A Week at Salisbury

Compline Choir at Salisbury Cathedral

After a wonderful week at Canterbury, our England Pilgrimage 2019 continued with a week at Salisbury. Here we felt more removed from the tourism that surrounded the heart of the Anglican Communion, and the moving experiences of being so close to where our founder, Peter Hallock, had sung as a student at the Royal School of Church Music from 1949-1951. But Salisbury had been the center for liturgy in the Middle Ages (hence the name “Sarum Rite”), and the chants that we sing at Compline came from this rite. And for me, one of the highlights was to attend a workshop by chant specialist John Rowlands-Pritchard, and then sing Psalm 115 in plainsong that evening at the Evensong service. For this lover of both chant AND England, it doesn’t get much better!

Salisbury Cathedral has a most beautiful close with much green grass, and the tallest spire in England; also its proximity to Winchester and Stonehenge provided wonderful excursions, as you can see in some of the pictures taken during the week:


View from the Tower

Tower Tour Group







Vernon Nicodemus and William Turnipseed, who both were here in 2000.

Joel Bevington and Derek Curtis-Tilton at Old Sarum








Ken and Jan Pendergrass at Stonehenge

Thomas Adams kneeling (in fealty?) at Old Sarum

Ken Pendergrass, Michael Bennett, Layne Benofsky, James Wilcox, and Derek Curtis-Tilton enjoying the downtown








We all enjoyed the resonant acoustics at Salisbury Cathedral, even though, like Canterbury, much of the choir area was in scaffolding, and the organ was under repair. Once again, Michael Kleinschmidt, Canon for Cathedral Music at St. Mark’s Cathedral, Seattle, played awesome preludes and postludes at Evensong on the substitute electronic instrument. “Field recordings” were made of all the music, but only one has been edited from Salisbury at this point. Listen to the fine work the choir does on the anthem for Saturday Evensong: “Their sound is gone out,” by Arthur Wills (b. 1926)

Their sound is gone out,
Gone out into all lands,
And their words unto the ends of the world.
Thou shalt make them princes in all lands
They shall remember thy name, O Lord,
From one generation to another.

Here is a diary of our whole week at Salisbury – a fitting conclusion to an England Pilgrimage that we will always remember:

Monday, August 19 – Left for Salisbury at 8:25 am -Tour of the Cathedral at 1:45 pm – Rehearsal, 3:30 pm – Evensong at 5:30 pm (Responses by William Harris, psalm 101 by Peter Hallock, Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis by William Byrd, Anthem “If we could shut the gate” by Peter Hallock) – Group dinner at the White Hart Hotel.

Tuesday, August 20 – Excursion to Winchester, returning at 3:00 pm – Rehearsal, 3:30 pm – Evensong at 5:30 pm (Responses by William Harris, Psalm 104:1-23 by David Hurd, Mag & Nunc by Stephen Sturk, Anthem “What Hand Divine” by Aaron Aas).

Wednesday, August 21 – Excursion to Stonehenge and Old Sarum, returning at 3:00 pm – Rehearsal, 3:30 pm – Evensong at 5:30 pm (Responses by William Harris, Psalm 106:1-12 by John Fenstermaker, Mag & Nunc by Grayston Ives, Anthem “I thank You God” by Tyler Morse).

Thursday, August 22 – Free day for sightseeing and visits.

Friday, August 23 – 9:00 Plainchant Workshop with John Rowlands-Pritchard at St. Thomas Church – Rehearsal, 3:30 pm – Evensong at 5:30 pm (Responses by William Harris, Psalm 115 plainsong (Tonus Peregrinus), Mag & Nunc by Philip Moore, Anthem “There is a balm in Gilead” by Jeff Junkinsmith).

Saturday, August 24 – Tours of the Salisbury Cathedral Tower in the morning – Rehearsal, 3:30 pm – Evensong at 5:30 pm (Responses by William Harris, Psalm 91 by Peter Hallock – Mag & Nunc by William Byrd, Anthem “Their sound is gone out” by Arthur Wills).

Sunday, August 25 – 9:10 am Arrive at Cathedral to rehearse – Sung Eucharist Service at 10:30 am (Mass a4 by Thomas Tallis, Motet “The Good Shepherd” by Alice Parker) – Rehearsal, 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm Evensong (Responses by William Harris, Psalm 119:49-56 by Ned Rorem, Mag and Nunc by Charles Wood, Anthem “I Will Meditate” by Richard Proulx) – 7:00 pm Final Dinner at White Hart Hotel.

Final Dinner at Salisbury

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