The Hitchock 9

News & Notes: Dear Congress, Support sacred music and stop the shutdown!

Can Byzantine chant save the Republic? How literary can Portland get? How musical? Etc.

October 4, 2013—Maybe we have our first direct Portland casualty of the US government shutdown (don’t get my mother started on this topic!). And by casualty I just mean “spot of bother,” not actual injuries or death. It involves our splendid Byzantine chant choir, Cappella Romana, and of course it involves a trip to Washington, D.C.

Archangel Michael, First half 14th century tempera on wood, gold leaf/Byzantine and Christian Museum, Athens

Archangel Michael, First half 14th century
tempera on wood, gold leaf/Byzantine and Christian Museum, Athens

Before the shutdown, the National Gallery of Art was to have opened the exhibit “Heaven and Earth: Art of Byzantium from Greek Collections” on October 6 continuing through March 2, 2014. And the gallery had enlisted Cappella Romana to provide an aural supplement on October 27. (The National Gallery has an extensive music program.) CR administrative jefe Mark Powell says that in his last communication with the gallery, he was told 1) they couldn’t communicate with him any more about the concert because they’d been furloughed, and 2) they couldn’t make a final determination about the concert until October 23.

The CR tour was also to have included a stop in Richmond, VA, but Powell says it’s unlikely the choir members can stay that flexible on scheduling, and the tour is likely off, barring a sudden change of heart by the House of Representatives. (Hey guys, you could USE a little sacred music in those precincts!)

The show moves on to the J. Paul Getty Museum, April 9 through August 25, 2014, and Cappella Romana will meet up with it there at the Getty Villa. Presumably, that gig is safe from the shutdown.

Continues…