By Tim Brumfield, Director of Music Ministry
Our concert series is bringing world class performances to Boca Raton and this year’s line up will not disappoint! On October 25, in conjunction with the Halloween Spooktacular, I’ll be playing the mighty Austin organ accompanying the 1925 silent film, Phantom of the Opera. This is one of the most fun and outrageous concerts I perform. I began playing for the Halloween Extravaganza at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in 1998 and have loved silent film accompanying ever since. If you’ve never experienced a silent film, this is the perfect time to view one in its original format—with live organ accompaniment.
A Saint Gregory’s Christmas, December 12 at 7 PM, will once again feature the St. Gregory’s Choir and Consort in a yuletide Christmas celebration telling the story of the miraculous birth of the Christ Child blending the traditional sounds of Christmas with inspired stories and readings. Bring your friends and family for what will be a truly beautiful and heartwarming way to celebrate the joy of the Christmas season.
We welcome back this year friends old and new! On January 24, 4 PM, Jazz legend Wycliffe Gordon will return with his incredible band performing his signature Dixieland sound and, as you know from last year’s mind-blowing concert, you are in for a real treat. An original member of the Wynton Marsalis Septet, Wycliffe blends his love for music with a deeply rooted spirituality culminating in an experience which leaves the audience spell-bound and often times in tears with his heartrending renditions of favorites like Amazing Grace and When the Saints Go Marching In. This is an exclusive engagement in South Florida, only at St. Gregory’s!
Cellist Eugene Friesen is a dear friend and musical colleague with whom I’ve performed for nearly 20 years. He is unequalled in the concert arena and brings an electrifying brilliance that has mesmerized and dazzled audiences for decades. His performances with The Paul Winter Consort have earned him 3 Grammy Awards and his performance at St. Gregory’s will be not only brilliant, but rare in nature as he will be performing with gospel singing sensation Theresa Thomason and myself performing some of the legendary music we share together with The Paul Winter Consort each year at the Winter Solstice Celebration in New York. Theresa endeared herself to St. Gregory’s last year with her beautiful singing and is looking forward to being back with us again for this special and unique concert, Saturday, February 13, 7 PM.
Laurel Masse comes to us from New York City by way of The Manhattan Transfer! A founding member of the famed ensemble, her incredible voice has left its mark on an entire generation. I first met Laurel at the Cathedral over ten years ago and have enjoyed hearing her amazing cabaret shows she performs world-wide. A frequent jazz/cabaret instructor, she often teaches workshops across the country including Yale University. Her St. Gregory’s debut will take place in Harris Hall, Saturday, February 27, at 7 PM, as it is magically transformed into a “Jazz Club a la Laurel” complete with hors d’oeuvres and champagne. It will be a magical evening not to be missed!
The American Spiritual Ensemble is renowned for its eclectic and show-stopping style, bringing together in one ensemble some of the finest operatic solo voices in the country! Dr. Everett McCorvey, Artistic Director, is a master at creating incredible choral ensembles with his famed Grand Night for Singing concerts to his direction of The National Chorale in New York City and The American Spiritual Ensemble is no exception. The sheer power of their collective sound will send goose bumps down your spine and make the hair on your neck stand straight up! I’ve had the privilege of playing for this sensational group many times and have never failed to have my soul stirred and my heart warmed by their message of hope and inspiration through song. Sunday afternoon, April 3, 3 PM.
In April, we will welcome back the Gold Coast Youth Orchestra under the direction of Timothy Byrns. Tim taught at our Music Academy a couple of weeks ago and returns in April with this inspiring group of young artists. Based in Plantation, FL, this youth program endeavors to create young artists who are successful musicians and outstanding citizens in their community and beyond. Their incredible music making will astound you as they fill the sanctuary with music from Baroque to Contemporary. Sunday, April 17, 3 PM.
AROUND THE COMMUNITY
On September 20 at 3 PM, I’ll be performing a program of original piano music at the Boca Museum of Art in Mizner Park. The performance will be tailored to the art currently on exhibit.
On October 4 at 3 PM, the St. Gregory’s Schola, a smaller group of singers from the St. Gregory’s Choir, will perform at the Boca Museum of Art in conjunction with their History Becomes Memory exhibit.