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The adage that singing is worship doubled has special meaning for the congregation of Christ Church in the Cobble Hill section of Brooklyn, whose tower was struck by lightning on Thursday, July 26, 2012. Since that time the congregation has worshiped regularly on Sunday mornings at Kane Street Synagoge, and has held special services at St. Paul's Church in Carroll Gardens and Sacred Hearts & St. Stephens.
Throughout this period of displacement, the Canoni Chorale, which became the choir in residence at Christ Church in 2011, has faithfully presented major a cappella liturgical works each Sunday, in the absence of an accompanying instrument. On Saturday, April 27, the Canoni Chorale and other noted artists will offer a cabaret performance to benefit Christ Church-Cobble Hill's continued reconstruction. It will begin with a wine tasting and hors d'oeurves at 7 PM, with the entertainment beginning at 8 PM, followed by a special dessert. The event will take place at the Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims at 75 Hicks Street, Brooklyn Heights. Tickets are $75 per person or $600 for a table.
The cabaret is one of several fundraising activities anticipated to support the church's reconstruction. In November 2012 the Canoni Chorale and the choir of Christ Church Riverdale in the Bronx, joined to present a choral evensong to benefit the church as well. The attendance and support of the Cobble Hill congregation was testimony both to their dedication to the church and also to the choir. The Canoni Chorale, under the direction of Don Barnum, has a long-standing relationship with Christ Church-Cobble Hill, including many years of presenting choral Evensongs.
Christ Church Cobble Hill was designed by Richard Upjohn, who also designed Trinity Church Wall Street in Lower Manhattan. Construction was completed in 1842, and the church was designated a New York landmark in 1969. In addition to holding regular Sunday and other special worship services, Christ Church is the home of the Linden Tree Preschool, and has partnerships with the Cobble HIll Ballet School, Music Together, the Young Actor's Workshop, Dalcroze Music, Gymstars, and a summer ballet camp. It also hosts the Vertical Player Repertory, the Cobble Hill CSA Food Cooperative, the Cobble Hill Tree Fund, Integrity-Brooklyn, the Cosmic Bicycle Theatre, the ClockWorks Puppetry Studios, the Children's Shadow Puppet Workshop, the Cobble Hill Book Reading Group, and a number of recovery communities.
This Cabaret is the kickoff event for a newly formed group, called the Friends of Christ Church, Cobble Hill, and is made up of non-members of the church who are interested in maintaining and supporting the church and its activities. It has applied for tax exempt status to raise money for the reconstruction of the church and its tower. Its resident groups are looking forward to being able to return to the spaces they used at the church.
Nancy Wright sings with the Canoni Chorale.