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The forty-five-member Saint Mark’s Cathedral Choir is an all-volunteer, auditioned choir with ages presently ranging from 19 to 70. The choir sings Sunday morning services from September through June, special services and concerts throughout the year, and monthly choral masses ranging from Palestrina and Byrd to the Congolese Missa Luba. Canon J. Melvin Butler was appointed Saint Mark’s organist/choirmaster in 1992, continuing the music tradition established by canon precentor emeritus Peter R. Hallock.

J. Melvin Butler is currently the cathedral’s primary organist and choir director and is responsible for overseeing the entire cathedral music program. He is also an artist-in-residence at the University of Washington where he teaches organ improvisation and church music skills. As organist, he has played concerts throughout the United States, as well as in the United Kingdom and Japan.

Music associate Brian Fairbanks directs Saint Mark’s Choir School, including two youth choirs, a women’s choir, and a chamber choir. He has served as conductor of Amabile Choir/Northwest Girlchoir and the Everett and Seattle junior symphonies. A professional flutist, Mr. Fairbanks also enjoys being music director for high school musicals and teaching and conducting at Bella Musica’s Woodwind Camp.

Assistant organist Thomas Joyce is director of the Boys and Girls Choir at Saint Mark’s and is organist for many of the cathedral’s liturgies. A native of Cambridge, England, Joyce has served as assistant organist at Trinity Church-on-the-Green, New Haven, and at St. Paul’s, K Street and St. Albans School in Washington, D.C. He is presently completing his doctoral degree in organ at the University of Washington.

Roger W Sherman has been the associate organist of the cathedral since 1986. Mr. Sherman is president of Loft/Gothic Recordings and past executive director of the Westfield Center for Historic Keyboard Music. He is an accomplished organist who plays recitals regularly throughout the country and at Saint Mark’s.
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Advent Procession 'O' Antiphons - St Marks Cathedral Choirs - Peter Hallock - J. Melvin Butler How Bright appears the Morning Star - St. Mark's Cathedral - J. Melvin Butler
The famous Advent Sunday service at St Mark's Cathedral consists of seven lessons and carols done in procession. Each is lesson/carol set is based on one of the "O" Antiphons," seven ancient Advent verses that each begin with the word "O". These antiphons later became the basis of the hymn "O Come, O Come Emmanuel". The chorale “Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern” (“How brightly shines the Morning Star”) is presented on this CD in a wide variety of musical styles, along with other hymns, anthems and voluntaries for the season of Epiphany. J. Melvin Butler directs the cathedral choir in this program of familiar–and unusual–works.
   
 
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