Writing the season-introductory letter a year ago, I never imagined the cancellation of our spring concert and streaming the Lenten vespers service from my living room piano! We have all had to make adjustments and sacrifices to fight the spread of COVID-19. I want to assure you that you, our beloved audience, are with us always in spirit. We continue to pray for your health and well-being. We look forward with eager hope to the day we can all be together again in the grand stone sanctuary of Blessed Sacrament Cathedral to enjoy transcendent musical beauty.
With the pandemic continuing and safety protocols fluctuating, we have decided to hold a pop-up season for 2020-2021. Please visit our website or our Facebook page regularly. There, we will announce concerts about a month before they take place. Each of these concerts allows for a small in-person audience, and will also be streamed on our Facebook page.
This fall, we have tentative plans for a 95th birthday recital for our Casavant organ, an unusual trio of Detroit Symphony players (did you know that there’s an entire collection of repertoire for flute, viola, and bass?), and an Advent/Christmas concert of favorites by our cathedral music team.
In this time of social distancing, connection is more important than ever. We are so glad to be connected with you through the Cathedral Cultural Series. Even in these extraordinary times and circumstances, we look forward to building even deeper connections with you through beautiful transcendent music.
Joe Balistreri and the CCS Steering Committee
The Cathedral Cultural Series exists to bring residents of Detroit’s North End and all of Metro Detroit to a place of transcendent beauty in the grand stone sanctuary of historic Blessed Sacrament Cathedral. To that end, we host the best international, national, and local instrumentalists, singers, and organists for one-of-a-kind performances at reduced or no cost.
As an avenue for the premiere of new works, the Cathedral Cultural Series presents diverse musical events from the Renaissance to Jazz and Gospel. It has provided the opportunity to premier new works by Elwood Derr, Dr. James Hartway, Adolphus Hailstork, as well as the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s premiere of Fanfare for a Sacred Occasion. The CCS is proud to host and support local musicians, including Mosaic, University of Michigan, the Detroit Children’s Choir, Wayne State University, Audivi, the Motor City Brass Quintet, and the choirs of Blessed Sacrament Cathedral.
The Cathedral Cultural Series has presented recitals by world acclaimed organists Olivier Latry, Simon Preston, Rudolf Innig, Pierre Cochereau, Marilyn Mason, and James Kibbie. Major choral performances include Chanticleer, the Tallis Scholars, the Vienna Boys Choir, and Detroit’s first performance of the Monteverdi 1610 Vespers on period instruments.
As a nonprofit organization, funding is provided by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Archdiocese of Detroit, and private donations.
Founded in 1974, the CCS is under the leadership of Joe Balistreri, cathedral director of music.
Help us bring the world’s best talent to Detroit’s North End with a contribution to the Cathedral Cultural Series. Donate here.