Music at All Saints'
The Cathedral Choir
Music at the Cathedral serves a two-fold purpose: the glorification of God through liturgical music offered in public worship, and the enrichment of those who attend services and musical programs. The role of the Cathedral Choir is to rehearse and perform such music to the highest standard. For this reason, membership in the choir is not taken lightly; it is a ministry of time and talent offered twice weekly by each chorister.
As a form of outreach to the community, the cathedral provides choral scholarships for High School and College students having an aptitude and interest in choral music. It is a great educational opportunity for young musicians to participate in a choir that performs music of the Anglican tradition on a weekly basis. The number of scholarships available varies from year to year. Interested individuals should contact the Canon Precentor through the cathedral office.
Our choral season begins on the Sunday nearest Michaelmas Day (St. Michael and All Angels, September 29) and ends on Trinity Sunday of the following year. A Choral Eucharist is also celebrated on Christmas Eve and Day, Ash Wednesday, and Ascension Thursday. In addition to the major services of Holy Week, the Cathedral Choir sings Evensong and Compline as scheduled.
Can you help by making a donation to the Choral and Organ Scholars Fund
for Music? Regardless of size, whatever donation you make will be gratefully
received and put to immediate good use.
The Cathedral Organs
The LADY CHAPEL ORGAN was built by in 1872 by the Derrick and Felgemaker Organ Company of Erie, Pennsylvania. It was originally located in the Taylor Orphanage, Racine. The Sisters of the Community of Saint Mary were given the instrument for use in the chapel at DeKoven. It is a one-manual instrument with once octave of pull-down pedals consisting of two ranks of pipes: an 8’ Diapason, and an 8’ Dulciana. The organ was primarily used to accompany plainsong chant. It was restored and given to the cathedral in the 1998 by Mr. Glen Mossman as a memorial to his wife Glenda, and the Sisters of Saint Mary.
The first organ was a three-manual, hand-pumped pipe organ built in 1868 by the E. and G. G. Hook Company. It was placed in the “west end” gallery. The instrument was rebuilt and relocated in the area now occupied by the Lady Chapel in 1908. The Wangerin Organ Company of Milwaukee returned the organ to the gallery at the time of its second rebuilding in the 1940s. A new instrument was built and installed in the gallery by the Tellers Organ Company of Erie, Pennsylvania, in 1967. The classically voiced organ consisted of 26 ranks of pipes distributed over two-manuals and pedal. Most of the pipes are housed in a large case specially designed to prevent obstruction of the “Christ the King” rondel window directly above the organ, and the two 18 foot tall diamond light windows that flank the organ case. A second organ case situated on the gallery rail contains the remaining pipes of the instrument.
The Pepper-Graves Memorial Cathedral Organ
The original two-manual Tellers console occupied an off-center position at the end of the Great Division located on the gallery rail and in close proximity to the Swell Division, not an ideal acoustical placement for the organist or the Choir. Choir members sang and viewed services through the Great Division pipes. Seating for them was located on each side of the main organ case, necessitating a great deal of movement throughout services. These issues coupled with the mechanical failure of the Tellers console, provided the impetus for the renovation.
In May of 1999, the Schilcker Organ Company of Buffalo, New York was chosen by the Organ Committee to undertake a substantial renovation of the instrument. Sue Joys and Marshall Pepper donated the funding for the project in memory of their parents and grandparents. Besides the installation of a three-manual, solid-state console, the renovation would include a new blower for the main organ case, the revoicing of all stops, releathering of windchests, a lower-pitched Mixture and new reeds for the Swell, and the installation of an 8’ Clarinet for the new Choir division. Six stops would be prepared for eventual addition to the Choir and Great Divisions.
Shortly after the signing of the renovation contract, the Dean and Chapter appointed a new organist/choirmaster for the Cathedral. As membership in the Cathedral Choir increased, any possibility of their accommodation in the gallery location became infeasible. It was therefore decided to move the Cathedral Choir to the empty choir stalls in the chancel. The new console would be located in the Sacrament Chapel just behind the choir stalls. Because of the excellent acoustics and modest size of the Cathedral, the separation of the console from the pipes would not be problematic. This new arrangement has proven to be more than successful.
The Pepper-Graves Memorial Cathedral Organ was dedicated at Evensong on Trinity Sunday, June 10, 2001, by the Bishop of Milwaukee. Since then, several generous gifts have made possible the installation of six more ranks of pipes to complete the organ. John Nolte and Sons Organ Company, Milwaukee, Wisconsin performed the installation. The final dedication recital on Whitsunday, May 19, 2002, was co-sponsored by the American Guild of Organists, Milwaukee Chapter, and featured the internationally renowned English organist, Christopher Herrick. It was a resounding success. It is our hope that the Pepper-Graves Memorial Cathedral Organ will be a source of inspiration to all who hear it and continue to help us glorify God for many years to come.
The Cathedral Church of All Saints, Milwaukee, WI © 2012