Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Angelic organ music plays at free Wednesday concert, St. John's, Lafayette Square

Sebastiano Ricci (Venetian, 1659-1734), The Ecstasy of Saint Francis, 1706-1720, National Gallery of Art, Washington. Saint Francis turns and sinks into the supporting arms of angels as he is pierced with rays from an apparition above, on view at the National Gallery's Heavenly Earth exhibition through July 8, 2018. 

Angels everywhere is the program set for the free noontime concert Wednesday, May 2, at  St. John’s Episcopal Church, Lafayette Square.

Heralding their arrival will be a new arrangement of Amazing Grace, How Sweet the Sound  by Craig Phillips, the composer for much of the program which will begin at 12:10 p.m. and last about 35 minutes.

Michael Lodico, the organist and director of music ministry at St. John’s, will be the guest artist.
Michael Lodico, organist and director of music ministry, St. John's Episcopal Church, Lafayette Square, Washington, D.C.

The composer is the director of music ministry at All Saints’ Church in Beverly Hills whose works are performed throughout the world.  Dr. Phillips has won and judged many competitions and has received numerous commissions including that from the Washington National Cathedral.   He earned his master and doctoral degrees from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester. 

Craig Phillips, composer

Mr. Lodico, recently promoted to head St. John’s music ministry, is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and recipient of a Fulbright grant for graduate study in the Netherlands.

The program, part of St. John's First Wednesday Concerts, is:

Fugue sur le thème du Carillon des Heures de la Cathedrale de Soissons by Maurice Duruflé (1902-1986)
Amazing Grace How Sweet the Sound  arrangement by Craig Phillips (b. 1961)

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty (Lobe Den Herren)              arr. Phillips

Archangel Suite                                   Phillips                                                             

 I.  Michael  "...there was a war in heaven.  Michael and his angels fought          against the dragon."  - Revelations 12:7
II.  Gabriel  -  Messenger of God, and messenger of the Annunciation

III.  Raphael - Archangel of healing
IV.  Uriel - Archangel of Light

Fugue on the Carillon d'Alet                Phillips                       
St. John's Episcopal Church, Washington, D.C./Photo by Patricia Leslie

The church was founded in 1815 and is known to Washington residents as the yellow church at Lafayette Square. It's often called the “Church of the Presidents” since beginning with James Madison, who was president from 1809 to 1817, every president has attended services at the church, and several have been members. A plaque at the rear of St. John's designates the pew where President Abraham Lincoln often sat when he stopped by the church during the Civil War.

Benjamin Latrobe, known as the "father of American architecture" and the architect of the U.S. Capitol Building and the White House porticos, designed St. John's Church in the form of a Greek cross.

The church bell, weighing almost 1,000 pounds, was cast by Paul Revere's son, Joseph, in August, 1822, and was hung at St. John's that November where it has rung since. Wikipedia says two accounts report that whenever the bell rings on the occasion of the death of a notable person, six male ghosts appear at the president's pew at midnight and quickly disappear.

Dolley Madison, wife of President Madison, was baptized and confirmed at St. John's, according to the National Park Service, which calls the church "one of the few original remaining buildings left near Lafayette Park today."

For those on lunch break Wednesday, food trucks are located at Farragut Square, two blocks away.

Who: Organist Michael Lodico plays heavenly angels in a Craig Phillips concert

What: First Wednesday Concert

When: 12:10 p.m., May 2, 2018

Where: St. John’s, Lafayette Square, 1525 H Street, NW, at the corner of 16th, Washington, D.C. 20005

How much: No charge

Duration: About 35 minutes

Wheelchair accessible

Metro stations: McPherson Square (White House exit), Farragut North, or Farragut West

For more information:
Contact Michael Lodico at 202-270-6265 or Michael.Lodico@stjohns-dc.org or 202-347-8766
The last First Wednesday concert of the season, beginning at 12:10 p.m. and lasting until 12:45 p.m., is:

June 6: Music by Women Composers, including Margaret Sandresky's Dialogues for Organ and Strings by Ilono Kubiaczyk-Adler, organist, with the U.S. Air Force Strings
Attend May 2 and come away with joyful music and a sprinkling of angel dust to savor.




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