Thursday, April 17, 2014

A Good Friday service with alt-country hymns and a symphony concertmaster

CSO Concertmaster Yuriy Bekker to perform new compositions by Richard Pressley

Posted by Paul Bowers on Thu, Apr 17, 2014 at 1:51 PM

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The Cathedral Church of St. Luke and St. Paul will host an interdenominational Good Friday service tomorrow featuring modern arrangements of traditional hymns and original compositions for a wind and string ensemble.

Like many Good Friday services, this one will focus on the Stations of the Cross, Jesus of Nazareth's final hours leading up to his execution. It's a somber occasion for Christians, but it's also the occasion for some of the Church's most beautiful hymns.

Like last year's Good Friday service, this one will include musicians and worship leaders from several Charleston-area churches, including Patrick Schlabs (St. Peter's Church), Jessica Smith (St. Andrews City Church), Jon Lowder (Sanctuary), and Cathedral Church's own Ryan Thompson. The musicians will play some songs from Not a Word, an album of alt-country-inspired Good Friday songs released last year by the worship music collective Holy City Hymns.

One new element in this year's service will be original processional and recessional music by composer Richard Pressley, performed by a small wind and string ensemble that includes Charleston Symphony Orchestra Concertmaster Yuriy Bekker. The choir from Redeemer Presbyterian will also sing a few songs.

"Last year was a big stretch in a very compelling way. It was incredibly meaningful," Thompson says. "I don't think I've ever been in a service that captured the weight like that service did last year. So our hope is to do that again and yet have it continue to be something that's fresh and compelling. It's expected yet unexpected."

The service will take place from 6-7 p.m. on Fri. April 18 at the Cathedral Church (126 Coming St.). Click here to RSVP on Facebook. Childcare will be available.

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