The worship at Christ Church is deeply sacramental and devotional, making full use of the rich resources of the Book of Common Prayer and rich musical heritage of the Anglican tradition.
CHRIST CHURCH CHOIR
The Christ Church Choir sings Solemn High Mass on Sundays and occasional Choral Evensongs on Feast Days. The fully-professional chamber choir is composed of students from Yale University (most of them working on advanced degrees) and members of the New Haven community. The choir sings polyphonic settings of the Mass Ordinary; Gregorian Minor Propers; psalms, to plainsong and Anglican chant; and anthems and motets drawn from all periods of music history, placing a special emphasis on early music and music of the Anglican Cathedral-choir tradition. Singers with strong sight-reading skills interested in joining the Christ Church Choir should contact the choir director at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Compline is sung at 9pm every Sunday during the academic year while Yale is in session by soloists drawn from the Christ Church Choir. The music for compline is based in Roman chant and consists mostly of plainsong, with the incorporation of polyphonic anthems and hymns.
THE 2014-2015 CHRIST CHURCH CHOIR
CHRIST CHURCH CHOIR ORATORIO SOCIETY
The oratorio choir was formed for special performances of large-scale Baroque and Classical works like Handel’s Messiah and Coronation Anthems, Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and Passion settings, and Buxtehude’s Membra Jesu Nostri. The group consists of current Christ Church Choir singers, Christ Church Choir alumni, and singers from the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, and performs with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra and various local chamber ensembles.
THE CHOIR DIRECTOR
Dr Nathaniel Adam is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music (BM) and the University of Michigan (MA/PhD). A music theorist, composer, keyboardist, and teacher in addition to choral singer and conductor, he teaches theory, history, composition, and musicianship at Central Connecticut State University and the Educational Center for the Arts. He is on the faculty of the New York State Summer School of the Arts: School of Choral Studies, where he conducts various ensembles, serves as staff accompanist, and coordinates the musicianship curriculum, and is also the Assistant Editor for the Journal of Music Theory at Yale University. His original compositions and arrangements have been performed across the country and internationally.
ARTIST-IN-RESIDENT & PRINCIPAL ORGANIST
Thomas Murray, the Principal Organist & Artist in Residence at Christ Church, is also University Organist and Professor of Music at Yale University, where he teaches and performs on the renowned Skinner organ in Woolsey Hall. Widely known for his interpretations of Romantic repertoire and orchestral transcriptions, his recordings are highly acclaimed. Professor Murray has appeared in recitals and lectures at six national conventions of the AGO, which named him International Artist of the Year for 1986. In 2003 he was named an honorary fellow of the Royal College of Organists in England, and in 2005 he was awarded the Gustave Stoeckel Award for excellence in teaching from the Yale University School of Music. He has made numerous recordings on the AFKA, Gothic, and JAV Labels.
Robert Bennesh is a Swedish organist and church musician. He holds bachelor's and master's degrees in church music from The Malmö Academy of Music and The Royal Danish Conservatory of Music in Copenhagen. Robert has studied organ performance with, among others, Professors Hans Fagius and Bine Bryndorf. Currently enrolled in the Master of Music program in organ at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, Robert is a student of Professor Thomas Murray. Parallel to his studies he was the assisting organist of St Andrew’s Church in Malmö from 2006-2012 as well as organ teacher and choir director at Heleneholm High School from 2008-2012. Furthermore Robert was associated with the Malmö Symphony Orchestra as their organist or second keyboardist when needed. Last year he served as the associate organist of The Episcopal Church at Yale. Robert has been awarded scholarships from, among others, The Swedish Royal Academy of Music, Pro Fide et Christianismo, and The Swedish Organ Society.
The ancient choral service of Compline is held at 9:00p on Sunday evenings during the academic term. Candles offer the only light; the choir sings from an unseen loft at the north end of the crossing. The earliest formal description of Compline is found in the Rule of Saint Benedict, written in the early seventh century. St. Benedict described in fewer than thirty words the form Compline would take for the next thousand years. He wanted the prayer kept simple: Psalm, hymn, chapter, blessing, and dismissal. "After Compline," he wrote, "no one may speak."
2014-2015 Compline Schedule
Compline is sung each Sunday at 9:00p.
Last Compline of the Fall Term (Holy Eucharist to follow)
First Compline of the Spring Term
Easter Compline (Holy Eucharist to follow)
Final Compline of the Spring Term