Choral Evensong: Music of Leo Sowerby

Sunday, May 5 at 4 p.m.

"Dean of American Church Music" Leo Sowerby was the Organist and Choirmaster at St. James from 1927-1962, and his long tenure oversaw a peak of prominence in Episcopal music. In addition to running an excellent choir, Sowerby was an extremely active composer, publishing hundreds of works for organ, choir, orchestra, chamber ensembles, and voice. He won the Pulitzer Prize in 1946 for his cantata Canticle of the Sun, the only active church musician ever to win this prestigious award. He also enjoyed a long and fruitful career as a teacher, mentoring composers such as Florence Price, Ned Rorem, and William Ferris at the American Conservatory of Music. After his tenure at St. James, Sowerby moved to Washington, DC where he was the founding director of the College of Church Musicians at Washington National Cathedral. He is a fascinating figure in the history of St. James Cathedral and of American music in general.

Pre-Evensong Lecture at 3 p.m. in Kyle's Place

We are delighted to welcome  Dr. Joseph Sargent, author of the new biography Leo Sowerby, who will give a lecture on Sowerby's life and prodigious output before Evensong in Kyle's Place (located on the ground floor of 65 E Huron). The lecture will begin at 3 p.m. and is sponsored by the Chicago Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. After Evensong, you are cordially invited to return to Kyle's Place for a festive reception.

Choral Repertoire:

Sowerby - Eternal light
Buzard - Preces & Responses (world premiere)
Sowerby - Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in E minor
Sowerby - Psalm 122

Plan your visit

When you visit St. James Cathedral, expect to receive a warm welcome! Whether you are a committed follower of Christ, a first-time visitor who is joining a friend, or fall somewhere in between, you're not just welcome, you belong.

It is not uncommon for people to either dress casually or formally when visiting the Cathedral. Our priority is that you to feel comfortable. Children are always welcome at St. James. There is an open space to the front right of the pews for children to play under your supervision and a changing station for parents of our youngest members under the church in the restrooms.

The cathedral is accessible to people with limited mobility. An access ramp is located at the west end of the building, 65 E. Huron St.

Map & Parking

We are conveniently located 2 blocks from the red line. Exit at Chicago Avenue, then south two blocks to the corner of Wabash and Huron.

We are one block west from the 3, 10, 26, 146, 147, and 151 bus lines on Michigan Avenue. Exit at Superior or Erie if southbound, exit at Huron if northbound.

Reduced-rate parking is available at ROW Parking Garage, 50 E Ohio Street, for $2 up to 6 hours. Parking is also available at Ohio Ontario Self Park, 33 W Ontario, for $11 up to 18 hours daily. Get a reduced-rate parking voucher from the St. James Commons reception desk.