Sunday, May 12, was Children and Youth Recognition Sunday at St. Philip’s. This is St. Philip’s opportunity to honor the accomplishments of many young people in leading worship. One such group was the St. Nicholas Choir.
The training scheme used by the St. Nicholas Choir is adapted from the “Voice for Life” training syllabus of the Royal School of Church Music (founded in England in the first quarter of the 20th Century to promote high standards in church music), which uses a graded training sequence teaching music theory, singing, sight-singing, and repertoire. The ribbon colors are allied to each step of the training scheme: surplice (chorister), followed by light blue; dark blue: red; bronze; silver; gold. St. Nicholas choristers were recognized for their achievements over the past year.
As a special treat for the congregation, the St. Nicholas Choir presented an anthem that had been commissioned especially for them in recognition of their work in leading worship services throughout the year. The Divine Image, by St. Philip’s Composer-in-Residence, Sheldon Curry, uses texts by the poet William Blake, along with an ancient text from the Roman Missal, Ubi Caritas Est Vera. The technical difficulty of this anthem, using characteristics of a chant with mixed meters, showcased how much hard work these choristers have done to be able to share their valuable musical gifts with the parish.