Almost all of the music at this service was chosen specifically by Sebron (who, incidentally, would have turned 80 years old today). The one exception is the final hymn “On this day earth shall ring”, which was requested by Belle Miller because it was so special to the many Christmases that they spent at Trinity.
The few selections posted here are offered not only in appreciation of his talent as a musician, but as a tribute to his ministry as a church musician and worship leader. Church music for him was not an end to itself, but a means to worship and devotion.
I am grateful for musical legacy that he leaves to this church and to this city, and I am privileged to have called him a friend.
Kaye Sloan, soprano.
Kaye was Sebron’s immediate successor at Trinity, serving as Director of Music from 1991-2008.
This is a portion of the so-called “Funeral Anthems” from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer. It is from a group of pieces that Purcell wrote for the funeral of Queen Mary in 1694, many of which were also sung at Purcell’s own funeral the following year. It was sung on this day as it was on those occasions, while the casket was borne into the church.
Lisa Jennings, soprano; Tim Koch, baritone.
Tim Koch’s mother was a classmate of Sebron’s at Union Seminary in the 1950’s.
“Christmas carol” has come to be a general term referring to any type of Christmas song. But “On this day” is an true, honest-to-goodness, by-the-book Christmas carol. What makes it so? First of all, it is old. It was published in a 1582 collection called Piae Cantiones (“Sweet Songs”), but it is much older than that; the purpose of Piae Cantiones was to write down Latin songs and carols that had been sung since Medieval times. Second, it has a strong narrative element. The point of singing carols in a world that was mostly illiterate was to teach, remember, and pass on stories about the faith. Third (and this is the clincher), it has a refrain. And this carol has a particularly vigorous and memorable refain: Ideo gloria in excelsis Deo, “Therefore, glory to God in the highest.”
James Canty and John Crowley, trumpets;
Steve Skillman, horn;
Marlon MacDonald, trombone;
Charles Jennings, tuba;
Steve Kirkman, timpani