Christ Church Preservation Trust (the Trust) supports the preservation, restoration, and maintenance of three historic sites: Christ Church, Christ Church Neighborhood House, and Christ Church Burial Ground. A National Historic Landmark, Christ Church counted many significant historical figures among its parishioners, including Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Betsy Ross, and John Adams. The site welcomes over 250,000 visitors annually, making it one of the top 10 most frequently visited sites in the Philadelphia region.
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.