For Trinity, Music Education is Part of the Mission

On April 5, Trinity Cathedral had the opportunity to play a special role in the lives of students from the all-girls Laurel School.

The young women had come to Trinity for a Cathedral Concerts performance by ‘80s pop icon Belinda Carlisle as part of a class designed to give them hands-on experience in the music business. Before the concert began, the students observed stage setup and had the opportunity to visit with the concert’s producers, Elevation Group founders Denny Young and Steve Lindecke, gleaning from their years of experience in the music industry.

For the Laurel students, it was a rare opportunity to experience a master class on the music business from seasoned professionals. That learning was fully on display last weekend at LaureLive, the first two-day contemporary music festival held at the Laurel School’s Butler campus near Shaker Heights. The girls were heavily involved in planning the successful festival, which from June 11-12 drew more than 10,000 festivalgoers who came to see 30 acts from five countries.

For Trinity Cathedral, this was just one of the many ways it has been a proud venue for music education in Cleveland over the years. Through its partnership with Music & Arts at Trinity, Trinity Cathedral has had a longstanding commitment to providing valuable music programs and cultural enrichment to the community, particularly to young people.

Trinity Cathedral’s choir routinely receives students completing advanced musical degrees at Cleveland Institute of Music, Cleveland State University, Baldwin Wallace University, and Oberlin College. These students have the pleasure and honor of singing with professors currently teaching and emeritae from leading musical institutions, former and current musical directors, as well as professional vocalists and instrumentalists.

Under the leadership of director Todd Wilson, the choir performs a wide range of early music and Anglican choral repertoire at services and Choirspecial concerts, ranging from Sunday worship to Trinity’s renowned Choral Evensong services.

The prominent inclusion of youth can also be seen in the successful BrownBag Concert series. Going on its 39th year, the BrownBag series has been a fixture in the downtown Cleveland community, providing free music performances of a high caliber in unparalleled surroundings.

This April, Trinity hosted a BrownBag concert with the Choirs of Hathaway Brown Upper School. This group of 37 choristers from grades 9-12 performed music from a variety of eras and genres that beautifully showcased their disciplined musicianship.

Another notable BrownBag event that prominently featured students was an concert featuring the Cleveland State University Wind Ensemble under the direction of Dr. Birch Browning. This 78-piece ensemble performed music dating from the 16th century through 1987 around the theme of cathedrals. In attendance that day were 95 fourth graders from the neighboring Campus International School.

The K-7 Campus International School has had a significant partnership with Trinity over the years. The school, a partnership with Cleveland ChildrenBBState University, brings second, third, and fourth graders each year to select concerts each performance season.

 “Downtown Cleveland is our campus,” says Sarah Gyorki, a parent of Campus International School student. “Trinity Cathedral as a downtown institution has just been a tremendous resource [for the students].”

The success of these programs, including events in the wider community such as LaureLive, shows what is possible when Cleveland institutions put music and arts formation at the center of their mission. As Trinity Cathedral approaches its 200th anniversary, it is proud to carry on its commitment to music education into its third century of service.