Music

Music is an integral part of who we are at Christ Church Cathedral.

When we gather for worship, we sing together exuberantly as a congregation; our choirs offer a variety of superb literature from the Anglican cathedral tradition and beyond; and our musical instruments give voice to emotions ranging from exuberant praise to deep lament.

We also participate in the rich cultural life of Cincinnati, offering weekly Music Live at Lunch performances and other concerts.

Other beloved traditions in our musical life include services of Choral Evensong, an annual performance of Benjamin Britten’s Ceremony of Carols, a Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols on the Sunday before Christmas and the popular Boar’s Head and Yule Log Festival.

 

The Season of Advent and Christmas at the Cathedral

Music Staff

Choirs

Cathedral Choir
The Cathedral Choir, directed by Stephan Casurella, is an ensemble of auditioned professional and volunteer choristers who sing at weekly Sunday morning services, monthly services of Evensong and other major liturgical observances in the church year. The choir offers a range of choral literature from the Anglican cathedral tradition, the folk tradition of African-Americans, newly written works and idioms from other cultures. See 2021-22 choral music schedule.

The Cathedral Choir is a member of the Greater Cincinnati Choral Consortium.

Cathedral Choir Auditions

Christ Church Singers
Christ Church Singers is an all-volunteer ensemble designed for those who love to sing, but are not able to commit to the Cathedral Choir’s rehearsal and performance schedule. Singers meet for a single rehearsal and service several times a year throughout the season. The next opportunity to sing is June 26 with rehearsal on Wednesday, June 22. Email Doug Bruestle with your name, contact information and voice part by June 19 if you would like to participate. See 2021-22 schedule.

Cathedral Choir of Children and Youth
The Cathedral Choir of Children and Youth (CCCY) is a citywide program that fosters a lifelong enjoyment and appreciation of music through the singing of sacred choral repertoire. Based on the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM) Voice for Lifecurriculum, CCCY is open to children second grade and up. Learn more.

Summer Music Camp

Choral Scholars

Our choral scholar program provides Cincinnati area high school students an opportunity to join the Christ Church Cathedral Choir as apprentices. Successful applicants will receive intensive training in the art of fine choral singing so that they may begin the process of learning to perform at a professional level. They learn a wide range of repertoire, such as works by Tallis, Brahms and Howells, as well as spirituals and music of other cultures. For their efforts, they are compensated with a monthly scholarship throughout the academic year. Choral scholars participate in all the duties of the cathedral choir. This includes Thursday evening rehearsals, the Sunday morning Eucharist, monthly Choral Evensong, observances of holy days such as Christmas Eve, Ash Wednesday and Holy Week, as well as other liturgies or concerts as assigned by the cathedral.

Application for our Choral Scholar Program can be found here.

Organ Scholar

Christ Church Cathedral is now accepting applications for the 2022-23 organ scholar position. More information and application requirements can be found here

Musical Instruments

Our musical instruments contribute to the cathedral’s ability to offer the finest in music for worship services, recitals and concerts. They also are resources for members of the Greater Cincinnati community to make music in the resonant space of the cathedral nave or in the more intimate setting of Centennial Chapel.

Cathedral Organ
Richards, Fowkes & Co., III/58 (Opus 24).
Installation was completed in March 2021. See specifications. The organ was dedicated on October 24, 2021, with a recital by David Higgs. See full details of the dedicatory events. Watch excerpts from the recital.

Centennial Chapel Organ
C.B. Fisk, Inc., II/22 (Opus 148).
The chapel organ was dedicated in October of 2018 with a dedicatory recital and inaugural festival. See specifications. Learn more about Opus 148 here.

Continuo Organ
Juget-Sinclair Organbuilders, I/4 (Opus 40)
Purchase of this instrument in 2012 was made possible by a generous grant from H.B., E.W. and F.R. Luther Charitable Foundation. See specifications.

Harpsichord
William Dowd, Boston, 1983.
Rebuilt by Glenn Giuttari, 2011.
Modeled after the eighteenth-century Parisian builder Etienne Blanchet, this double-manual harpsichord has two 8-foot choirs and one 4-foot choir. Range FF-f”’; transposing A415/A440. The instrument is excellent both for continuo playing and for solo repertoire.

Pianos
Cathedral: Baldwin grand piano, rebuilt 2008.
Centennial Chapel: Steinway grand piano, rebuilt 2008.
Choir Room: Baldwin grand piano.
Music Offices: Boston upright piano
Undercroft: Petrof upright piano.

Handbells
One diatonic octave of Whitechapel handbells for liturgical use.

Tower Bells
For reasons lost to history, bells were not installed when the tower of Christ Church Cathedral was built. For almost a century, the tower was a beautiful, albeit silent, addition to the city skyline. That changed in 2003, when thanks to the leadership of Janet Hauck, the congregation raised funds to install a cast bell chime.

A cast bell chime is a musical instrument consisting of nine to twenty-nine bells. The chime at the cathedral is fourteen bells, the most popular range, which includes an octave and a fifth in a diatonic scale from F to C. The bells weigh from 116 pounds (highest note) to 1,990 pounds (lowest note). The Verdin Company, the world’s largest supplier of bells, carillons, and clocks, cast the bells. The Cincinnati company has provided bells to over 30,000 churches, including 100 cathedrals, since 1842.

We are pleased to share the music of the bells with our city, not only to mark the passing of the hours, but also to celebrate happy occasions, to commemorate holidays and to mourn deaths.

Ensemble in Residence

 

 

 

 

Matthew Phelps, Artistic Director 

Collegium Cincinnati, the cathedral’s ensemble-in-residence, is a vibrant musical organization that serves the Greater Cincinnati region. From the masterworks of the Renaissance and Baroque to world premieres of newly written works, Collegium’s singers and instrumentalists led by artistic director Matthew Phelps present moving musical events that captivate audiences and enrich the community.

Collegium’s performances are made possible, in part, by generous contributions to Christ Church Cathedral’s Friends of Music Fund.

Friends of Music

Become a part of our great cathedral music tradition by becoming a Friend of Music. Your donation will be dedicated to special concerts, commissioned works, and other musical projects not supported by the cathedral’s music operating budget. Contribute online or mail a donation to the attention of Friends of Music, c/o the cathedral. (Make checks payable to Christ Church Cathedral and write “Friends of Music” on the memo line.) For more information, contact Stephan Casurella

If you would like to learn how you could be part of the music, contact Doug Bruestle to volunteer.

To subscribe to our monthly music e-newsletter or have a copy of our latest music brochure mailed to you, sign up!

CLICK HERE to download a copy of our 2021-22 Music Brochure