Music at Church of the Advent

Music at Church of the Advent
Click Image to Enlarge

Next Third Sunday Series Concert

Sunday, November 19 at 4pm
Continuum a cappella
Directed by Jonathon Hampton
Harmony in Times of Conflict
Continuum is the professional, high school alumni ensemble of Oakland’s GRAMMY-winning Pacific Boychoir sings Harmony in Times of Conflict
Choral music on peace & love, from throughout the ages & around the world
Renaissance to contemporary pop—hymns, glees, folks songs, spirituals, chanties & more.
Suggested donation: $20
A Festive Reception will follow in Lathrop Hall
October 19, 2017 - Oakland, CA - The GRAMMY-winning Pacific Boychoir of Oakland is sending its professional, high school alumni  a cappella group, Continuum, across the bay to serenade San Francisco audiences, November 19th at 4pm at Church of the Advent (261 Fell Street, San Francisco) in a free concert as part of the Third Sunday Concert Series (suggested donation $20). They’ll sing choral music on the theme of peace and love, from throughout the ages and around the world; Renaissance to contemporary pop--hymns, glees, folks songs, spirituals, chanties & more. Music as old as the 16th century, sacred songs of Josquin de Prez to the Romantic-era stylings of Franz Schubert, on to contemporary, secular artists Bobby McFerrin and Ben E. King.
On the cusp of the release of the third Pitch Perfect movie, a cappella groups are perhaps more popular than they’ve ever been. From the times of Medieval troubadours and minstrels, traveling singers of romantic and heroic music, to 19th century collegiate glee clubs, purveyors of university fight songs and wooers of co-eds, to contemporary shows such as The Voice, Carpool Karaoke, and Sing it On. Deke Sharon, a cappella mega-producer, dubbed the father of contemporary a cappella by Entertainment Weekly, is a favorite arranger of the group, and perhaps better known as the father of one of their classmates. Known for his work on NBC’s “The Sing Off,” Lifetimes “Pitch Slapped,” and BBCs “Pitch Battle,” he’s also been a choir dad, volunteering to provide choir snacks, dinners, and carpools, but also incredibly intricate arrangements of his extensive collection of songs, some of which Continuum perform regularly as part of several annual performances, and some of which will be released later this winter as part of a collection of hits already available online and on CD.
Five of the seven singers in this season’s Continuum ensemble graduated from the Oakland-based choir school, North America’s only boychoir school outside of East Coast, and all have been part of the choir, either as day school or afterschool choristers, from four to ten years. They’ve grown up singing Deke’s music, making their familiarity with a cappella singing practically second nature. This season, Continuum is working on his arrangements of pop favorites, “Iridescent” (originally performed by Linkin Park) and “God Only Knows” (originally by The Beach Boys). Following the release of Continuum’s last recording, A Swingin’ Sleigh Ride, arranged by Deke Sharon, he commented on their Facebook page, “Crushed it! Well done, gentlemen”. That’s the type of response the group aims for with every performance, and they anticipate a similar reception at their upcoming concert which includes a variety of repertoire.
In heated political times, their director, Jonathon Hampton, has programmed a concert of music calling for love and peace, in an entirely unaccompanied concert titled, Harmony in Times of Conflict. “Our hometown of Oakland, and our neighbors in the San Francisco bay area are very vocal, socially and musically,” says Hampton, “so we’re combining two passions for a concert where we literally try to practice what we preach as artists. Sometimes it’s in the calm tones of medieval chant, sung in Latin, and sometimes in the powerful storylines of folk music, like the American spiritual, Take My Mother Home.”
Additionally, Continuum will perform classical music by Renaissance composer, Robert White, and lush harmonies from familiar hymns like O Gladsome Light, which draws on a tunes that dates back to 3rd century Greece. From the secular realm, they’re fine-tuning the Crosby, Stills, and Nash hit, Helplessly Hoping, the British sailor’s tune, Lowlands, and the Australian soldier’s lament, And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda, among much more. It promises to be a heartfelt performance by young men who are expert interpreters of some of today’s biggest pop jams, as well as veterans of the classical choral canon.
Schola Adventus Events

An Advent Liturgy: a Candlelight Procession with Lessons and Carols for Advent

Sunday, December 3 at 6pm (Prelude from 5:40pm)

Schola Adventus, directed by Dr Paul Ellison

George Anton Emblom, organ   


Opportunities to Fund Music at Advent

The Music Program at Advent is partially funded by our “Music Endowment Fund” established through a generous bequest from longtime parishioner Tyll Goodrich a few years ago.  This enables us to continue to provide appropriate music to support our Anglo-Catholic heritage Sunday by Sunday.  However, our budget only funds Schola Adventus for three Sundays each month. Many midweek masses are also in need of sponsorship, as they were last year. During the course of this year, we continue to seek donations to defray the cost of music for these masses. It is extremely gratifying that donors are continuing to come forward to cover the cost of Schola Adventus on Sundays where they have been scheduled to be off. The cost of these Sundays is $320, and the cost of a midweek mass $400. Please be in touch if you are able to assist. Please watch The OrbThe Scepter and this music page or information about how to support these special liturgies.

The Third Sunday Series is now completely self-funding, with artists paying a small fee to the church for use of the facilities and taking the donations made at the door. We continue to be excited about all the people we bring into our sacred and special space through this series and are pleased that it no longer needs support from the budget.

Despite our financial challenges, I continue to be really excited about our music ministry here and very committed to the success of our program in supporting our Anglo-Catholic heritage. Advent is a very special place, with a music program that is unique in the Bay Area and it is my intention and hope that it will continue to go from strength to strength in the years to come.

Dr Paul Ellison

Director of Music

Music at Advent

Music is an integral part of worship at the Church of the Advent of Christ the King. For almost five hundred years, Anglican Church music has sought to proclaim the Christian faith. This rich and deeply spiritual musical heritage enhances the beauty and solemnity of our services. Added to our Anglican heritage is music from the Catholic tradition which preceded it. Church music is an art form that is designed to fulfill specific functions in the liturgy, and can be considered to be a form of prayer. The music at the Church of the Advent speaks to our intellect, our emotions, and to parts of our soul beyond the reach of the conscious mind. It is a window to the Divine Presence. The service music at our eleven o'clock High Mass on Sundays usually includes an organ prelude and postlude, propers for the specific day sung to the traditional Gregorian chants in Latin, a psalm sung to Anglican chant, an anthem at the offertory, and a motet at communion music. These regular parts of the service are often augmented by special music on solemn feast days and other variations in the music reflect changes in the services as we move through the liturgical Kalendar. Schola Adventus sings the propers of the mass, an anthem at the Offertory and a motet at Communion. The congregation and choir sing hymns from the Hymnal 1982, and the ordinary of the mass to settings which change with the liturgical seasons. The hymns and organ music reflect the highest standards of liturgical art. The choir sing from the west-end gallery of the church and this position allows a remarkable musical presence in the pew while not distracting the liturgy. At High Mass on Sunday mornings and mid-week Masses for Feast Days, we offer to God the best we can.

Schola Adventus

Schola Adventus is the professional choir at Church of the Advent of Christ the King. They have quickly established a reputation as one of the Bay Area’s premier a cappella choral ensembles, specializing in Gregorian chant and Renaissance polyphony through to premiers of commissioned works by composers of today. The choir's extensive repertoire includes Gregorian chant as well as the works of composers from all eras of the Western Church. These include Josquin, Tallis, Palestrina, Lassus, Victoria, Byrd, Victoria, Mozart, Rheinberger, Stanford, Howells, Poulenc, Messiaen and Pärt. They have given world premieres of works by Thomas Bold, David Conte (commissioned for Paul Ellison's 15th anniversary at the church), Paul M. Ellison, Joshua Fishbein, Joel Morris and Vasken Ohanian, and several US premiers of music ranging from Renaissance polyphony to twentieth century pieces. Church of the Advent of Christ the King is one of the few places in the greater Bay Area where music of this quality can regularly be heard as an integral part of the traditional western liturgy for which it was composed. This is “Music in the Context for which it was Written.” The choir toured southern England in December 2005. They sang Choral Evensong at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford and performed a concert as part of the prestigious Hazard Chase Christmas Festival at St. John's, Smith Square. In 2006, they released their first CD, Palestrina for Eight Voices, which features the only recording of his great Missa Confitebor Tibi Domine. They have also sung at Grace Cathedral several times over the years.

A Prayer for Church Musicians and Artists

O God, whom saints and angels delight to worship in heaven; Be ever present with your servants who seek through art and music to perfect the praises offered by your people on earth; and grant them even now glimpses of your beauty, and make them worthy at length to behold it unveiled for evermore; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.



Photo Title
Dr Paul Ellison
Director of Music
Read More
Photo Title
Jennifer Ashworth

Read More
Jonathon Hampton new
Jonathon Hampton

Read More
Photo Title
Lauren Carley

Read More
Photo Title
David Alban

Read More
Photo Title
James Monios

Read More