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Reflections on the 2023-2024 Music at Trinity Season

by Margaret Schmidt, Music Guild Member

Music at Trinity’s 2023-2024 series offered an especially wide variety of music, from the opening concert in October to the final performance in April. (Our May 12 Choral Evensong was cancelled but another Evensong will be scheduled for this summer.) We’re grateful to the Friends of Music at Trinity, the Richard Peel Trust, the Trinity Music Guild, and sponsors Don Swierenga, Vince Anderson, and Jack Carter, whose support made our season possible.

The 2023-2024 season began with a bang – a World Music performance by the local Japanese Taiko drumming group, Fushicho Daiko. Sensei (head teacher) Eileen Morgan led Marsha Robb, Kolton Boothman, Zoey Norris, Lyndsey Hoffman, and Bradley Kemp, as they demonstrated this powerful physical/musical tradition on the Trinity labyrinth, presenting an energetic, dynamic, and joyful set of pieces. On November 28, Fushicho Daiko performed at Garfield School, a special outreach event sponsored by the Richard Peel Trust. Three members of the group brought drums and a few other instruments to share with Garfield’s 7th and 8th graders on the outdoor basketball court. The students listened intently to the music and had great fun trying out the instruments.

In October and April, Urban Nocturnes treated audiences to two stunning chamber music performances. The first featured Viviana Cumplido Wilson on flute, Karen Sinclair on violin, Christopher McKay on viola, and Olga Gorelik on piano in various combinations.  The second concert, featuring Erin Finkelstein, Melita Hunsinger, Karen Sinclair, and Christopher McKay, included a duo, two trios, and a quartet for clarinet, violin, viola, and cello. Both concerts presented a wonderful variety of lesser-known works that were fascinating to listen to and beautifully played.

December brought our annual Christmastide favorite: A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols with the Trinity Cathedral Choir, and a harp prelude by Paula Provo, principal harpist of the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra. As is traditional in this service, first designed for use by King’s College, Cambridge, the choir sang music by a range of composers and led the attendees in some favorite Christmas hymns. In February, the Cathedral Choir presented another traditional British Anglican service, Choral Evensong. This service marked the Feast of the Presentation, as well as the 100th anniversary of the death of Charles Villiers Stanford, one of the most influential composers for the Anglican Church.

The Peel Memorial concert in January featured guest artist, Dr. Damin Spritzer, Associate Professor of Organ at the University of Oklahoma and Interim Director of Music and Organist for St. Thomas More University Parish in Norman. Her program continued the season’s theme of music by lesser-known composers. Dr. Spritzer performed an exciting program of seldom heard American organ works by composers who represented varied musical careers as church organists, concert performers, choral and orchestral conductors, and university faculty.

Thank you to all who attended these performances, contributing to a most memorable season. More exciting music is ahead in 2024-2025! Look for our announcement this summer.

Music at Trinity sponsors a wide range of free and low-cost concerts in the Cathedral for the benefit of the greater Phoenix community and beyond. Artists range from internationally recognized performers to well-established and emerging local talent. Musical offerings include organ and piano concerts, chamber music, vocal ensembles and other special events.

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