorus member, is the understudy.

Amahl with Background 1

In this event, Kang will make his operatic conducting debut. Juan Aguirre is the stage director. Dianne Iauco, whose credits include Principal Artist at New York City Opera, will portray the Mother — and role she has sung on numerous occasions.

Resources and talent for the production, including costuming and equipment preparation, comes from the St. Nicholas Choir and their parents. The set design stems in part from the 2014 production, in which director/stage designer David Johnston transformed the St. Philip’s Church environment into an operatic stage and set with suggestive period realism. The Church space will be transformed into the barren cottage where most of the story action takes place.

The remaining principal roles will be performed by professional singers who are also members of the church. The Three Kings have a splendidly matched blend, with each singer’s actual personality well suited to his operatic part. Tenor Matthew Holter is known for his sense of comedy. In his hands the hard-of-hearing King Kaspar delivers the comedic flair the role deserves. Baritone Larry Alexander’s artistic sensitivity highlights the compassionate side of King Melchior, and bass Arizeder Urreiztieta’s stentorian delivery underscores the dignified and mysterious King Balthazar. Daniel Rosenberg, a talented student who has rapidly grown through the ranks of St. Philip’s youth choir, sings the role of the Page. Chorus roles will be filled by members of St. Philip’s adult choirs and St. Nicholas Choir members, directed by Anne Boyer Cotten. Choreographers and dancers will be announced at a later date.

Kings 1

Performances are January 9, 2016, at 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Premium seating is $50, general admission $25 and students $10. Sponsorships are available for higher levels of support (click here or call 520-222-7277). Proceeds will support the St. Philip’s child and teen choristers’ residency at England’s Worcester Cathedral in July 2016 as well as instrumental and choral training during the school year.

St. Philip’s is located at 4440 N. Campbell Avenue at River Road. Ample parking is available in the north parking lot or under the solar parking structure on the east side. The Friends of Music phone number is (520) 222-7277.

ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND INFORMATION

The Amahl Story and Background

The opera (in English) was originally commissioned by NBC and first performed by the NBC Opera Theater on December 24, 1951, in New York City at Rockefeller Center. The composer had trouble settling on a subject for the opera, but took his inspiration from Hieronymus Bosch’s The Adoration of the Magi at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. It was the first opera specifically composed for television in America, yet Menotti wrote Amahl with the stage in mind. Amahl was seen on 35 NBC affiliates coast-to-coast, the largest network hookup for an opera broadcast to that date. An estimated 5 million viewers saw the live broadcast — the largest audience ever to see a televised opera.

The thread of Amahl has wound through St. Philip’s since a first production by then-Music Director Stephen Anderson in 1979. Later music directors and professional musicians in the parish wished to perform it again, but not until Kang’s tenure did the complete mix of time, talent, treasure, advocacy and generosity appear to bring Amahl back to St. Philip’s in 2014. Kang’s arrival at St. Philips two years earlier marked a renewed focus in children’s choir programs and a new effort to elevate the quality of the adult choral programs.

Early in 2013 Dianne Iauco, a longtime parishioner and operatic professional, envisioned collaboration between the adult and children’s choirs that could make Amahl possible at St. Philip’s again. After hearing Iauco’s formal proposal, St. Philip’s Friends of Music committed to a full-blown, professional production of Amahl that would not only provide a festive, high-quality musical event but also offer a gift to the larger Tucson community —especially those who may never have experienced the excitement of a live, vocal drama. The production would draw upon the abundance of professional musicians at St. Philip’s In The Hills and other professionals to perform, direct, and stage-manage.

Amahl is a 50-minute work that for many years has been the most frequently performed opera in the U.S. While usually presented before Christmas, it is actually about the gifts of Epiphany and the revealing of the Holy Child to the world.

The opera is set in the Holy Land at the time of the birth of Christ. Amahl is a 10-year-old shepherd who is crippled and must walk with the aid of a crutch which he made. His widowed mother was forced to sell their sheep and they now live in abject poverty. One star-filled winter evening, three Magi appear at their door, seeking shelter for the night before they continue their journey.

The kings enter bearing gold, frankincense, and presumably myrrh. The slightly loony king Kaspar has his box of precious stones, beads, and a special treat for Amahl: black, sweet licorice. While Amahl is fetching the neighbors and some firewood, Melchior asks Amahl’s mother if she has seen “a child whose eyes are sad and whose hands are those of the poor, as poor he was born.” Melchior is, of course, speaking of the Holy Child, but the Mother, who responds that she does indeed know such a child, is instead speaking of her own son.

Neighbors arrive to share what little food they have, offer a dance for entertainment, then leave. While Amahl, the kings, and their page sleep, the mother reflects on the kings’ gold and all that she could do for her son with just one gold coin. “If I take some they will never miss it,” she sings, before stealing a coin. The Page awakens, confiscates the coin, and seizes the Mother. The Kings, transformed by Amahl’s pleas for mercy for his mother, inspire Melchior’s message, which is at the heart of this drama:

Oh, woman, you may keep the gold.
The Child we seek doesn’t need our gold.
On love alone he will build His kingdom,
His pierced hand will hold no scepter,
His haloed head will bear no crown,
His might will not be built on your toil.
Swifter than lightning He will soon walk among us.
He will bring us new life and receive our death.
And the keys to His city belong to the poor.

The widow responds:

Oh, no — wait — take back your gold!
For such a King I have waited all my life
And if I weren’t so poor I would send a gift of my own to such a child.

With childlike innocence and generosity Amahl responds to the King’s pardon and his mother’s impulse by offering his crutch as a gift to the Child. Without thinking, he lifts the crutch, and at this moment — after these transformative acts of forgiveness, faith and sacrifice — Amahl is spontaneously healed of his lameness. At the Kings’ insistence Amahl obtains his mother’s permission to travel with them to find the Christ Child to express his gratitude. Melchior instructs the Page to give the Mother the coin for her to keep; his realization that the Christ Child didn’t need his gold has also made him realize that the Mother does.

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Advent at St. Philip’s

Advent is often described as a season of waiting. Advent waiting is not passive, because this is a time of year pregnant with anticipation!

St. Philip’s has many special services and other events during Advent! Click here for a schedule in pdf form.

Advent kicks off with the annual Advent Festival of Lights Service, on Tuesday, December 1, at 7:00 p.m. This annual candlelit service seeks to illuminate the feminine face of God, with a focus this year on Advent, wisdom, and change. The service will feature readings, prayers, instrumental music, and congregational singing. Following the service, there will be reception with cookies and coffee in the Murphey Gallery at St. Philip’s. A freewill offering will benefit Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse. Emerge! provides domestic abuse crisis intervention and housing, prevention and education, and support and advocacy services to women and children. Emerge! is the largest domestic abuse shelter and provider of domestic abuse prevention programs in Southern Arizona.

The service is followed by cookies and coffee in the Murphey Gallery. The public is cordially invited to attend.

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First Sunday Music, on Sunday, December 6, at the 9 and 11:15 a.m. services is entitled “Welcoming Advent with Masters of the Baroque” with St. Philip’s adult and youth choirs and chamber orchestra. Cantata BWV 61, Nun Komm der Heiden Heiland, by Johann Sebastian Bach and Magnificat by Antonio Vivaldi will be used as a part of the liturgy.

Cantata 61 will begin our worship service with the serious and majestic tone of the Advent season. The famous opening movement combines orchestra in “French overture” style with other movements with soloists depicting the idea of longing for the coming of baby Jesus. “Magnificat,” a hymn of praise by Mary when she visits her cousin Elizabeth, the mother of St. John the Baptist, is set to music by Antonio Vivaldi. Movements from the Magnificat will bring a jubilant tone to the conclusion of our service in the midst of our Advent season.

choir pic 14

Beginning on December 6 at 10:15 a.m. in the Murphey Gallery, Dr. Kevin Lane Justus leads a three-part lecture series entitled “Tapestry of Stars—A Renaissance Advent.” Topics are: WONDERMENT: Giotto’s Arena Chapel and the Life of Christ—The New Language of Medieval Spiritualism (December 6); KNOWLEDGE:  Leonardo da Vinci’s Madonna of the Rocks  and The Last Supper—God Is in the Details and the Manifestation of Faith (December 13); and MYSTICISM: Tintoretto’s Scuola Grande di San Rocco—The Glory and Tragedy of Advent; The Intensity of Faith (TBA in January). There is no charge for this series.

On Sunday, December 20, at 4 p.m., the St. Nicholas Choir and Schola Cantorum will lead Solemn Choral Evensong. The service is preceded by a short organ concert, presented by Sara Tobe, Director of Music at First United Methodist Church, Tucson. The choirs will lead us through the rarely heard liturgy from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer with Canticle by Sir Hugh Blair and magnificent anthem, “Evening Hymn” by B. Gardiner. Our youth in these choirs will be traveling to the UK next summer to be the resident choir at Worcester Cathedral.

A special reception follows the service, to celebrate the generous culture of philanthropic giving that exists at St. Philip’s.  There will be wine, soft drinks and food.  Carols will be sung by members of our youth choirs

St. Philip’s is located at 4440 N. Campbell Avenue at River Road. Ample parking is available in the north parking lot or under the solar parking structure on the east side. The office phone number is 299-6421.

The Kirking o’ the Tartans

bagpipes processionThe “Kirking o’ the Tartans” will be celebrated at St. Philip’s In The Hills Episcopal Church on Sunday, November 20, at the 9 and 11:15 a.m. services. The Tucson Highlanders, a pipe band dedicated to the music of the great Highland bagpipes and Scottish-style drumming, will head the procession to and from the church on that day.

Scottish and nae-Scottish parishioners and visitors are encouraged to wear their tartans to this service. They will be invited forward at the conclusion of the service to have their tartans blessed.

tartan blessing

Kirking o’ the Tartans is said to have originated during the 18th century, when the English rulers attempted to subdue rebellious Scottish people by prohibiting them from wearing tartans, symbols of their clans and family solidarity. Some hid wee bits of their tartans under their clothes and had them blessed at church. However apocryphal this tale, St. Philip’s uses this occasion to celebrate the Scottish heritage of the Episcopal Church. The Scottish Episcopal Church is important in our history because it is independent of the Church of England. This allowed the consecration of the first Episcopal bishop in the fledgling United States, Samuel Seabury, in 1784, because it took place in Scotland and thus he did not have to swear allegiance to the British crown. As a result, the Communion rite adopted by the Episcopal Church in 1790 was closely based on the Scottish liturgy, rather than the English.

The public is cordially invited to attend. A freewill offering will be collected.

bagpipes

St. Philip’s is located at 4440 N. Campbell Avenue at River Road. Ample parking is available in the north parking lot or under our solar parking structure on the east side. The office phone number is 299-6421.