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The Original Sacred Concert Program

Most of the pages above are taken from the original Duke Ellington sacred concert program book in 1966. The program cover highlights the Melczer memorial window that was installed around the same time of Ellington concert at Trinity. The Phoenix Chorale paid homage to the original in its own cover page.

Next is Dean Usher’s letter which was on the inside front cover of the book both welcoming people to the Cathedral and arguing for the place of Jazz in Trinity Cathedral writing, “[Duke Ellington} feels that each is to offer his best to God and if one’s best is piano playing or dancing, then offer it to Him in gratitude. Duke Ellington has God’s gift of genius. He has bridged the gap between the sacred and the secular and has come forth as a whole man.”

Today, the Dean of Trinity Cathedral, Troy Mendez, welcomes all to Trinity and writes, “As you listen to the beautiful music, think about the ways in your life where you can be a peacemaker. How will you live into the spirit of Duke Ellington’s music and make a difference for a better tomorrow?”

Duke Ellington’s letter to the audience at Trinity touches on many of the same points of Dean Usher’s letter–that when one offers their music sincerely, whether on an organ or alto sax, it will meet God’s approval.

The original Patron’s List is remarkable because of the number of “movers and shakers” in the Phoenix community including the Goldwaters, Lederman Music Co., Arizona Flower Shop, Universal Memorial Center (the business of Civil Rights leaders Lincoln and Eleanor Ragsdale), and Governor Elect Jack Williams.

Don’t miss Duke Ellington’s Sacred Concert presented by Phoenix Chorale on November 12-13, 2016. Visit here for concert and special event information >

Blog content supported by Arizona Humanities and The Trinity Cathedral Records, Arizona Collection at ASU Libraries.