WASHINGTON, D.C.: Oldest congregation to offer week of music

May 23, 2007

The Episcopal Diocese of Washington's oldest congregation -- St Paul's, Rock Creek Parish -- will host its fifth Rock Creek Festival June 16-22.

Remaining faithful to its founder's vision to be a celebration of the diverse traditions of this most diverse region, the program will offer performances ranging from bluegrass to Haydn, according to a media release.

The appearance of world-renowned composer and conductor John Rutter is bound to be a popular draw. Rutter will conduct his "Mass for the Children," at 7:30 p.m. on June 19 with chorus and orchestra from Columbia Union College, the professional choir of St. Paul's, and the Washington Children's Chorus.

The festival's programs will take place in the restored and renovated buildings set in the near-100 acre churchyard. St. Paul's Rock Creek is almost certainly the oldest continuously used building in the District of Columbia. It has been restored to its 18th century beauty, complemented by a new Dobson organ. The St. Paul's Center, which features a concert hall and gallery, also offers that rarest of advantages in Washington -- unlimited free parking.

There is a modest charge only for the main evening events. Access to lunchtime musical; event and to various exhibitions is free.

"This is our fifth festival, and I believe it will be the best so far! We have a wonderful range of fine performers, and I truly believe that there is something for all tastes," festival director Dr. Graham Elliott said in the release.

Schedule details may be found here. Click on the words "Fifth Rock Creek Festival."

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