The History of St. Paul's Akron (concluded)
In 1970 a small group of 15 choristers went to England for a RSCM course at Matlock. This was followed by other tours in the United States and a tour to England and France by the full choir in 1972. In 1976 and 1980, the tour program was expanded to include singing residences at cathedrals in England and the Netherlands. In 1984 the Men and Boys Choir was chosen to represent the United States at the 24th International Choir Festival in Loreto, Italy, the only choir from the U.S. What an honour!
At home, St. Paul's Men and Boys Choir became part of the Three Choirs Festival beginning in 1969 along with Christ Church of Lexington, Kentucky, and St. Luke's from Evanston, Illinois. This festival is a special event every year, the location rotating. The choir has performed with the Akron and Cleveland Symphonies, the Ohio Ballet, and the Blossom Festival School. Other activities involving the choir have included the Opera Guild, producing light opera selections, and Madrigal Dinners which began in 1983. The annual dinners are not only tasteful, but a musical treat for all. Evensongs and organ recitals occur monthly, particularly since the pipes of the organ were rebuilt in 1975 and the console was placed on a movable platform in 1980.
In October 1991, Robert M. Quade became the President of the RSCM in America, and St. Paul's Episcopal Church became the official office of the RSCM in America in 1992. The present Men and Boys Choir consists of about 60 choristers. Practice sessions for.the boys are Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday before the service, and men on Thursday and Sunday.
In 1987, Bob Quade became an Associate of the RSCM and in 1991, a Fellow of the RSCM, one of six Fellows in the United States truly tributes to his accomplishments. In 1987 and 1990, the choir again traveled to England; and this year, 1993 the Men and Boys Choir toured England, Sweden, and Denmark.
The Choir's repertoire encompasses music of 15th and 16th century composers as well as works of modern composers. Besides their Sunday service music, the choir participates in weddings, concerts and festivals. The choir is ecumenical, drawing from a wide geographic area in Northeast Ohio. Monthly payday still exists for the boys of the choir; however, the going rate has increased from a dollar a month.
Activities and entertainment have always been planned for the choirboys. In the early days, an annual dinner was given at the rectory or at a parishioner's home; in later days, the boys were taken to a baseball game or a theatre party. The Choir Guild was formed in 1934 to sponsor events and to raise money for the Camp Fund. In 1991, the St. Nicholas Choir Guild became the planning and support group for the choirs. There is now a "Treble Basketball Team", coached by choir fathers, as well as pool tournaments.
Summer camp for the choristers is more sophisticated these days. Camp provides not only fun, but a learning experience in music from the RSCM. The first mention of choir camp for boys was in 1913 when they traveled by train and Pierce Arrow cars to Pine Lodge in Angola, New York, courtesy of the Vestry. They had hotel accommodations, but their meals were in the tent pictured below. Do you recognize anyone?
Camp 1914, Pine Lodge, Angola, New York
John G. Seeley, Choirmaster
Through the years, the boys went to camp at Pine Lodge, Sandy Lake, Ruggles Beach, Lake Stafford, the estate of Dr. Quayle, east of Cleveland, and Camp Y-Noah in the 1930s, '40s, '50s, and '60s. During Clewell's years, a summer outing was always held at Clewell's summer home in Put-In-Bay. Under Quade from 1968-1974, the choristers had a RSCM music course at Wa-Li-Ro at Put-In-Bay, as well as fun and athletics. Since 1968, the Ohio Course of the RSCM has been conducted at Cedar Hills Conference Center, near Painesville, for choristers and choirmasters.
Rehearsal Room, St. Paul's, with Robert M. Quade, 1984
THE MINISTRY OF MUSIC AT ST. PAUL'S EPISCOPAL CHURCH CONTINUES TO GROW AND ENRICH US ALL.
The Choir of Men and Boys, 1993, at Dom Kirke (Church of Our Lady)
in Copenhagen, Denmark
"Music plays a tremendous part in the life of St. Paul's Church. The Men and Boys Choir the St. Cecilia Choir, and the Choral Society combine to make our parish a place of beauty and worship. We mark the 100th anniversary of our Men and Boys Choir with pride and with the conviction that high standards and quality are true expressions of Christian praxis."
Dr. Richard L. Mc Candless, Rector
The Rev. James R. Beebe, Associate Rector
St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Akron, Ohio
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