“Un presepe musicale” — A Musical Nativity

Thursday, December 15 | 7:30-8:30 pm
Included with museum admission

Members of CHRIST CHURCH SCHOLA CANTORUM — Stephen Kennedy, director/organ

Music representing various characters and components of a presepe (Nativity scene): shepherds, animals, star, Magi, Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus.

Hear the characters and themes of a nativity scene come to life sonically as performed by singers and instrumentalists of the Christ Church Schola Cantorum, Stephen Kennedy, director.

Christ Church Schola Cantorum
Founded in 1997 by Stephen Kennedy, the Christ Church Schola Cantorum performs the Office of Compline each Sunday evening from October through April at Christ Church in Rochester NY. Rochester Magazine called it “The coolest, most unusual music experience in the city…” The Schola specializes in the performance of liturgical music throughout the ages and choral improvisation. This ensemble has collaborated with Manfred Cordes and Weser-Renaissance Bremen, Boston Early Music Festival Chamber Players, and organists Edoardo Bellotti, Hans Davidsson, David Higgs, Olivier Latry, Nathan Laube, William Porter, Joris Verdin, and Harald Vogel. The Schola has been a favorite of festivals and concert series, notably at the annual international Eastman-Rochester Organ Initiative. APM’s Pipe Dreams, Minnesota Public Radio, and WXXI’s With Heart and Voice regularly broadcast tracks, via NPR, from the Schola’s CDs. With organists Edoardo Bellotti and Stephen Kennedy, the Schola and dual organs performed a “guided improvisation” accompaniment to Carl Dryer’s 1928 silent classic La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc for Eastman’s 2014 EROI Festival and the University of Rochester’s interdisciplinary UCIS Cluster on Music and Film. In 2017, the Schola performed two featured concerts for the AMS National Convention in Rochester which included motets from Praetorius’s Polyhymnia Caduceatrix et Panegyrica with early instrumentalist specialists from around the country as well as collaborating with Ensemble Perihipsous (Michael E. Ruhling, Music Director) in their debut concert with the Haydn Requiem. The Schola has recorded for Arsis and Loft labels and its latest CD is of 19th century French choral music with Belgian keyboardist Joris Verdin on Eastman’s vintage Mustel harmonium. The ensemble is comprised of Rochester-area musicians, Eastman School of Music faculty and students, and RIT faculty. Participation in the Schola is offered for course credit at the Eastman School of Music.

Stephen Kennedy
Stephen Kennedy is Director of Music and Organist of Christ Church Rochester, Instructor of Sacred Music at the Eastman School of Music, and Instructor of Organ for Eastman’s Community Music School. Stephen has appeared as organ soloist in programs of standard repertoire as well as recitals consisting solely of improvisations. He has performed and lectured for local and regional events of the American Guild of Organists, and has given workshops on choral music, chant, and improvisation in the U.S. and abroad. His compositions have been performed internationally by leading performers in their field. He has also designed aleatoric silent film accompaniments and interdisciplinary performance art. He has created dance accompaniments such as “Luma Voce”, a dance score of computer-manipulated voice sounds with an overlay of vocal improvisation for the New York City debut of the Rochester City Ballet.

Third Thursday Concerts are special, one-hour programs featuring Eastman School of Music’s spectacular Italian Baroque Organ. Concerts begin at 7:30 pm in the Fountain Court and are included with museum admission. Seating is limited and is available on a first-come basis.

This concert series is made possible by the Rippey Endowed Trust.