May 7, 2010

The Trio of Tributes

We’ve been in a celebratory mood lately, alive with excitement and preparation for events commemorating our esteemed music director’s 25th anniversary with the Cathedral Choral Society. J. Reilly Lewis has become a mainstay on the DC choral scene and provided invaluable artistic insight and leadership to all involved with this organization. 

Reilly began his career at age 8 as a member of the Junior Boy Choir at Washington National Cathedral. We can’t think if a more fitting place to celebrate his career and contributions than right here where it all began. Next weekend will mark what we like to call The Trio of Tributes. Our annual gala will kick off the celebration right here at Washington National Cathedral under a tent on the North Lawn. This is sure to be a tasty event, catered by Ridgewells of Bethesda! Our last subscription concert entitled Reilly and Friends is a celebration featuring many beloved choral works and exciting collaborations with many of Washington’s finest performing artists on Sunday, May 16th followed by a post-concert champagne reception under the tent. 

When a career spans over 25 years, friends are bound to be made. The Reilly and Friends program will feature works from friends Reilly has acquired over the years including Wayne Dirksen, Bob Shafer and Dominick Argento. Reilly was and continues to be inspired by these pillars of choral music: 

“Wayne Dirksen was my choirmaster, organ teacher, mentor, and then esteemed colleague. It was he who opened up for me the mysteries of music in this magnificent sacred space.” -J. Reilly Lewis on Wayne Dirksen 

“Shortly after I returned from New York City, I heard a performance on my car radio that was so engaging, so captivating, and so exquisite - That performance said it all. It inspired me to drive straight to the school to introduce myself to this remarkable young conductor. Thus began our lifelong friendship.” -J. Reilly Lewis on Bob Shafer 

“No words of mine can express the love and gratitude I feel for Dominick’s generosity of spirit in setting this incredibly moving text to music. One of the joys of being music director of this venerable organization has always been the opportunity to nurture the talents of others.” J. Reilly Lewis on Dominick Argento 

We hope you will join us next weekend in celebration of 25 years with Music Director, J. Reilly Lewis, and offer a toast to 25 more. 

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