This past Sunday, the church lost Peter Hallock, one of the giants of twentieth century American church music. Peter was for many years Canon Precentor and Cathedral Musician at St Mark’s Cathedral in Seattle. He was the founder of the world famous Compline Choir, and could be credited with bringing Compline into the Episcopal Church. As a composer, he was original, innovative, and forward (and backward!) looking. He composed many large works, as well as small anthems. His magnum opus is the Ionian Psalter… a complete set of 212 lectionary psalms for the three year cycle, for choir and congregation.
Personally, Peter was a great mentor to me early in my tenure at Trinity Cathedral. The Cathedral Choir was privileged to be a “test choir” for the Ionian Psalter when it was still in manuscript form. We’ve performed many of his works, large and small, including his “Centennial Te Deum” for the installations of two Bishops, and also his stunning Easter piece “Phoenix” for choir with harp, cello, and organ.
Peter visited Trinity Cathedral twice… the first to observe and help me in building our Cathedral Choir, and as guest conductor for our Second Annual Diocesan Choir Festival. He returned to Sacramento again to direct our festival in 1993.