We are already looking forward to welcoming you to the next Byrd Festival. In the meantime, here is a preview of that festival, which will focus on the music of Byrd’s teacher, Thomas Tallis. It features a short but beautiful piece by Tallis (O nata lux) and a brief talk by Kerry McCarthy, both recorded this month. See you in 2021 for much more!


Dear friends,

Today, August 7, 2020, would have marked the opening of the 23rd Annual William Byrd Festival. Instead, for the first time in its history, the festival is unable to proceed as planned due to Covid-19. While we are saddened by this, we remain hopeful that next year's festival will be that much more meaningful and celebratory. In the meantime, we send you a video greeting from the festival's Artistic Director, Mark Williams, followed by a live performance recording from the 2019 opening concert.

In other news, we are honored to have had the Byrd Festival featured in an article in the Magazine of Early Music America, written by Dr. Ross Duffin who was a festival guest director/lecturer last year. We include a link to it here.

Until we meet again, take care and stay safe. As always, thank you for your continued support and friendship.

Blake Applegate
director, Cantores in Ecclesia


meekingIt is with sadness that we announce the death of the Most Reverend Basil Meeking, Bishop Emeritus of Christchurch, New Zealand. A great friend and supporter of the choir, Bishop Meeking joined the festival family in 1997 and was the principal celebrant for its Masses for 20 years. Ordained in 1953, he served in the Archdiocese of Portland for four years before leaving to assist Cardinal George in Chicago, where he took up residence until 2006 before returning to his home in New Zealand. Throughout his retirement he remained active, until after a brief period of bad health Bishop Meeking, aged 90, died in Christchurch on June 11, 2020. All of the Masses at the upcoming William Byrd Festival in 2021 will be offered in his memory.

Dear friends,

Due to public health concern regarding the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, our upcoming performance of James MacMillan’s Seven Last Words from the Cross and all related activities next week have been cancelled. If you have already purchased tickets for the concert online, you will receive a full refund by Brown Paper Tickets, and the funds will post back to your account within 3-10 business days. We are working with David Hill and hope to reschedule.

Take care,

Blake Applegate, director

Dear Friends of the William Byrd Festival, 
To our regret, Covid-19 restrictions on large gatherings through September have necessitated postponement of the 23rd Annual William Byrd Festival previously scheduled for this summer.  Although this is a very great disappointment, we are happy to announce that all lectures, concerts, liturgies and music planned for our 23rd year will be transferred to next year’s festival.  Preparations are underway to provide some online material from regular festival participants later this summer, reflecting on the music of Byrd and describing some of the exciting plans for 2021. 
I am grateful for your many years of support, and look forward to seeing you next August.  If you have any questions or wish to speak to me personally, please feel free to call at 971-227-8270. 
Many Blessings, 
Dean Applegate, Director 
William Byrd Festival