Three decades ago, the St. Mark’s Choir began its tradition of international travel by performing its first Evensong abroad at Magdalen College Chapel in Oxford, England. In April 2018, the Choir of Magdalen College crossed the pond for a tour through the United States, including a day spent at St. Mark’s.
“It is incredibly inspirational to be able to make music together with these singers who uphold such a high musical standard,” said Glenn Stroh, St. Mark’s Organist and Assistant Choirmaster. “It is also a wonderful cultural exchange experience for the boys, learning about life in Oxford and as a chorister in this intensive program.”
The 34 guests arrived on campus Thursday morning, April 5, 2018, and began practicing for their first performance. Throughout the day, the Choir sang at Middle and Lower School chapels. Between performances, the visiting choristers held workshops for St. Mark’s choir students in grades 4–12.
“My youngest students were the first to say, ‘That was powerful!’ They were in awe of boys near their age creating such beauty,” said Mary Ann Livengood, who has taught music at St. Mark’s for more than 45 years. The Magdalen College Choir’s visit is especially poignant for her, as she spent more than a decade helping plan the St. Mark’s Choir’s first international tour with her husband and longtime St. Mark’s Choirmaster Jim Livengood. “I can remember our Choir performing in the Magdalen College Chapel as if it were yesterday. I knew that it had been a dream of every St. Mark’s choirmaster since 1951 to provide our choir the mountaintop experience of singing the rich and distinctive repertoire of Anglican church music in the glorious spaces for which it was written.”
In the decades since, the St. Mark’s Choir Biennial International Tour has given Marksmen the opportunity to perform in some of the most renowned venues in Europe, Africa, and North America. This past summer, under the direction of Choirmaster Tinsley Silcox, the Choir returned to England, singing Choral Evensong at Westminster Abbey and Winchester Cathedral.
St. Mark’s School of Texas is a private, nonsectarian college-preparatory boys’ day school for students in grades 1 through 12, located in Dallas, Texas. St. Mark’s aims to prepare young men to assume leadership and responsibility in a competitive and changing world.