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Ave Verum

Ave Verum

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  • Sun 15 Mar ’15, 3:00pm – 4:00pm


St Mary's Pro Cathedral, 373 Manchester St, Christchurch


All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Free Admission

A first New Zealand performance of James MacMillan’s Hymn To The Blessed Sacrament will conclude a concert to mark the Lenten season at 3 pm on Sunday March 15, 2015, in St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral. Admission will be free, with a retiring collection, and all are warmly welcome.

The choir will also sing seasonal motets by Bruckner, Mawby and Britten. Their MacMillan piece will be accompanied by Jenny Bartley, clarinet, and Dorothea Banfield, violin, who will also partner with soloist Louisa Pilkington in Bach’s Erbarme Dich, from the St Matthew Passion. Musical director and organist Don Whelan will perform Lenten chorale preludes and the evocative Gothic Suite by Boëllmann.

With attention in this centennial year focused on the future of our beloved Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, (1905), the greatest achievement of the first Bishop, John Joseph Grimes, his vision, tenacity, and drive will be recalled by local art historian Alice Flett. The concert will be compered by CBS Administrator, David O’Beirne, grandson of our cathedral architect, Francis (Frank) Petre, descended from Sir Henry Petre, whose house sheltered William Byrd where he wrote three precious Masses and motets such as the Ave Verum which begins the programme.

During June and July this year, the CBS musicians will visit the Lord Petre’s stately family home in Ingateston, Essex, and will meet James MacMillan in a shared concert in Glasgow Cathedral.
Other performances will be in the cathedrals of Los Angeles, Westminster, Dublin, Kilkenny, Galway, Belfast, Edinburgh, Leeds, Liverpool and Birmingham. Those interested in joining the tour as perfomers or supporters are invited to make contact.

Besides their regular Good Friday Bach St John Passion, Christmas Messiah, and more, on March 21, the CBS choir and orchestra give a 5.30 pm concert in the Geraldine Catholic Church and contribute to the 10 am Mass in Ashburton Catholic church on Sunday, March 22.

The cathedral musicians maintain an extensive repertoire of masses and motets, sung each Sunday at the 10.30 a.m. Solemn Choral Mass. New members are welcome to the 7.30 pm Wednesday evening rehearsal at St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral. Sight reading ability is expected. A number of vacancies exist for choral leaders within the group, who enjoy unique opportunities to perform solo roles in significant Mass and motet settings with the orchestra and choir. Leadership awards, and other scholarships, worth up to $3000 per year, are available to suitable applicants. Those interested are invited to contact the CBS Musical Director, Don Whelan, phone 358-5873.

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