St. Mary’s Bicentennial Evensong (5/19/24)


Sunday, May 19th, 2024


5:00 pm – 6:30 pm


St. Mary's at Penn, 3916 Locust Walk 3916 Locust Walk Philadelphia, PA 19104

Come celebrate St. Mary's 200th birthday with music. 

About Evensong and This Program
Evensong is an evening church service following a set form that focuses on psalms and other biblical canticles, usually a sung rendition of vespers following the Anglican tradition. Old English speakers translated the Latin word vesperas as æfensang, which became 'evensong' in modern English.

The musical selections for St. Mary’s bicentennial evensong reflects our historical Anglo-Catholic traditions while continuing to embrace an inclusive musical future. The introit, Ralph Vaughan Williams’ “O how amiable,” was composed for the dedication of a church and reflects on Psalms 84 and 90. The anthem closes with the well-known text “O God, our help in ages past, Our hope for years to come, Our shelter from the stormy blast, And our eternal home.” Classic canticles such as Charles Villiers Stanford’s Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in C Major appear and ground the service in a choral Anglican tradition well-known to St. Mary’s over the past two-hundred years. Other anthems like Edward Bairstow’s “Save us, O Lord” and Peter C. Lutkin’s “The Lord bless you and keep you” serve as a reminder that our work as a parish continues. In the words of our processional hymn, “Angels, sing on, your faithful watches keeping; Sing us sweet fragments of the songs above.”

About St. Mary's at Penn
St. Mary’s Church, Hamilton Village, is the congregation of the Episcopal Church on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania. God calls us to be a loving, diverse, and inclusive Christian community working for a world of compassion and justice. In everything we do, we strive to be grounded in worship and prayer. We invite and welcome all God’s people to St. Mary’s in the name of God: Creator, Redeemer, Holy Spirit.

About St. Mary's Organist and Choirmaster
Dr. Chase Castle is an active organist, choral conductor, and musicologist. He received the Bachelor of Music degree in Keyboard Performance and Music History & Literature at Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music in Berea, Ohio under the tutelage of Nicole Keller. Castle was a Benjamin Franklin Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania and is bow Doctor of Philosophy in Music. He regularly concertizes across the eastern half of the United States and spent the summers of 2017-2019 as the resident organist and choirmaster at the Squirrel Island Chapel on Squirrel Island, Maine. Castle enjoys collaborating with other artists and musicians and promoting diverse artistic projects.

About St. Mary's Music
St. Mary’s music program includes a church choir, supported by an extensive music library, an historic Aoelian-Skinner organ, baby grand piano, and cabinet organ. St. Mary’s collaborates with universities and the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania in the composition of new music and in showcasing student performers of sacred music.

During the academic year (the weekend after Labor Day to the Feast of Pentecost), our all-volunteer choir often presents an anthem and leads the singing of the Psalm. New members are always welcome!

About St. Mary's Choral Scholars
Funded by a generous grant from our diocese in addition to the Frank T. Innes, Jr. Memorial Fund for Music at St. May's, the Choral Scholar program is a reflection of the longstanding relationship between the University of Pennsylvania community and our choir. Our Choral Scholars participate in the choir for Sunday mass and perform in special concerts, like Advent Lessons and Carols, and Eastertide Choral Evensong.