On Sunday afternoon, November 15, an enthusiastic crowd enjoyed a Hymn Festival in the Church at St. Philip’s. Attendees perused a list of 30 hymns, bought votes and marked their ballots, added write-in choices, or trumped the list by donating $100 for a favorite hymn to be sung. Participants sang joyfully as Woosug Kang and Jeffrey Campbell played special organ arrangements for the popular hymns selected by the audience. Often excited whoops were heard when the next winning hymn was announced by emcee Jim Marr. Many people expressed the wish that this would become an annual event.

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Here are the popular hymn choices: Eternal Father (Navy Hymn), A Mighty Fortress, and Lift Every Voice and Sing each received more than 100 votes. The next top ten in order: Lift High the Cross, Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence, What Wondrous Love Is This, Ye Watchers and Ye Holy Ones, Be Thou My Vision, Amazing Grace, Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, For All the Saints, O Day of Peace, and All Things Bright and Beautiful.

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Festivities concluded with an Ice Cream Social prepared and served by St. Nicholas Choir parents and youth.

The Hymn Festival was a fund-raising event to support the 23 youth of the St. Nicholas Choir in their journey to Worcester Cathedral in July 2016 for a week-long residency. Schola Cantorum (adults) and St. Nicholas Choir (youth) sang special music during the Hymn sing as they do in the monthly Evensong services at St. Philip’s and as they will do at Worcester Cathedral. The choirs are grateful to the parish for their support of this event.

—Bonnie Winn
photos by Roger Rainbolt


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