Composer-in-Association to Belfast Cathedral Children’s Choir has piece performed at President Biden’s National Prayer Service in Washington Cathedral
Gary Davison, Composer-in-Association to Belfast Cathedral Children’s Choir, was chosen to have one if his works which took place at the National Prayer Service for the 59th Presidential Inaugural, held online at Washington National Cathedral on Thursday 21st January, 2021.
Present for the online service and watching in the White House, was the 46th President of the United States, Joe Biden, and Vice President Kamala Harris accompanied by their families. The service was also viewed by millions from the USA and around the world. Gary Davison’s piece, Most glorious Lord of Life, was performed by the choir at Washington National Cathedral.
The whole service can be viewed at https://cathedral.org/event/national-prayer-service/. The Anthem is at 35'40" into the service, and also shows the newly inaugurated President, Vice President and their families watching intently.
Gary Davison is a native of Texas and his choral works appear regularly on cathedral and parish choir music lists both in the USA and the UK. He was appointed Composer-in-Association to Belfast Cathedral Children’s Choir following his visit to Belfast Cathedral on Sunday 9th February, 2020.
Composer Davison commented that “It’s a great delight to be Composer-in-Association for the Belfast Cathedral Children’s Choir. I see very bright days ahead for the cathedral’s music programme, and I'm thrilled to be a part of that blossoming future. I look forward to joining the choir on occasion in person, and always through our sacred musical offerings. I wish the choristers all the very best, and I pray for God’s abundant blessings on them along the way. I am also honoured that my music will be performed for the new President and Vice President in Washington National Cathedral.”
As part of his appointment Davison is due to compose a number of pieces for performance by Belfast Cathedral Children’s Choir. He was appointed as Composer-in-Association just before the first national lockdown. Since then the children have only been able to meet in person for one cathedral rehearsal but have kept in touch through online rehearsals and social gatherings.
Director of Music Matthew Owens said “I am delighted that Gary accepted my invitation last year – it’s an exciting development for our newly-formed Children’s Choir and will be terrific experience for the young choristers to work with a real live composer. Gary is so experienced in writing for voices and I know that the cathedral choristers will enjoy singing his music. It’s also tremendously exciting that Gary’s music is being performed for President Biden and Vice President Harris; they clearly have very good taste! Most importantly, I am looking forward to Belfast Cathedral Children’s Choir being able to rehearse and sing again in our glorious cathedral, with Gary’s music being an important part of the choir’s journey.”
Dean Stephen Forde added “Gary Davison’s position as Composer-in-Association with Belfast Cathedral Children’s choir gives us an exciting trans-Atlantic link. The inclusion of Gary’s composition Most Glorious Lord of Life connects Belfast Cathedral to a momentous occasion in the life of the United States, as President Biden marks the start his presidency with the National Prayer Service held today in Washington National Cathedral. We hope that it will not be many more months before the current pandemic recedes through co-operation between both our countries, and Gary may be able to travel to Belfast once again”