SUNDAYS, JULY 30 & AUGUST 6, 2023, 9:30 P.M., in the cathedral nave, broadcast, and livestreamed
Following their debut in the summer of 2019, the Women's Compline Choir, led by Saint Mark's Associate Musician Rebekah Gilmore, has become an annual tradition at Saint Mark's, chanting the Office of Compline in place of the all-male Compline Choir and presenting special repertoire for women's voices, including world-premiere compositions and arrangements.
In the summer of 2019, the men of the Compline Choir traveled to the U.K. for two weeks, serving residencies in Canterbury and Salisbury. To cover the services during absence, Saint Mark's Associate Musician Rebekah Gilmore was asked to assemble an all-female choir, comprising some of the most accomplished choral singers in the Seattle area. The services they sang, the first all-female services in the 63-year history of Compline at Saint Mark's, were deeply moving to many, and may be heard here and below.
The Women's Compline Choir now gathers to chant the service several times each year, usually in the summer. Although during the pandemic of 2020 the full choir could not assemble, a quartet of singers drawn from the women's choir chanted the office on July 19 & 26, 2020. The full complement of singers gathered again on July 18 & 25, 2021, although the services were closed to the public. At last, on July 17 & 24, 2022, a full choir featuring some of the finest choral singers in the region gathered for an in-person Compline liturgy open to one and all. The 2023 services will be July 30 & August 6, 2023.
JULY 30 REPERTOIRE:
Shaker song by Eldress Mary Ann Gillespie, Blessed spirits, loving angels
Peter Hallock, Psalm 126
Janet Peachey, arr. Gregory Bloch, Mothering God
Palestrina, Nunc dimittis and Salva nos, Domine, vigilantes
Susan LaBarr, Grace Before Sleep
AUGUST 6 REPERTOIRE:
Alice Parker, Psalm 122 from Six Hymns to Dr. Watts
Plainsong Tone 8, arr. Richard Proulx & Gregory Bloch, Psalm 99
arr. Shawn Kirchner, Abide with Me
Linda Kachelmeier, Nunc dimittis
arr. Ryan Murphy, Beautiful Savior
Video and photos from the Women's Compline services, 2019–22 (click to enlarge):
Only one of the three Women's Compline Choir services in 2019 was filmed. Audio recordings of the two other 2019 liturgies may be found here or below: