The first event of Samford's new Choral Vespers Series filled Hodges Chapel Friday, Sept. 30, as the university celebrated its annual Family Weekend. The A Cappella Choir entered slowly from the rear of the chapel as they performed Ford and McGregor's 'Phos hilaron,' setting the tone for a musically rich sacred event modeled on the Evening Prayer of the Presbyterian Church of the U.S.A.'s Book of Common Worship
Inspired by the ancient practice of monastic prayer, the new Samford Choral Vespers Series is an opportunity to experience exceptional choral music through contemplative worship. In practice Friday night this meant the choir performances alternated with hymns, Bible lessons, a meditation and other elements that distinguished the event as corporate worship rather than a concert.
School of the Arts professor Eric Mathis and Hodges Chapel Curator Vickie Gaston led the spoken worship. School of the Arts professor Philip Copeland led the choir.
Other services in fall and spring will feature University Chorale, music faculty and the Samford Baroque Ensemble. The Vespers services will alternate between the university's Hodges Chapel and Reid Chapel.
All of the Choral Vespers Series events are free-of-charge and open to the public.
Friday, Oct. 21 A Cappella Choir and Faculty Reid Chapel, 5:30 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 28 (Homecoming Vespers) A Cappella Choir and University Chorale Reid Chapel, 5:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 1 Samford Baroque Ensemble Hodges Chapel, 7 p.m. Ein feste Burg, BWV 80
Friday, Feb. 24 A Cappella Choir Hodges Chapel, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, March 30 A Cappella Choir Hodges Chapel, 5:30 p.m.
Tuesday, April 17 University Chorale Hodges Chapel, 7:30 p.m.