A Cathedral Christmas: Sonic Splendor and Resounding Acoustics

The Lexington Philharmonic continues its holiday concert programming with A Cathedral Christmas on Saturday, December 10, 2016 at 8:00 PM at Cathedral of Christ the King. LexPhil will present a diverse selection of sacred works, including selections by Stephen Paulus, Gerald Finzi and Ralph Vaughan Williams. Highlighting the program, the Lexington Chamber Chorale led by Dr. Gary Anderson and Ecco Chamber Choir, led by Dr. Vicki Bell, will perform Bach’s Magnificat in D Major, BWV 243 with soloists Sarah Shafer, soprano,  Jarret Ott, baritone, and Jon Johnson, organ.

This year's Cathedral program illustrates the expanse of Christmas music inspired by poignant liturgical texts, and all created for grand liturgical spaces. “In planning this concert, I wanted to take full advantage of the wonderful sanctuary of the Cathedral-with its marvelous and resounding acoustics,” says Scott Terrell, LexPhil Music Director and Conductor.  For anyone attending Cathedral, the repertoire is wide ranging in sonic splendor:  thrilling brass fanfares of John Rutter's GLORIA, lush string writing in Vaughan William's Fantasia on Greensleeves, and the magnificence of vocal and instrumental works by Johann Sebastian Bach.

A Cathedral Christmas’ program will feature the locally-acclaimed Lexington Chamber Chorale, joined by ECCO Chamber Choir as well as  two of the most sought after singers in the world of opera in their concert debut with the Lexington Philharmonic: Sarah Shafer, soprano and Jarrett Ott, baritone. “It is my sincere hope that this program expands and grows the Christmas concert possibilities for Lexington, to bring to this community the breadth, joy and wonderful sounds of this most joyous season,” adds Terrell.

The Lexington Chamber Chorale, conducted by Dr. Gary Anderson, brings a rich and unique choral repertoire to Central Kentucky audiences. Since its humble beginning as the Sine Nomine Singers, the Chorale has enjoyed celebrating the art of choral singing through performing interesting and challenging pieces of music. Chamber Chorale concerts also enrich our cultural community through creative collaborations with guest artists and musicians. The passion for singing and the continued pursuit of musical excellence inspire the singers to present quality programs that touch both mind and spirit. 

Ecco is a chamber choir based in Lexington, KY who specializes in performing sacred a cappella music.  The choir, established in 2008, is comprised of 24 singers.  While the focus of Ecco’s repertoire is the choral music of the Renaissance, sacred pieces of all periods are performed.  Ecco performs regularly in concert and also sings choral preludes for evensong services.  Ecco is under the musical direction of Dr. Vicki Bell.  Dr. Bell teaches Music Theory at Asbury University in Wilmore, KY.  She also conducts the University’s mixed-voice choir which completed a successful tour of Italy in 2007 and a cathedral residency in 2009 at Gloucester Cathedral in England.

American baritone Jarrett Ott was recently named one of twenty-five “Rising Stars” by Opera News, who described his voice in Cold Mountain as having an, "often ravishing, airy vocal finish...he brought the testing role not only lovely, Pelléas-like sound but a deep investment in the words." In the 2016-2017 season, Mr. Ott will embark on a European tour with Perm Opera and MusicAeterna with stops in Geneva, Köln, Bremen and Dortmund. In North America, Jarrett will make three important role debuts: in Oklahoma! with Glimmerglass Festival, Sweeney Todd at New Orleans Opera and Pearl Fisher’s with North Carolina Opera. Jarrett Ott is based in New York City and received his master’s degree at the Curtis Institute of Music, studying with baritone Randall Scarlata, as well as Marlena Kleinman Malas.

Praised by the New York Times for her “luminous voice” and “intensely expressive interpretations,” and named “remarkable, artistically mature” and “a singer to watch” by Opera News, soprano Sarah Shafer is quickly emerging as a sought-after artist on both the operatic and concert stage. This season sees Ms. Shafer returning to the San Francisco Opera for her role debut of Pamina in the Jun Kaneko production of Die Zauberflöte, which the Huffington Post called “a feisty, vocally powerful Pamina.” She will also return to Opera Philadelphia this season as Adina in L’elisir d’amore, directed by Stephen Lawless. A native of State College, PA, Ms. Shafer holds degrees in voice and opera from the Curtis Institute of Music, and is currently based in Philadelphia.

Tickets to A Cathedral Christmas range from $25-75 with $11 student tickets as available. Ample lot and street parking is available at the Cathedral of Christ the King. 

A Cathedral Christmas is made possible through the generous support of Individual Private Support and Tycho B. Shea. For more information or to purchase tickets to A Cathedral Christmas, please contact the Lexington Philharmonic box office at 859.233.4226, or visit online at www.lexphil.org.

The mission of the Lexington Philharmonic is to foster excellence and innovation in the performance and presentation of great music; to enrich the lives of our diverse citizenry; to educate current and future audiences and to bring distinction to our community through the orchestra’s presence and standing. Through LexPhil’s four core values of artistic excellence, innovation, collaboration and accessibility, LexPhil will continue to move forward, artistically and purposefully, providing world-class musical experiences and impactful educational opportunities for the Bluegrass Region and beyond. 

Now in his eighth season with the Lexington Philharmonic, Music Director and Conductor Scott has led the orchestra in a significant transformation to align with the organizational values of artistic excellence, collaboration, innovation and accessibility.  Scott is passionate about engaging the broadest possible community in music as listeners, musicians, composers and advocates.  Through LexPhil collaborations with high schools, colleges and youth performing arts groups, Scott dedicates time and energy to educating emerging musical artists. His programming has expanded the orchestra’s repertoire and enhanced the national reputation of the organization through commissioning of new music, multi-media and interdisciplinary projects and international guest conducting.


All Lexington Philharmonic programs are made possible through the generous support of LexArts. In 2016-2017, the Lexington Philharmonic will receive a total of $170,000 in unrestricted support.    

LexPhil’s 2016-2017 Season is presented by the Dupree Initiative for Innovation, funded by the tremendous generosity of Thomas and Ann Todd Dupree.

The Kentucky Arts Council, the state arts agency, provides operating support to the Lexington Philharmonic with state tax dollars and federal funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Saykaly Garbulinska Foundation, funder of the Saykaly Garbulinska Artist-in-Residence Program, generously brings innovative pianist Conrad Tao to LexPhil for its Arts In Healthcare partnership with UK Healthcare during the 2016-2017 season.

Special thanks to the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government for its continued partnership in ensuring a flourishing future for the arts in Lexington and central Kentucky.