Saint Martin’s presents 11th annual Sacred Music Concert

Oct. 11, 2013

Sacred Music ConcertThe Saint Martin’s University Chorale will perform two free public programs of sacred music, poetry and readings Saturday, Oct. 19 and Sunday, Oct. 20. The annual performances, which celebrate All Saints Day and the Feast of Saint Martin of Tours, the University’s patron saint, will take place at Saint Martin’s Abbey Church, 5000 Abbey Way SE. The Saturday performance begins at 7:30 p.m., and the Sunday performance starts at 2:30 p.m. Doors open 15 minutes earlier. No reservations are necessary.

Members of the University’s 75-member mixed chorus will lift their voices in collaboration with Campus Ministry. During the performance, musical selections will be interspersed with Biblical scripture readings and inspirational selections given by representatives of Campus Ministry.

The programs this year were planned in observance of the 100th birthday anniversary (Nov. 22, 1913) of Edward Benjamin Britten, an English composer, conductor and pianist who was considered a central figure of 20th-century British classical music. His works range from orchestral to choral, solo vocal, chamber, instrumental and film music.

The chorale will sing “Rejoice in the Lamb,” one of Britten’s most celebrated and performed works. It is a cantata Britten composed in 1943 as a commissioned piece for the 50th anniversary of St. Matthew’s Church, Northampton. It is based on the poem Jubilate Agno by Christopher Smart (1722-1771), according to Chorale Director Darrell Born, associate professor of music at Saint Martin’s.

Smart wrote the poem while he was detained in an asylum by his father-in-law, apparently for religious mania. He later died in a debtor’s prison. The work is structured with solo and choral movements.

“There are manic and beautiful hallelujah moments in this piece, and I know this will sound really gorgeous and spectacular when paired with the acoustics of the Abbey Church,” Born says. “I wanted to expose music students and the listening audience to Britten’s marvelous music and “Rejoice in the Lamb” is really representative of Britten’s composition style.”

The concert will additionally include excerpts from George Frideric Handel’s “Messiah.”

Saint Martin of Tours, the University’s patron saint, lived during the early fourth century. A Roman soldier, he converted to Christianity and left military service. He became a monk, and eventually bishop of Tours, France. Saint Martin is known for his service to the poor and for establishing Christian monasticism in western Europe.

The Order of Saint Benedict, which established Saint Martin’s, was founded by Saint Benedict of Nursia, Italy, in the early 500s. The Order is governed by “The Rule of Saint Benedict,” a document that commends maintaining a balance of prayer, work and study. The Rule also stresses the Christian and monastic virtues of community, hospitality and stability.

For more information about the concerts, contact Jonathan Dwyer, director of campus ministry, 360-412-6152, or

Saint Martin’s University is an independent four-year, coeducational university located on a wooded campus of more than 300 acres in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 14 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 23 majors and seven graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education, nursing and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes more than 1,100 undergraduate students and 400 graduate students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its Lacey campus, and 300 more undergraduate students to its extension campuses located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Centralia College. Visit the Saint Martin’s University website at

For additional information:

Jonathan Dwyer
Director of Campus Ministry

Meg Nugent Dwyer
Media relations manager