Christ Church Cobble Hill to celebrate its 175th anniversary with event featuring the Canoni Chorale
by Joanne Nicholas and Nancy Wright for Vocal Area Network
Posted September 27, 2010

Christ Church Cobble HillHistoric Christ Church in Cobble Hill (Brooklyn) will celebrate its 175th anniversary on Sunday, October 3 with a Choral Evensong at 4:00 PM sung by their artists-in-residence, the Canoni Chorale, under the direction of Donald Barnum. The choral repertoire will include the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in G by Charles Villiers Stanford, Behold the Tabernacle of God by William Harris, and Locus Iste by Anton Bruckner. The service will be followed by a gala garden party and wine reception. Tickets for the reception are $40.00 and must be purchased in advance by RSVP to 718-624-0083.

The architecturally distinguished church building, at 326 Clinton Street (on the corner with Kane Street) was designed by noted architect Richard Upjohn, with interior design elements by Louis Comfort Tiffany. One of the oldest structures in Cobble Hill, its tall bell tower is a recognizable feature of the adjacent landmarked neighborhood. "We strive to preserve and maintain our historically and architecturally significant church but also see our role as an anchor, sharing our space to meet the community's needs," said Father Ron Lau, Vicar of Christ Church. "Given the unique acoustical qualities of the church, we have redesigned the seating in the church in order to expand our outreach through musical and theatrical events," he continued, "and this summer have had the Canoni Chorale, the Vertical Players Opera, Opera Feroce and other small musical groups perform in the space."

The annual Saint Francis Day Animal Blessing will also take place this Sunday, October 3, at 12:30, following the 11 AM mass. In addition to this St. Francis Day tradition, the Saint Nicholas Holiday Fair, Holiday Caroling, and a Concert Series featuring the Canoni Chorale, the church and parish house buildings are used for many activities that benefit the neighborhood. Christ Church runs and operates The Linden Tree Preschool and The Neighborhood Playspace and has formed partnerships with other groups to provide cultural and educational outreach. These include The Cobble Hill Ballet School, Music Together, The Young Actor's Workshop, Dalcroze Music, Gymstars and a summer Ballet Camp.

Christ Church also provides free space for The Vertical Opera Repertory Company, the Cobble Hill C.S.A. Food Co-Operative, The Cobble Hill Tree Fund, Integrity-Brooklyn, The Cosmic Bicycle Theatre, The ClockWorks Puppetry Studios, The Children's Shadow Puppet Workshop, The Cobble Hill Book Reading Group and several recovery groups. The church also provides space for an annual sale of Christmas trees and holiday greens by Adam Parke's Vermont Christmas Trees, and provide meeting space for not-for-profits including the Cobble Hill Association's political round table meetings with elected officials. In addition, they help organize and actively participate in the annual Clinton Street Block Association Block Party and host an annual free July 4th Picnic and Barbecue.

For more information about the Canoni Chorale, please contact Director Donald Barnum at 212-799-6944 or by e-mail at dcbjr1@aol.com. For more information about Christ Church, please call the church at 718-624-0083

Joanne Nicholas and Nancy Wright sing with the Canoni Chorale.
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