On April 23, 2022, St. Mary’s Lutheran Cathedral of St. Petersburg hosted a music festival which gathered congregational choirs from the St. Petersburg and West Ingrian Deaneries of the ELCIR, located in the St. Petersburg urban area and Leningrad Oblast.
Opening the event, Bishop Emeritus Arri Kugappi offered a homily about spiritual vigilance. St. Mary’s senior pastor Rev. Mikhail Ivanov compèred the whole program. St. Mary’s organist Anna Kalinina provided a superb accompaniment for the singing.
The festival’s program featured the following choirs:
- Charitas and St. Mary Band from St. Mary’s Lutheran Cathedral, St. Petersburg
- Pushkin Lutheran Church Choir with 13th–18th c. works
- Laudate Dominum Ensemble
- St. John’s Lutheran Church (Jaani kirik) Choir with Taizé Community songs
- Haapakangas Lutheran Church Choir from Yukki with The Prayer for Peace
- Gatchina Lutheran Church Choir and instrumentalist duo (grand piano & violin)
- Toksovo Lutheran Church Choir with Easter hymns in settings by Franz Liszt and 20th c. Lutheran composer Hugo Distler
- Koltushi Lutheran Church Choir with a compilation of several choir works tracing the church year from Christmas to Easter
- Mikael Agricola Choir from Vyborg Lutheran Church with “The Procession” from Korpimessu (“The Taiga Mass”) , an antique Easter sequence, and Taizé’s “Jubilate, Alleluia” accompanied by hand bells.
The festival was followed by a charity sale and a meal. The church cantors shared sheet music and ideas and made agreements on future musical projects.
Thanks be to God for the wonderful festival!
Information courtesy of Darya Shkurlyatyeva, director, Mikael Agricola Choir, Vyborg Lutheran Church
Photo credit: Rev. Mikhail Ivanov