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So Come to Him

So Come to Him cover picture

The choir of St Paul’s, Rock Creek Parish, Washington DC, USA

Director: Graham Elliott
Organ: Neil Weston
Jubilate Deo (Psalm 100) Benjamin Britten
Peace Like a River Spiritual, arranged Philip E. Baker
Psalm 23 Chant by Sir Henry Walford Davies
Psalm 121 Chant by Sir Henry Walford Davies
Psalm 130 Chant by Sir Henry Walford Davies
Amazing Grace harmonised John Barnard, descant Graham Elliott
Sing Joyfully William Byrd
So Come to Him Graham Elliott
Were You There? Spiritual, arranged Charles Winfred Douglas
We Wait for Thy Loving Kindness, O Lord William McKie
Deep River Spiritual, arranged Harry T. Burleigh
More Love to Thee, O Christ William H. Doane
Teach Me, O Lord William Byrd
Let Us Break Bread Together Spiritual, arranged Carl Heywood
The Lord Is My Shepherd Charles Villiers Stanford
Ain’-a That Good News! Spiritual, arranged William L. Dawson
I am The Good Shepherd Graham Elliott
Oculi Omnium Graham Elliott
He, Watching Over Israel Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy
Hear O Israel Graham Elliott
O Sing Joyfully Adrian Batten
When I Survey adapted Edward Miller; descant Graham Elliott
Deep River Spiritual, arranged John Barnard
Come Labor On Thomas Tertius Noble

Total playing time 63m 54s

So Come to Him

So Come to Him

This collection of choral works is offered as a cross section of styles and traditions, echoing something of the diversity to be found in the city of Washington, and reflected in the life of St Paul’s Episcopal Church. St Paul’s was founded in the reign of Queen Anne, in 1712. In 1719 Colonel John Bradford gave 100 acres of land to serve as a glebe for the support of the church and its minister. The first church was built of wood from the glebe. In 1721 a brick church was begun, and parts of this are incorporated in the eighteenth century building which stands today. Until the Declaration of Independence the church was under the authority of the bishops of London. St Paul’s is not only the oldest church in the District of Columbia; it also provides the oldest cemetery in Washington. Burials of parishioners near the church took place from earliest times, rather in the manner of the typical English village church. In the 1830s the Vestry decided to use part of the glebe to be a public cemetery for the city of Washington, and an Act of Congress in 1840 established the cemetery as a public burial place. It is now a place of pilgrimage for people from all over the world, who come to see the remarkable variety of funerary monuments, and in particular, to visit the renowned Adams memorial. The late 19th century saw significant growth in the parish, so that St Paul’s was one of the major parishes when the new Diocese of Washington was formed in 1896.

This recording is issued at a time of change and development at St Paul’s. The parish has marked its 290th anniversary by identifying a number of developments which will lead to the 300th anniversary in 2012. The fine neo-classical Parish Hall complex is undergoing major renovation and extension. The auditorium will become a fine concert venue for the active artistic life of the city. Plans are well advanced for building new organs in the church and the auditorium. The new facilities will greatly enhance the parish’s potential for growth and outreach into the diverse community which it serves.

Graham Elliott

Graham Elliott moved to the United States in November, 1999, to take up the position as Director of Music at St Paul’s Episcopal Church, Rock Creek Parish. He was born in Wales, and studied, during school days, with Dr Melville Cook at Hereford Cathedral. Following a year at the Royal Academy of Music, in London, he became Organ Student at St George’s Chapel, in Windsor Castle. During this period he regularly played for services attended by the Royal Family, both in St George’s, and in the private chapel in the Great Park.
Dr Elliott came to Washington after eighteen years as Master of the Music at Chelmsford Cathedral (England). There he established the Choral Foundation with an international reputation. He secured the daily choral services, and helped raise almost $3M to establish choral scholarships and to build the two fine Mander organs. In addition to his cathedral work Dr Elliott founded the annual international arts festival at Chelmsford, and was a professor at the Guildhall School of Music in London. He also lectured and examined in the music department of Anglia University.

At St Paul’s, Graham Elliott has established a new week-long multifaceted arts festival, centred on the historic church, the large Parish Hall complex, and the extensive grounds of the church. An ambitious program of arts and educational outreach is evolving, making use of the newly renovated buildings.

His academic achievements include a Master’s degree for research into 19th century British cathedral music. His doctoral research was in the music of Benjamin Britten. His book on the composer, Benjamin Britten: The Spiritual Dimension will shortly be published by Oxford University Press.

Neil Weston

Neil Weston studied at the Universities of Oxford and London, and at the Royal Academy of Music. He also holds diplomas by examination from the Royal College of Music and the Royal College of Organists. For four years, he was Assistant Master of the Music at Chelmsford Cathedral before moving to the United States, where he currently lives and works. He has held positions at two Episcopal churches in the Washington DC area, and is currently Director of Liturgical Music at St Ambrose Roman Catholic Church in Annandale, Virginia.

He is active as a conductor and performer and has performed as a soloist and continuo player in the Kennedy Center, the National Cathedral, and other major venues in the city. He made his conducting debut in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall in December 2002, when he conducted a choir of 3500 voices performing Handel's Messiah.

Neil is Regional Chair of Region II of the Royal School of Church Music in North America, Keyboard Artist of the Washington Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra, and Assistant Conductor of the Alexandria Choral Society.

Recorded in St Paul’s, Rock Creek Parish, Washington, DC USA on 30th April, 3rd and 4th May 2002 by kind permission of the Rector.

Produced by Neil Weston
Recorded and edited by Lance Andrews