Showing posts from February, 2019

William Bradley Roberts

The Seventh Sunday after the Epiphany February 24, 2019
This snowy Sunday, we are pleased to welcome the Reverend Dr. William Bradley Roberts as our guest preacher and choral conductor. He will lead the Cathedral Choir in two of his anthems, "In All These You Welcomed Me" and an arrangement of a spiritual, "This Little Light of Mine."
William Bradley Roberts is currently Professor of Church Music at Virginia Theological Seminary and Director of Chapel Music.

He received the Bachelor of Arts degree from Houston Baptist University with double majors in Voice and Music Education. He received the degrees Master of Church Music and Doctor of Musical Arts from Southern Seminary (Louisville, Ky.) with an emphasis in Conducting and Voice. His doctoral dissertation is entitled Darius Milhaud, His Life and Choral Works with Biblical Texts: A Conductor’s Study.

Roberts was ordained to the priesthood in May 2016. Prior to his coming to Virginia Seminary, he was an Episcopal churc…

A Blessing

The Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany
February 17, 2019

Today's offertory anthem is my setting of a blessing that is particularly meaningful to me. I was introduced to this text by the Reverend Elizabeth Goodyear Jones, who served as interim rector when I was the principal parish musician at St. Philip's Episcopal Church in Jackson, Mississippi in the mid-1990s. She concluded every Eucharist with this blessing, written by the Reverend William Sloane Coffin, Jr.

William Sloane Coffin (1924-2006) served as chaplain of Yale University and later as senior minister of the Riverside Church in New York City. He was a leader in the civil rights and peace movements of the 1960s and 1970s.

I composed the musical setting for Liz's final Sunday at St. Philip's in 1995. While on sabbatical last summer, I made some revisions to the anthem, and our choir sang it at our recent Recovery Eucharist. I have corresponded with the Reverend Coffin's widow and son, and I've received their p…

"This Place"

The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany
February 10, 2019

Today's anthem, "Locus iste," is by Anton Bruckner, a nineteenth century Austrian composer. The Latin text is appointed for the dedication of a church and is translated as follows:
This place was made by God,
a priceless sacrament,
beyond reproach.

Unlike many of Bruckner's more complex compositions, "Locus iste" is within the reach of excellent church and school choirs and is one of his most widely performed choral works. Listen to a recording here: Locus iste

Today, we begin the public phase of our Cathedral Commons capital campaign. Like many of you, I have been reflecting  on the importance of Trinity Cathedral - this place - in my life. I moved to Nebraska in 2003, and the cathedral congregation warmly welcomed me. Two parishioners (you know who you are) showed up at my house on move-in day with a barbeque dinner! During these past fifteen years, Trinity Cathedral has increasingly been at the center of my…


The Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany
February 3, 2019

Our children's and youth choirs have been learning about African American spirituals and will be singing an arrangement of one this morning: "Let us break bread together on our knees." This spiritual most likely originated in the West African Gullah slave culture in the southeastern United States.
Spirituals are distinct musical genre and one of the important American contributions to sacred music. Originally transmitted through oral tradition, they were transcribed by musicologists in the nineteenth century. In the twentieth century, spirituals were popularized by well known singers, including Paul Robeson and Marian Anderson, and by university choirs such as the Fisk Jubilee Singers. (Hear Marian Anderson's historic recording: Let Us Break Bread Together.) "Let us break bread together" may be the most widely known spiritual; it is included in many hymnals and sung around the world.
Next Sunday, we will si…