Christ Church Choirs to Celebrate 90 Years of Music with Six Combined Choirs


Christ Church Choirs will celebrate their 90th anniversary with six combined choirs of alumni of Christ Church Greenwich on Saturday, June 1, 2024, at 5:00 pm.

Conducted by:
• James O’Donnell, Professor at Yale Institute of Sacred Music
• Philip Moore, former Organist at York Minster
• Jamie Hitel, Director of Music
• Jonathan Vaughn, Associate Director of Music

Over 100 boys, girls, and adult choir members, ages 5 years to 80, will join together to celebrate 90 years of music. The combined choirs feature six of the seven choirs and alumni at Christ Church. The new Harrison and Harrison organ, featuring 86 stops, adds to the joyful noise.

The Saturday evening concert of uplifting works highlights both traditional Anglican composers including Henry Purcell, Hubert Parry and Charles Villiers Stanford, as well as contemporary composers including Lynda Randle, Undine Smith Moore, John Rutter and Judith Weir.  James O’Donnell from the Yale Institute of Sacred Music will conduct and Philip Moore, composer in residence and Organist Emeritus of York Minster, will also be featured along with Jamie Hitel and Jonathan Vaughn.

Tickets: $25 General Admission, $50 Sponsors, Students are free

About the Christ Church Greenwich Choirs
Jamie Hitel, Director of Music, and Jonathan Vaughn, Associate Director of Music, lead the choral program, providing music for over 100 services a year. This includes more than thirty Evensong services and yearly special musical services including Maurice Duruflé’s Requiem, an Advent carol service, Benjamin Britten’s Ceremony of Carols, Nine Lessons and Carols, John Henry Maunder’s Olivet to Calvary, Thomas Tallis’s Lamentations of Jeremiah, and Giovanni Battista Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater.  Sung masses include those by Gabriel Fauré, Charles Marie Widor, and W.A. Mozart as well as Evensong settings by Herbert Sumsion, Francis Jackson, and Orlando Gibbons.

Hailed as a program “of a quality and style that would suit any Cathedral in England” in Fanfare Magazine, the Christ Church Greenwich chorister training program follows the Royal School of Church Music curriculum.  This year, students proudly achieved four gold medals and three silver medals representing a mastery of music theory, choral technique and liturgy.  This highlights the successful program as only one other gold medal was awarded in the entire United States for the previous three years.  In July, thirty youth members of the Christ Church Greenwich Choirs will travel to England to serve as the Westminster Abbey choir-in-residence, singing six Evensong services and one Sunday morning mass.

“The music program exists to lift people in worship,” Mr. Hitel said. “Music draws them closer to God and closer to each other.”

The Christ Church Boys’ Choir was founded in 1934, within fifteen years of the St. Thomas Choir School in New York City. The tradition of boys’ choirs goes back to the Middle Ages with a vibrant heritage in the Anglican Church. The Rev. Albert J. Wilson began as Rector in 1932. Born in Ulster, Ireland, he brought the tradition to Christ Church and started a Choir of Men and Boys under the leadership of Organist and Choir Director Claude Means, former assistant Organist at St. Bartholomew’s Church in New York City. Means remained as choirmaster for almost forty years. He started the St. Cecilia Choir of Girls in 1952.