Peter Schindler to conduct choral evensong at St. Patrick’s

Photo courtesy Sally Neel Peter Schindler, from Dallas, will lead the annual Festival Choral Workshop at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church this weekend.

Photo courtesy Sally Neel
Peter Schindler, from Dallas, will lead the annual Festival Choral Workshop at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church this weekend.

St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church will hold a choral festival workshop beginning this evening with a solo master class at 7 p.m., led by choral clinician Peter Schindler, of Dallas.

Singers are invited to participate in the weekend workshop that will be both instructive and a musical treat. The choral music will center around Haydn’s “Missa Brevis Joannis de Deo” and will be presented by the festival choir on Sunday evening at 7 p.m. in the form of a choral evensong service at St. Patrick’s. The public is invited to attend this free choral service.

Schindler will lead the choir in vocal exercises throughout the course of the weekend to help strengthen vocal skills and proper breathing techniques. Beyond that, singers will experience the choral music of Haydn in its true spiritual essence, as Schindler helps to bring the soul of the music to life.

Singers do not need to be professional-quality musicians to participate in this workshop. Indeed, it is intended to help amateur singers stretch their skills through singing music that is both beautiful and challenging.

“This is the fifth year we have offered this festival workshop,” says Fr. Doug Neel, rector of St. Patrick’s, “and it is really amazing how much our choir has improved and grown as a result of the work they have done with Peter. We are very fortunate to have someone with Peter’s credentials and talent to come and work with our singers. I feel confident that anyone who attends will go away from it feeling he or she has learned a great deal about how to use their voice and will feel inspired to sing with more confidence.”

The choir will present Haydn’s “Missa Brevis” (or short choral mass setting) on Sunday evening in a service of choral evensong. Evensong is a beautiful Anglican liturgy designed to offer scripture readings along with sung anthems and prayers. The public is invited to attend this service celebrating the conclusion of the festival choral workshop.

The festival events begin on Thursday evening, Aug. 21, at 7 p.m. with a master class in the church. The event is free to those attending the festival and $10 per singer for those who wish to sing a solo and receive an evaluation and lesson within a class setting. Soloists who wish to sing for Schindler are asked to submit their selection to Sally Neel in advance. This can be done via email ( or by calling the church at 731-5801. Singers may sing one solo each.

The remainder of the schedule is as follows:

Friday, Aug. 22: 9-11:30 a.m. Sessions on proper breathing, vocal techniques and warm-ups, spiritual preparation for singing and other related topics.

3:30-5 p.m. and 6-7:30 p.m. (with break from 5-6 p.m. for dinner). Work on music for the concert Sunday evening.

Saturday, Aug. 23: 8:30-11 a.m. Morning rehearsal.

Lunch, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Rehearsal, 1-4 p.m.

Sunday, Aug. 24: 2-4 p.m. Rehearsal.

Festival Concert, 7 p.m. in the church (6 p.m. warm up).

The cost for the festival is $50 per participant ($75 for couples), payable to St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church (note: Choral Festival) by Aug. 21. Scholarships are available upon request. No singer will be turned away due to inability to pay. To register, contact Sally Neel at, or call 946-6458. St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church is located at 225 S. Pagosa Blvd.

This story was posted on August 21, 2014.