In Plain Air

Christ Church Preservation Trust



Opus 150, 1:16 model. Photo courtesy of C.B. Fisk, Inc.


Christ Church. Photo by JJ Tiziou.


Phyllis Chen. Photo courtesy of the artist.


International Contemporary Ensemble. Photo by Carrie Schneider.


Nathan Davis. Photo courtesy of the artist.


Composer Phyllis Chen of International Contemporary Ensemble performs at the world premiere of In Plain Air at Christ Church, September 2018. Photo by Plate 3 Photography.


In Plain Air world-premiere performance at Christ Church, September 18, 2018. Photo by Plate 3 Photography.


In Plain Air world-premiere performance at Christ Church, September 2018. Photo by Plate 3 Photography.

Christ Church Preservation Trust marked the installation of a new, custom-built pipe organ in historic Christ Church with the commission of a new work by composers Nathan Davis and Phyllis Chen, who are members of the New York-based, highly acclaimed International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE). Working in collaboration with the church’s director of music and organist Parker Kitterman, the composers drew on the nearly 300-year history of Christ Church’s buildings, grounds, and instruments to create a composition in four movements. The performance by Kitterman and 12 members of ICE guided audiences through the church campus, including a section of Independence National Historical Park. The work employed a variety of instruments, such as the church’s mechanically controlled bell carillon, the Benjamin Franklin-designed glass armonica, piano, wind and string instruments, and handmade music boxes. The piece performed inside the church sanctuary placed the new pipe organ at its center. Documentation of the composers’ site visits and experimentations with the church bells and organ were presented as a multimedia exhibition at Christ Church Neighborhood House and online.

Additional unrestricted funds are added to each grant for general operating support.

In Plain Air Promo: World Premiere September 22-23, 2018

In Plain Air, world–premiere performances with International Contemporary Ensemble, September 22–23, 2018.