Musica Sacra Cantorum Performs Sir John Stainer’s Oratorio, The Crucifixion, in Sarasota and Bradenton

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Musica Sacra Cantorum Performs Sir John Stainer’s Oratorio, The Crucifixion, in Sarasota and Bradenton


[Sarasota, FL: January 28, 2015] Sarasota-Manatee’s only choral ensemble dedicated solely to the performance of sacred and spiritual music is presenting two performances of the great Victorian oratorio, The Crucifixion (1887) by Sir John Stainer, 6:00PM, Sunday, February 22 at St. Boniface Episcopal Church (5615 Midnight Pass Road, Sarasota) and 7:00 PM, Monday, February 23 at Trinity United Methodist Church (3200 Manatee Avenue West, Bradenton).  Tickets are on sale now, $20 per person, online at or by calling Musica Sacra Cantorum at 941.405.7322 for more information. They can also be reached at [email protected]


Sir John Stainer’s legacy has been largely kept alive through the oratorio, The Crucifixion, of which “God So Loved the World” is its centerpieceSubtitled “A Meditation on the Sacred Passion of the Holy Redeemer,” Stainer’s masterpiece was performed often and enthusiastically during the latter part of the 19th and early decades of the 20th century. It was so popular that during its time, it was compared to Handel’s more durably popular “Messiah.”    The Crucifixion’s dramatic, meditative, and passionate choruses have made it one of the most frequently performed works in Britain during the season of Lent.


Stainer composed his work with audience participation in mind, and included several hymns for the audience to sing.  This makes it unique in the realm of grand oratorios, and in fact, an immersive and participatory experience.


Vocal Soloists

           Richard Byrum, Tenor, is a native of Indiana, and earned his BS and MA from Ball State University in Muncie.  While in college he sang in musical productions including the lead in Offenbach’s The Lantern Marriage, which was performed on television for the University.  He has taken a master voice class from Eileen Farrell, and sung under Igor Stravinsky’s personal direction of Oedipus  Rex at Ball State.  Richard was for many years the tenor section leader of Key Chorale and is currently a professional member of Schola Cantorum Siesta at St. Boniface Episcopal Church.

           Daniel Cartlidge, Bass-Baritone, is in demand as a soloist in musical genres spanning medieval to modern. He has been a soloist for many regional organizations including the Sarasota Orchestra, Anna Maria Island Community Orchestra, Key Chorale, and the Southwest Florida Symphony.

His oratorio resume is extensive and includes the Requiems of Fauré, Duruflé, Mozart, and Brahms. He has also performed Carmina Burana, Elijah, and recently performed the groundbreaking “Voices of Light”, by Richard Einhorn.

Mr. Cartlidge is cantorial soloist with Temple Emanu-El, and serves as soloist, contemporary music director, and assistant organist at Church of the Redeemer, Sarasota.



           Dr. Neil A. Page is Director of Music at Saint Boniface, and is a highly experienced English Choral Director and Organist who trained at the Royal College of Music, London and with the sub-organist of Westminster Abbey. Neil has been an Organist and Choirmaster since aged thirteen. Before coming to the USA he was Director of Music at The Collegiate Church of the Holy Cross and the Mother of Him Who Hung Thereon, in Crediton, UK (The dedication is in the Guinness book of records as the longest church dedication). Neil founded Schola Cantorum at Saint Boniface in November 2009. He is presently Dean of the Sarasota-Manatee Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.


About Musica Sacra Cantorum
Musica Sacra Cantorum is dedicated exclusively to the performance and promotion of sacred choral music. It is the only ensemble of its kind in Southwest Florida, as it is not affiliated with any religious institution, denomination, or philosophy.  Sacred texts have been the basis of the greatest choral works ever written, by the foremost composers in history.  These include Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Bloch, Durufle, Elgar, Faure, Handel, Haydn, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Verdi, Vaughn Williams, even Puccini! Each has left a legacy of great choral music inspired by sacred texts.


Artistic Director,  Dr. Robert Parrish
Dr. Parrish enjoyed a thirty-one year career at The College of New Jersey, where for twenty-one of those years Dr. Parrish was Artistic Director of its Opera Theatre and was awarded the title Professor Emeritus of Music upon his retirement . During this time he was also affiliated with Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Trenton, New Jersey where it was his great fortune to work with Albert Ludecke, cathedral organist and choirmaster, and to serve as conductor for festival services and concerts.


Outside of the academic community, Dr. Parrish has had an active conducting career in regional opera houses and concert halls.  He continues his active conducting schedule to this day.

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