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Cathedral Music
African American Spirituals Workshop

Singing the African American Spirituals with Integrity

Saturday, March 18, 2023 from 2-5 pm

at the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas (AECST), 6361 Lancaster Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19151

Sponsored by the Anti-Racism Commission of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania

This will be an in-person workshop, video recorded but not livestreamed.  Proof of vaccination will be required of all participants.

Click here to register

With featured clinicians:

Ruth Naomi Floyd, international jazz composer, performer, and clinician

Dr. Jay Fluellen, Organist/Choir Director, African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas, Philadelphia

Carrie Lessene, Artistic Director, Intermezzo Choir Ministry, Philadelphia

Dr. Thomas Lloyd, Canon for Music and the Arts, Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral

Closing worship led by:

The Very Reverend Canon Martini Shaw, 17th Rector, African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas

The Intermezzo Choir Ministry, Carrie Lessene, Conductor

Cathedral Music Overview

SingersEvensongBlessed with a sacred space with sublime acoustics for vocal and instrumental music, we celebrate the sacred gift of music at the Cathedral in many ways. Our Sunday morning liturgies involve extensive congregational singing supported by a professional-core choir.  Our choir blends in with the congregation on Sunday mornings, encouraging even people who never really thought they could sing before to find the prayerful beauty of plainchant and hymns in a variety of styles. (When you turn around to someone and say, “you should be in the choir!” chances are they are already one of our singers!)

The Cathedral Singers also sing contemplative and celebratory anthems from the rich Anglican tradition and beyond, including the African American Spiritual and sacred jazz. Our Singers are also heard at Sunday afternoon evensongs throughout the year, during Holy Week and on liturgical Holy Days, and at diocesan ordinations and special services.

The Singers currently rehearse before and after Sunday morning 10:00 services (at 9:00 before and 11:30-12:30 after). Volunteer singers with music-reading experience are encouraged to contact Director of Music, Thomas Lloyd by email or informally after worship about joining the choir.

A complete listing of the anthems that have been sung in worship is maintained on our website.

Our inviting and flexible space has also inspired a number of Philadelphia-based music ensembles to regularly perform here, including groups like The Crossing, Piffaro, The Mendelssohn Club, Choral Arts Philadelphia, sometimes in elaborate multi-media productions made possible by the flexibility of our space.  Information about space rental can be found on our website or by contacting the Director of Operations, Lynn Buggage.

The organ of the Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral contributes its own unique flavor to our worship.