McCreary Evensong Fund
The McCreary family established a fund, on the first anniversary of the death of the Cathedral’s Canon Organist Emeritus, to assure that Choral Evensong, so loved by John and central to Cathedral life, can continue in perpetuity. Donations to this fund can be made payable to St. Andrew’s Cathedral and marked “McCreary Evensong Fund.”
May 16, 2015 – For at least the past twelve years the matter of restoring the Cathedral’s Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ has been deferred for various reasons. This organ is at the heart of the Cathedral’s life; it is central to the historical and symbolic significance of this Cathedral and vital to cathedral and community life. Its magnificent sound has harmonized hymns, resonated through the bodies of each person in the congregation, unified a community and inspired countless people through the generations.
One of the core sources of income for the Cathedral – wedding re-enactments – hinges on a full and authentic Cathedral experience, which many of its beneficiaries would attribute to the organ’s resounding music. Without a fully functioning organ this core business – $800,000/annually – is at risk. Continuing a “band-aid” approach to organ maintenance invites a catastrophic loss of organ function and expensive repairs or replacement that would exceed the cost of proactive restoration.
We have formed an Organ Restoration Project Team to address the untenable declining status of this asset. Along with a number of able advisers, we have prepared a preliminary Project Proposal in the spirit of the legacy of Queen Emma, who championed the cause of building this Cathedral and purchased its first organ. This proposal was submitted to Chapter at its April meeting, and I am pleased to say Chapter approved the project to go forward. Since then, the team has been proceeding to further define the project and begin the search for funding.
For generations, staff and volunteers have invested tireless hours towards fulfilling the spiritual mission of this Cathedral and invited and welcomed people from throughout the Islands and around the world; music has been central in drawing the community into this sacred space and has strengthened that bond. This good will for the Cathedral generated through music poises this project to succeed.
I ask you – members of the Cathedral community – to consider prayerfully and thoughtfully how you can support us in our efforts to complete the restoration of our priceless organ. As the project moves forward, we promise to keep you fully informed of our progress.
–John Renke, Canon for Music