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June 2022 Newsletter

A Summer of Sound!

Hello, Friends.
As graduation baccalaureates and commencements draw to a close for the season, we can turn our attention to two upcoming summer events at the Cathedral of Saint Paul: the University of Minnesota summer alumni band concert and the Latvian Song and Dance Festival. Both events will be unique opportunities to hear beautiful music!
Also, be sure to read to the bottom of the newsletter for opportunities to participate in voice recordings for our new edition of the Cathedral Saint Paul Virtual Tour Series.

The U of M Alumni Summer Band

The University of Minnesota Band Alumni Society(UMBAS) comes together every summer to practice and put on shows throughout the Twin Cities metro area. The Cathedral will host the band’s final summer show at 7 p.m. onThursday, August 4th, 2022. Made up of 125 alumni from the U of M and other local universities, their musical repertoire ranges from the Go Gopher Victory march to the Jurassic Park soundtrack. Check out their Facebook page for more information on events and how to support the U of M Alumni Band.

Latvian Choir Concert

A once-in-a-lifetime concert experience comes to Minnesota this month! The Latvian Song and Dance Festival occurs every five years and gathers people from all over the world to enjoy the rich culture of Latvian arts. Although typically hosted in the capital city Riga, this summer’s festival travels abroad to perform here in Saint Paul. The Cathedral has been fortunate to be chosen as the first venue in an extravagant string of performances throughout the Twin Cities. A special combination of local and international choristers will perform this Welcome Concert at the Cathedral, at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, June 29, 2022. 
The concert will feature music by the world-renowned choral music composer Ēriks Ešenvald. The choral groups performing will be a unique combination of Anima from Latvia and Mangun Chorum from the Twin Cities. Paired beautifully with the acoustics of the Cathedral, Ešenvald plans to premiere his new musical masterpieces at this concert. See the video to the right for a glimpse of what to expect.

Featured in the Cathedral: Ernest M. Skinner Sanctuary Organ

Musical artistry at the Cathedral begins with the two magnificent pipe organs.
The Ernest M. Skinner sanctuary organ lays claim to the title, “oldest.” Located behind the main altar and behind an ornamental screen, the sanctuary organ creates a powerful sound that fills the enormous interior on its own, or it can also be played in concert with the gallery organ (located above the main church in the choir gallery) from either console.
Unique to organs, this “king of instruments” requires the musician to employ their heels, toes, and hands to create sound. With more than 2,000 pipes in the sanctuary organ, this massive installation proved to be a monumental addition to the Cathedral in 1927. The parish added the second organ which sits up high in the gallery, in 1963. Watch this video of a KSTP TV reporter learning how to play the gallery organ before it underwent the expansion finished in 2013.

Gallery organ (picture here):64 ranks, 3832 pipes.
Sanctuary organ:30 ranks, 2041 pipes.
Grand total:94 ranks, 5873 pipes!
The summer’s extreme heat and humidity can damage the organ wood and leather, creating new challenges for the sound production in the Cathedral. Please consider donating here to help keep our organs in top shape!

We need your help!

We are currently in the process of creating a new virtual guided tour and are in need of expressive reading voices to help record the narration.
Currently seeking native speakers in the following languages: Chinese, Japanese, Ukrainian, and Italian.
There will be 27 chapters to record – ranging between 60 and 90 seconds each. Financial compensation will be provided. Reach out to Carolyn Will at [email protected] or 612-414-9661 if you would like to assist with this project.