Tag Archives: Hyosang Park

Listening to the Liturgical Year

woodwinds brass and Hyosang and part choir
Hyosang Park directs the combined choirs and a chamber ensemble at PrincetonUMC

In a NYT article, Choral Music is Slow Food for the Soul, composer Nico Muhly has wise observations about how “the choral tradition operated in a series of interlocking cycles based on the liturgical year, with the music and the musicians playing a role in a larger drama.” Rather than expecting applause, church choir singing is  “meant for worship…to be heard in a state of quiet meditation.. to guide the mind out of the building into unseen heights and depths.”

Muhly’s essay is meant to be a paean to Andrew Gant’s book O Sing Unto the Lord: A History of English Church MusicFor me, it’s an affirmation of how — week after week, sitting in a church pew, listening to the Princeton United Methodist Church’s Chancel Choir — opens up my spiritual horizons. I am also inspired by the special music offered during Holy Week.  This year Hyosang Park directs Anton Bruckner’s Requiem on Good Friday, April 14, at 7:30 p.m.,

As Muhly points out, live concerts of liturgical music follow the calendar.  He finds himself “looking forward to a work’s annual visits as I would the arrival of a long-distant friend.”

Other notable choral concerts of the season — the Brahms Requiem by the Voices chorale on April 8, the Princeton Theological Seminary Choir on April 22, the Bulgarian State Women’s Choir on April 17.

Choristers — and attentive listeners — will agree with Muhly, that the liturgical tradition of choral music brings  “sharp pangs of nostalgia, followed by a sense of gratitude that this tradition has been such an important part of my musical world.”

FYI: At Princeton United Methodist Church, the Chancel Choir, directed by Hyosang Park, sings at the 11 a.m. worship service. Tom Shelton directs the Youth Choir (at 9:30 a.m. on first Sundays) and the Children’s Choir (at 9:30 a.m. on second Sundays). The Handbell Choir, directed by Park, plays at both services on third Sundays, and a contemporary ensemble plays at both times on fourth Sundays. Everyone’s welcome to — just listen. 

Solo Handbells — A Musician’s Dance

2014 Duo Grazioso 2(1)
Fewer than a dozen solo handbell artists using four octave handbells concertize in the Eastern United States. To watch a soloist is to watch a musician dance.

This rare kind of concert will be held on Sunday, June 7, at 4 p.m., at Princeton United Methodist Church, located at Nassau and Vandeventer (609-924-2613). PUMC’s music director, Hyosang Park performs. Hyosang (left) and pianist Akiko Hosaki comprise Duo Grazioso, and they attract wide renown.

Hyosang directs the PUMC handbell choir, which plays for worship on second Sundays. Four ringers from that choir == Anna Gillette, Alex Farkas, Robert Scheffler, and Bill Gardner — will contribute to the June 7th program.

So come and bring your friends and those who love handbells! This concert is free, and the freewill offering will benefit the Ministry Fund.