St. Paul’s Church hosts joint Choral Evensong and open house

by Michael Caruso
Posted 5/11/23

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Chestnut Hill is looking to increase the number of its young Choristers, who enhance the singing of its Adult Choir throughout the liturgical season.

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St. Paul’s Church hosts joint Choral Evensong and open house


St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Chestnut Hill is looking to increase the number of its young Choristers, who enhance the singing of its Adult Choir throughout the liturgical season. Parish music director Andrew Kotylo explained that the church is looking for children ages eight through 15 (boys with unchanged voices).

“No experience or church affiliation is needed,” he said. “The Choristers offer a tuition-free musical education that emphasizes musical literacy, teamwork, and a high standard of performances with regular opportunities to sing with professional musicians. It offers a wonderful way to supplement and reinforce private instrumental and vocal lessons.

“Please join the Choristers for an Open House and interactive demonstration Thursday, May 11, from 5 to 6 p.m. in St. Paul’s Parish Hall,” Kotylo concluded. “There will be snacks, games and plenty of singing.”

For more information, contact Kotylo at

Kotylo was joined by Tyrone Whiting, music director of the Episcopal Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Chestnut Hill, for a joint Choral Evensong Sunday, April 30. They shared conducting and accompanying duties with what may have been the largest combined church choir in the entire Anglican Communion this side of Westminster Abbey and the coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla.

Together they gave exemplary renditions of the “Magnificat” and “Nunc dimittis” from A. Herbert Brewer’s “Evening Service in D,” Joseph Rheinberger’s “Abendlied” (“Evening Song”), and the exquisite “Reponses” of Erik Meyer, the former music director at St. Martin’s Church and now the music director at Abington Presbyterian Church. During the singing of the Anthem at the Offertory, a collection was taken for Our Mother of Consolation Catholic Church. A recent massive fire destroyed the parish’s 100-year-old school building.

Tempesta di Mare on the Hill           

Tempesta di Mare, Philadelphia Baroque Orchestra, will present a concert entitled “The Women Behind the Screen” Saturday, May 13, at 7:30 p.m., in the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill. The program includes music by Vivaldi, Gasparini, Porpora, Galuppi, Ferrandini and Hasse.

Baroque Venice, styled “La Serenissima” or “The Most Serene Republic of Venice,” was one of the most powerful seafaring nations in the world. Its wealth was based on centuries of trade between the rest of Europe and Constantinople (now Istanbul, Turkey), the seat of the Eastern Byzantine Roman Empire through 1453. It was the first Italian city to experience and then spread the Renaissance, the rebirth of classical culture after nearly a thousand years of the Middle Ages following the fall of the Roman Empire in the West in 476 A.D. Venice was the home of many charitable institutions that cared for orphans who were often trained as musicians.

For ticket information visit

Germantown Presbyterian Church Recital

The First Presbyterian Church in Germantown will present a recital entitled “Fly Butterfly Fly” Sunday, May 14, at 2 p.m. In celebration of Black history, it features mezzo Tanisha Anderson accompanied by pianist Thomas Weaver. Anderson is a two-time Grammy Award winner and a National Marian Anderson Scholarship Artist. Weaver is a member of the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.

 “Giovanni” at AVA


The Academy of Vocal Arts concluded its season of fully-staged operas with a stellar production of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s dramatic masterpiece, “Don Giovanni.” Performances ran April 27 through May 9, both in the city, on the Main Line and in Bucks County.

President and artistic director K. James McDowell, of East Falls, continues to steer the nation’s only full-scholarship graduate school dedicated to training professional opera singers with a firm hand. Stage director Jeffrey Buchman resisted the seductive siren call of “updating” Lorenzo da Ponte’s libretto for the obvious reason that its original setting in 18th century Spain is universal in its tale of the demise of a sexual predator initially protected by his aristocratic status but undone through his own hubris. Set securely in time and place, Buchman drew finely wrought theatrical characterizations from his young singers.

Music director Christofer Macatsoris oversaw a thrilling rendition of Mozart’s splendid vocal and instrumental score. He elicited sensitive yet supportive playing from the AVA Opera Orchestra and memorable singing from his well-balanced cast.

Chief among the performers was bass-baritone Peter Barber in the title role. He sang with stentorian power and seductive grace, and he projected the hard-to-resist charisma of a young man consumed with his own power over women.

Soprano Yihan Duan was a convincing Donna Anna, the young woman whose thwarted rape by Don Giovanni opens the opera’s first scene. Her voice rang with sumptuous resonance and her portrayal avoided the exaggeration that often inhabits acting on the operatic stage.

For more information regarding the remaining events in AVA’s 2022-23 season, call 215-735-1685 or visit

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