The Cathedral Music Program is an ecumenical effort between a number of non-profit, faith-based and music-based organizations that strive to strengthen ties between people of different faith traditions. Established in 2021 as a sister organization to the globally renowned Choral Society, the Cathedral Music Program organizes events and programs that unite worship leaders from various traditions and cultures. The mission of the Cathedral Music Program is to offer an enriched worship experience to the church and enrich the lives of its musicians and ecumenical communities by the performing of traditional sacred music in an appropriate venue. With the help of volunteers, the Program organizes concerts, workshops, concerts, recitals and other events in a wide range of venues such as auditoriums, multipurpose rooms, schools, and churches.
The Cathedral Music Program is organized by the St. John Cathedral in San Diego. A year later, in 2021, it was named “The Month of cathedral services and concerts in honor of St. John the Baptist”. This prestigious title was created in recognition of the fact that the St. John Cathedral and its choir consistently bring outstanding instrumental performances to its worship audience. These outstanding performances have made the cathedral a well-known destination for musical event visitors, giving rise to a large choir and instrumentalists who regularly come to the cathedral.
Organically linked to the mission of St. John the Baptist Church, cathedral music and its related choirs and churches have long had a profound influence on the lives of people from all denominations. Since the early days of Christianity, cathedral services and worship have played a significant role not only on the lives of individual Christians, but on the beliefs and customs of countless numbers of followers worldwide. This fact alone makes the cathedral a unique cultural gem. The cathedrals of the world constantly showcase the music and prayers of their communities, while spreading the message of love and commitment to one another.
Many churches and cathedral choirs throughout the world have been preserving and play St. John’s Day concerts for decades. The concerts themselves are part of a long tradition of cathedral music and its dedication to spreading the good news of the Gospel through the power of music. Many people attend cathedral services every Sunday as part of their community service, spreading the message of love and unity within their own small communities as well as among larger communities around the globe. As a result of this long standing tradition, St. John’s Day concerts are not always played at the most prominent places in the various cities across the globe. The cathedral choirs and churches are often able to give concerts in more remote areas of the world and still bring in an audience filled with people eager to celebrate the day.
Over the past few years, cathedral choirs and church administrators around the world have been working hard to preserve the rich tradition of cathedral music. They have worked with the Cathedral music committee to ensure that St. John’s Day concerts are offered as a special day of musical entertainment for churchgoers all over the world. This year marks the 50th anniversary of St. John’s Day, and cathedral administrators worked hard to find ways to celebrate the day in unique and memorable ways. Many have worked to personalize the event, making it more meaningful for churchgoers. While the traditional cathedrals will play popular music such as “God Save the Wolf,” other cathedral choirs and church administrators have chosen to offer a diverse selection of spiritual and sacred music. A few have even chosen to play St. John’s Day classics like “Goodbye My Love” or “Hark the Herald Angels Sing.”
Through the efforts of cathedral choirs and organizers, St. John’s Day concerts are no longer strictly held indoors at the cathedrals. Choirs have also worked hard to ensure that contemporary and pop songs will be sung during the entire ceremony. In fact, some have even dedicated portions of the service to contemporary artists and singers, like the cathedral choir from Dorset, who chose to sing selections from the song “Hark the Herald Angels Sing.”
Throughout the years, cathedral choirs have also worked to compile powerful and moving collections of sacred choral music. These timeless masterpieces have helped shape and define the music tradition known as “choral lighting”. In the liturgy, cathedral choirs have the opportunity to choose from a wide selection of popular and sacred music. In fact, the music they choose is often more important than what is being played. It’s not uncommon for congregations to have an extensive collection of popular songs, which they regularly sing during services.
Cathedral choirs have also worked hard to provide quality music programs to their communities. They work to make sure that the vast collections of music available to them is made available to the local parishioners in whatever format they need it. They make this happen by working with local radio stations. The programs they produce are used in worship services and they can even be distributed to households on home radios. Cathedral musicians have also contributed to programming programs and services through the Archdiocesan Dioceses. Through these efforts and others, the cathedral community has been able to build a rich, diverse, and musical heritage.