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News Archive


Compline Choir Welcomes Aaron Brown as New Director
Compline Service Moves to St Thomas Aquinas - Fall 2015
Aaron Humble Named as New Director
20th Anniversary Features Two Choral World Premieres
Compline during the Paschal Season
Minnesota Compline Choir Moves to The Basilica of Saint Mary's
Compline Choir Featured in MetroLutheran
THE MINNESOTA COMPLINE CHOIR CELEBRATES 20 YEARS OF WORSHIP PERFORMANCE
Easter Compline; Peace with God – Peace with One Another
Compline to Resume at the Basilica for Easter Season
Compline Starts the New Year at Mount Olive Lutheran Church
Compline Choir Announces New Director - Erick Lichte
2010-11 Compline Season Begins October 3
Compline at the Basilica of St Mary in Minneapolis
A Season of Transition for the Compline Choir
Radio Schedule Change
James Biery Named Director of The Minnesota Compline Choir
Parsons Retires from Compline Choir
New CD, Wondrous Love, Released
Compline Worship Resumes
Hamline United Methodist to Welcome Compline
Central Lutheran Church Cancels Compline Support, Broadcast Schedule Revised
Report From Orlando
Compline Worship Continues



Compline Choir Welcomes Aaron Brown as New Director


August 15, 2015 - The Minnesota Compline Choir is pleased to welcome Aaron Brown as our new Director.

Aaron Brown is Director of Chapel Music at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he is also adjunct faculty in the Department of Music. His formal studies in Liturgical Music occurred at the University of St. Thomas and St. John's University. Aaron has a variety of experience in ministry, including parish, academic, and diocesan worship office settings.

Beginning Fall 2015 the Compline Choir will be singing at the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas at the University of St. Thomas (UST). Compline will begin at 8:15pm. Please note that parking restrictions on the streets surrounding UST end at 8pm. UST does not enforce parking restrictions on Sundays, so visitors may also park on campus. Compline services will continue on the first and third Sundays of the month.

Please visit our Schedule page for more information.



Compline Service Moves to St Thomas Aquinas - Fall 2015


Beginning Fall 2015 the Compline Choir will be singing at the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas at the University of St. Thomas (UST). Compline will begin at 8:15pm. Please note that parking restrictions on the streets surrounding UST end at 8pm. UST does not enforce parking restrictions on Sundays, visitors may also park on campus. Compline services will continue on the first and third Sundays of the month.

Please visit our Schedule page for more information.



Aaron Humble Named as New Director


August 2012 - The Minnesota Compline Choir is pleased to welcome Aaron Humble as our new Director. Described as remarkably virtuosic by the Columbus Republic and transcendent by the Daytona Beach News Journal, tenor Aaron Humble originally hails from Northeast Ohio. As a versatile and vibrant singer, teacher, and conductor Aaron thrives across many styles and genres. Aaron has enjoyed experiences in recital, concert, and chamber music venues in nearly every state in the United States as well as in Canada, Cameroon, the British Isles, the Caribbean, and Palestine where he served as a judge on Palestinian Idol. During his tenure with Cantus, Aaron has enjoyed solo appearances with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Boston Pops.

When hes not singing with Cantus, Aaron teaches voice at McNally Smith College of Music, participates in adjudication, and enjoys leading festivals and clinics. Aaron lives in the Lynnhurst neighborhood and enjoys walking, biking, and home improvement projects.

Compline services are at 8:00 at the Basilica of St Mary in Minneapolis, MN. We have modified the schedule from weekly to two Sundays per month. Compline will be offered the 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month. Please visit our Schedule page for more information.



20th Anniversary Features Two Choral World Premieres


April 2012 - The 20th Anniversary Concert (April 29, 2012) will feature TWO choral World Premieres:

The Numberless Gifts of God's Mercies, a choral composition by Zebulon M. Highben, is a TTBB arrangement of a Lina Sandell hymn. Sandell, the daughter of a Swedish Lutheran pastor wrote many beloved hymns, including "Children of the Heavenly Father", "Day By Day", and "Thy Holy Wings". Zeb Highben is a choral conductor, composer and church musician. Zeb recently (April 2012) completed requiremnts for the D.M.A, in Choral Conducting degree. For more information, see http://zmhmusic.blogspot.com/

Revelations features the poetry of Colin McDonald, a member of the Compline Choir, and music by Ben Houge. Ben is a composer and sound artist currently living in the Boston area where he currently serves as a resident artist at Massachusetts Instituteof Technology (MIT) and serving as faculty at Berklee College of Music. For more information, see http://www.benhouge.com/index.html

Posted April 27, 2012



Compline during the Paschal Season


April 2012 - The Basilica of Saint Mary is hosting the ecumenical service of Night PrayerComplineduring the Easter season. Services will be held on Sunday evenings at 8PM in the Basilica nave now through May 20, 2012. This peaceful service is sung by the Minnesota Compline Choir, directed by Clarence Smith. The choir is an ensemble of twenty men who have sung Sunday night Compline for the past 18 years. Their hauntingly serene 30-minute Prayer at the Close of the Day continues the ancient tradition of solemn chanted prayer kept by monastic communities around the world for well over a thousand years. Come, bring a friend, and pray for peace at the close of daypeace in the world at the last.

Posted April 13, 2012



Minnesota Compline Choir Moves to The Basilica of Saint Mary's


March 2012 - This week the Minnesota Compline Choir will complete its Lenten Wednesday schedule with songs at All Saints Lutheran Church in Minnetonka at 7 PM. We will then move to regular Compline services on Sunday evenings at 8 PM at the Basilica of Saint Marys beginning April 15, 2012 thru May 20, 2012.

We will sing the traditional Compline, end of the day, service. The foundation of the group, the heart and soul of the organization is a mix of individuals and careers melding into one voice for evening prayer. From many walks of life and church backgrounds, the choir comes together to represent a monastic tradition of over a thousand years with liturgy, hymns, anthems, psalms and readings. Come join us.

REMINDER:

The Minnesota Compline Choir celebrates our twentieth year of song Peace at the Last in a concert held at Central Lutheran Church. 333 South Twelfth Street (corner of Twelfth Street and Third Avenue South) at 4PM on Sunday April 29, 2012. We will bring together members from our past choirs and current choir to sing some of our favorite anthems and the traditional chants to form an evening of prayer at the end of the day.

Come hear our song Peace at the Last.

Posted March 19, 2012



Compline Choir Featured in MetroLutheran


January 2012 - The Minnesota Compline Choir was recently featured in a front-page article in the MetroLutheran (February 2012). The choir, in it's 20th year of service is currently under the direction of Mr. Clarance Smith. We plan a big 20th Anniversary concert on April 29, 2012 at Central Lutheran in Minneapolis. Come join us in our celebration of twenty years of Peace at the Last- our unique service of prayer at the end of the day.

Prior to that event, the choir has a busy Lenten schedule:

St. Michael's Lutheran - Roseville - Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Reformation Lutheran - St. Louis Park - Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Mount Olivet Lutheran - Minneapolis - Wednesday, March 14, 2012
All Saints Lutheran - Minnetonka - Wednesday, March 21, 2012

All Lenten services are at 7pm. Come hear us sing.

Posted January 28, 2012



THE MINNESOTA COMPLINE CHOIR CELEBRATES 20 YEARS OF WORSHIP PERFORMANCE


August 2011 - The Minnesota Compline Choir will be beginning its 2011-2012 season at 5:00 PM on Sunday, September 11, 2011 at Assumption Catholic Church in downtown St Paul, Minnesota. For this season, we are privileged to be under the direction of Mr. Clarance Smith, an extraordinary musical talent known to many of you familiar with the Compline Choir.

The Minnesota Compline Choir will be in residence at the Church of the Assumption beginning September 11, 2011. The choir is marking their 20th Anniversary season and is launching the 2011-2012 season with a service of music and reflection ten years after the tragic events of 9/11. All first responders are invited. The service begins at 5:00PM.

The choir is comprised of 20 male voices, selected by audition from a wide variety of congregations and denominations. In worship, the choir performs liturgy, hymns, anthems and psalms which create the office of Compline, or Prayers at the Close of the Day.

The power of these quiet and contemplative moments draws the diverse community of men that make up the Minnesota Compline Choir.

Posted August 24, 2011



Easter Compline; Peace with God – Peace with One Another


May 2011 - Sunday, June 5, 8:30pm

The Basilica of Saint Mary is hosting an ecumenical Night Prayer service each Sunday evening of the Easter season at 8:30pm. This peaceful service is sung by the Minnesota Compline Choir, directed by Erick Leichte. The choir is an ensemble of twenty men who have sung Sunday night Compline for the past 18 years. Their hauntingly serene 30-minute Prayer at the Close of the Day continues the ancient tradition of solemn chanted prayer kept by monastic communities around the world for well over a thousand years. Come, bring a friend, and pray for peace at nightfall.



Compline to Resume at the Basilica for Easter Season


April 2010 - Compline at the Basilica of St Mary in Minneapolis


The Basilica of Saint Mary is hosting an ecumenical Night Prayer service each Sunday evening of the Easter season at 8:30 pm. This peaceful service is sung by the Minnesota Compline Choir, directed by Erick Lichte. The choir is an ensemble of twenty men who have sung Sunday night Compline for the past 18 years. Their hauntingly serene 30-minute Prayer at the Close of the Day continues the ancient tradition of solemn chanted prayer kept by monastic communities around the world for well over a thousand years.

Come, bring a friend, and pray for peace at nightfall. The 8:30 pm service begins on May 1 and continues through the end of May.

The Basilica of Saint Mary is located on Hennepin Avenue between 16th and 17th Streets in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota. Parking is available on the west side of the church in the parking lot under the freeway. There is no charge for this parking lot during weekends. The Basilica office phone is 612.333.1381, and the Basilica website is at mary.org.



Compline Starts the New Year at Mount Olive Lutheran Church


December 2010 - The Compline choir is now on break for the holidays and will resume the service of Compline in the New Year at a new location.

Beginning January 16, 2011 the 30-minute service will be held each Sunday night through Lent at 8:30 PM at Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Minneapolis.

As always, the service is open to the public and all are welcome.

For the location of the church, as well as other information about the congregation, please visit www.mountolivechurch.org.



Compline Choir Announces New Director - Erick Lichte


September 2010 - The Minnesota Compline is pleased to announce that we are now under the direction of Mr. Erick Lichte. Erick is an inspired, award-winning choral director. Among his many accomplishments and achievements, Erick is founder of and former singer with Cantus, the all-male vocal ensemble with its beginnings at St. Olaf College. The Compline Choir is indeed blessed to benefit from the extraordinary talents that Erick brings to our tradition.

Also, the Compline Choir has been in intense rehearsals with Erick during the month of September. We are pleased to announce the start of our 2010-2011 season this Sunday evening, October 3, at 8:30 at Assumption Catholic Church in downtown St. Paul. As many of you know, we discovered the wonderful sanctuary of Assumption during our 2009-2010 season. We are excited to combine Ericks gifts and the sound of the Compline Choir with the lovely setting provided by Assumption.



2010-11 Compline Season Begins October 3


September 2010 - The 2010-11 Compline season will begin October 3, 2010. The 25-minute service will be held each Sunday night through Advent at 8:30 PM at Assumption Catholic Church in downtown St. Paul.

As always, the service is open to the public and all are welcome.

For the location of the church, as well as other information about the congregation, please visit www.assumptionsp.org.



Compline at the Basilica of St Mary in Minneapolis


May 2010 - The Basilica of Saint Mary is hosting an ecumenical Night Prayer service each Sunday evening of the Easter season at 8:30 pm. This peaceful service is sung by the Minnesota Compline Choir, directed by James Biery. The choir is an ensemble of twenty men who have sung Sunday night Compline for the past 18 years. Their hauntingly serene 30-minute Prayer at the Close of the Day continues the ancient tradition of solemn chanted prayer kept by monastic communities around the world for well over a thousand years.

Come, bring a friend, and pray for peace at nightfall. The 8:30 pm service begins on April 11 and continues through Pentecost, May 23, 2010.

The Basilica of Saint Mary is located on Hennepin Avenue between 16th and 17th Streets in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota. Parking is available on the west side of the church in the parking lot under the freeway. There is no charge for this parking lot during weekends. The Basilica office phone is 612.333.1381, and the Basilica website is at mary.org.



A Season of Transition for the Compline Choir


Janurary 2010 - This season has been one of transition for the Minnesota Compline Choir. The evening of February 14, 2010 will mark the final service that the Minnesota Compline Choir offers at Hamline United Methodist Church. We are planning a "Thank You" celebration following that service to express our gratitude to the clergy, the staff and the congregation of Hamline Church for the years of support.

We are pleased to announce that we will continue our tradition of Compline during the 2010 Lenten season at Assumption Catholic Church in downtown St. Paul. The 8:30pm service begins on February 21 and continues through Palm Sunday, March 28.


Assumption Church is located at 51 W. Seventh St. in downtown St. Paul. Off-street parking is available.



Radio Schedule Change


December 2009 - Effective December 12, 2009, the Compline broadcast on KKMS Radio 980 has been moved to 11:30 PM each Saturday night. This program will continue to feature the worship service recorded the previous Sunday night.



James Biery Named Director of The Minnesota Compline Choir


September 2009 - We are extremely proud to announce the appointment of Mr. James R. Biery as Music Director of the Minnesota Compline Choir.

James Biery was appointed Director of Music at the Cathedral of St. Paul in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1996. Previously he held a similar position at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford, Connecticut. A Pi Kappa Lambda graduate of the Northwestern University School of Music in Evanston, Illinois, his principal organ teachers were Grigg Fountain and Wolfgang Rbsam. Mr. Biery holds the Choirmaster and Fellowship Certificates of the American Guild of Organists, winning the Fellowship Prize in 1986. He has a large number of organ, choral, and brass compositions in print, published by MorningStar, Concordia, Augsburg-Fortress, GIA, Oregon Catholic Press, and Boosey & Hawkes, and is the recipient of 2006, 2007, and 2008 ASCAPlus awards. He has recorded the music of Marcel Dupr for AFKA and Naxos, and recently released a disc of repertoire for violin and organ with SPCO violinist Michal Sobieski.

Mr. Biery is very pleased to join The Minnesota Compline Choir in its 17th season to offer the tradition of Compline to all who are seeking tranquility at the close of the day.



Parsons Retires from Compline Choir


May 2009 - Charles Parsons, co-founder and director of the Comline Choir since 1992, has announced that he will be retiring from his leadership role with the choir at the end of this season.

The Minnesota Compline Choir was created by Parsons with Rev. Dr. Steve Cornils in 1992 at Central Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. At the time, the need was for a late Sunday evening service which could also be a radio broadcast. Ultimately, it was one of the highest rated programs on WCAL, the former public radio station from St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN.

It was Chucks energy and hard work in those early days that crafted the foundation of the Choir. From the first Compline service until tonight, Chucks artistic and spiritual influence has guided the tranquility of our ministry.

Under his direction, a widely varying collection of singers developed a common choral tradition that has helped serve the spiritual needs of thousands. Over the years, Chuck managed to balance the demands of the ministry with an infectious sense of humor. The souls in the congregation and Choir alike have all benefited from his laughter, his respect for the procession, his genius as an organist, his mastery of choral arrangement and descant composition and his love of the Psalms.

The choir's Board of Directors has initiated a search for a successor to Parsons with the intention that there will be no interruption in the singing of the worship service. Please watch this space for an announcement of a new music director sometime this summer.

The 2008-2009 season will end on May 17, and the 2009-2010 season is scheduled to begin on September 13.



New CD, Wondrous Love, Released


Spring 2008 - The Minnesota Compline choir is pleased to announce the release of its third CD, entitled Wondrous Love.

The album was recorded in the spring of 2007 and the winter of 2008 in the beautiful sanctuary of Hamline United Methodist Church, and, in addition to the choral anthems, features organist Charles Parsons on the magnificent 64-rank Casavant organ.

The selections range from the ancient texts of the Compline liturgy (which is heard in its entirety), to the modern harmonies of composers such as Jean Langlais, Jehan Alain, and Alice Parker.

Two versions of the title song are heard, one on organ as arranged by Gordon Young, the other a familiar choral setting by Paul Christiansen, which features soloist Jeff Anderson. These form the central textual theme of the recording. Soloist Mark Anderson is heard on another signature piece, J. Edmund Hughes' arrangement of "Steal Away."

Two newly-composed works are featured. First is Charles Parsons' arrangement of J. W. Franck's "O Jesus, Grant Me hope and Comfort." The other is a setting of "Lord Keep Us Steadfast In Your Word" by Compline member Lowell Prescott, who conducted the choir on that recording, as well as serving as engineer and project coordinator for the CD. Photography and graphic design was provided by Peter Tressel, who is also a member of the choir.

The choir's unique focus on unison chant singing is featured throughout. In addition, chants of two and four parts can be heard both on hymnody ("O Trinity, O Blessed Light") and on psalmody (on Psalms 95 and 80).

The recording reaches its emotional peak during Parsons' exciting recording of "My Lord, What a Mornin'" as arranged by Raymond Haan.

The choir has released two previous CDs. All three are available for purchase on CD and/or MP3 download on the recordings page found on this site.



Compline Worship Resumes


September 2005 - The Compline live worship service has resumed at a new time and location. The 25-minute service is now held each Sunday night at 8:30 PM at Hamline United Methodist Church adjacent to the campus of Hamline University in St. Paul.

As always, the service is open to the public and all are welcome.

For the location of the church, as well as other information about the congregation, please visit www.HamlineChurch.org.



Hamline United Methodist to Welcome Compline


September 2005 - On Sunday, September 11, 2005, the Church Council of Hamline United Methodist Church voted unanimous approval to host the Minnesota Compline Choir. Hamline is prepared to begin its Compline worship on Sunday, October 2.

For details on the worship space, organ and congregation, please visit www.HamlineChurch.org.

We are very excited to begin this new era for the Minnesota Compline Choir.



Central Lutheran Church Cancels Compline Support, Broadcast Schedule Revised


August 2005 - Central Lutheran Church has announced that as of August 31, 2005 they have discontinued all funding and in-kind support for the Compline Choir, and discontinued the Compline worship service. They cited the reduced value of the worship service due to the lack of a radio broadcast, as well as a necessary reallocation of financial resources.

While the choir is disappointed by their decision, we wish to extend our gratitude to the congregation for their past support.

The choir is now seeking a new home, and we hope to begin live worship services again soon. At this time, there is no firm schedule for the resumption of worship. We ask for your prayers as we search for the resources to continue our ministry.



Report From Orlando


August 2005 - The Minnesota Compline Choir was invited to sing at the assembly this past weekend (August 12-14, 2005) during which we had several opportunities to sit in and observe the Lutheran Church at work. The choir arrived at the assembly on Friday, shortly after the voting on the three contentious issues regarding the recommendations on the sexuality study. When we walked through the doors of the hotel and convention center you could feel the anger, pain and frustration in the air. In between rehearsals the rest of that day we heard emotional and tear-filled stories about the events of the week, and I had serious doubts about the value of having our little choir sing when the hearts, minds and attentions of everyone at the assembly were focused elsewhere.

We were scheduled to sing for the assembly service of healing Saturday morning. When the assembly broke and people started to file into the enormous meeting hall that served as the worship space, you could still viscerally sense the tension in the air. We started off with several more quiet tunes and even at that moment, I could sense a small miracle beginning to happen. As the music went on, walls were tumbling, hearts were melting, and voices were blending together. We were all there, we were all focused. One Church. One People. One Community. As we sang an anthem "I Give You a New Commandment" I shivered and the hair on the back of my neck raised as I felt the word of God leaving my mouth and the Holy Spirit filling my heart and spreading out over the room. Here is the verse of the song, taken from John 13:34:

I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you should love one another. By this the world shall know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.

The choir also had the opportunity to do our traditional Compline service at 9:00 PM on Saturday. A very large crowd turned out for the event, in large part due to the heavy lobbying of Bishop Craig Johnson. Again, the power of the music through chanted psalms and anthems transformed the air in the room and a calming peace settled in the hearts of the congregation.

I truly believe that people walked into both services as one person, and walked out as quite another. Did we change minds and opinions? Probably not. Did we open hearts? Yes. Did we lift and renew the spirit? Yes. Did we remind ourselves and the rest of the assembly that Love and Peace should be our guiding principals? Absolutely.

Surprisingly, in spite of everything else this weekend, I felt my faith renewed instead of diminished. I feel that my broken spirit was restored and that a flame was rekindled in my heart. I was encouraged that we can all talk, work, sing and pray together. It may not be easy, nor should it be. We grow and bloom through how we deal with challenge and adversity. Despite all of our differences I believe that if we truly let the love of one another guide us, there will be no room for fear, there will not be a place at the table for bigotry and hatred, and that ultimately truth, justice and peace will prevail.

Peace and Blessings to all of you.

Michael Brown, Compline Member



Compline Worship Continues


From 1992 to 2004, the Minnesota Compline Choir was heard live on Classical 89.3, WCAL FM, the radio service of St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. The 30-minute Compline program was consistently one of the highest rated programs on the station, with many thousands of committed listeners. The final broadcast on WCAL took place on November 21, 2004, after which ownership of the station was transferred to Minnesota Public Radio.

The choir intends to continue keeping to office of Compline each Sunday evening at 9:00 PM, and is currently seeking a radio home in the Minneapolis-St. Paul and/or greater Minnesota area, and is also investigating syndication options which could broaden the audience substantially. All of the worship services are recorded and will be made available in the archive on this site.

If you can be of any help with the goal of reaching a larger audience, please contact the choir.


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