This CD recording is a compilation of musical highlights from the tour to Washington National Cathedral in 2003 and to New York in 2005 and 2009; proceeds will be used to assist choir members traveling on the 2011 tour to England. The 2011 tour will include 6 Evensong services in 6 glorious English cathedrals.
THE CHRIST CHURCH CAMBRIDGE EVENSONG CHOIR was founded by Stuart Forster in 2000, and is open to teens and up. The choir consists of 40 singers with strong sight-reading ability. Choral Evensong is sung at 4:00 p.m. on the first Sunday of the month, October through May. There are two 7:15–9:15 p.m. rehearsals per month on Tuesday evenings. In each service, music articulates the stages of the Rite 1 Office of Evening Prayer, a time-honored service not offered regularly by any other church in the Greater Boston area. Repertoire is drawn from the last five centuries of choral composition, focusing largely on six- to eight-part music of the cathedral tradition. This professional-standard volunteer choir has taken residence at such esteemed places of worship as Washington National Cathedral; St. Thomas on Fifth Avenue, and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, both in New York City; and at Christ Church, New Haven, Connecticut. A second New York tour took place in August 2009, and a tour to England is currently being planned for May–June, 2011.
A dedicated church musician, STUART FORSTER has been Director of Music and Organist at Christ Church, Cambridge, Massachusetts, since 1999. He has performed throughout both hemispheres as an organ soloist, accompanist and conductor. As a composer, he has written congregational music and choral anthems; Paraclete Press currently publishes some of these pieces; Mr. Forster has also composed more than 90 hymn arrangements and numerous organ transcriptions; his landmark organ transcription of Dvořák’s Ninth Symphony, “From the New World” was published by Éditions Chantraine, Belgium. He has been broadcast around the world and has recorded numerous CDs, including solo performances on the JAV and Pro Organo labels.
After considerable study and several appointments in his native Sydney, Australia, Mr. Forster traveled to the United States in 1996 to study with Professor Thomas Murray, earning two degrees from Yale University, as well as the Faculty Prize and the Robert S. Baker Scholarship from the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, and from the Yale School of Music the Julia R. Sherman Prize for excellence in organ playing. In addition to earning qualifications from the University of Sydney, the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, and Trinity College of Music, London, Mr. Forster has won numerous accolades, including the Scarf Foundation Award, the Sydney International Organ Competition, the University of Sydney Organ Scholarship (awarded twice), the Alice Bryant Organ Scholarship (for two terms of three years each), and the Ruth and Paul Manz Organ Scholarship. While studying at Yale, Mr. Forster served as Fellow in Church Music at Christ Church, New Haven, Connecticut; his work at the University included appointments as Marquand Chapel Organist, accompanist to various choruses and graduate courses, and teacher to numerous undergraduate and second-instrument organ students. He is currently working toward the Doctor of Sacred Music degree at the Graduate Theological Foundation.
Details of Mr. Forster’s compositions, performances, and recordings may be found on his web site: www.StuartAForster.com
Guest organists accompanying the choir on this album include Michael Murray, Frederick Teardo, and Jeremy Bruns.
FIRST REVIEW: the integrity of the musicianship of Stuart’s excellent forty-voice Evensong choir remains consistent. Founded only ten years ago, this choir has quickly worked to put itself “on the map.” ... there are some rarely recorded works such as Philip Moore’s All wisdom cometh from the Lord and Robert Lehman’s Preces and Suffrages which are a delight to hear. Again and again, Stuart and the choir demonstrate wonderful musicianship coupled with a passion for what they are doing.
— Jonathan Dimmock, The Journal of the Association of Anglican Musicians (December 2010)