The Annual William Byrd Festival returns to Portland this year, featuring services sung by Cantores in Ecclesia, directed by Blake Applegate, lectures given by leading scholars Kerry McCarthy, William Mahrt and Katie Bank, and illustrated recitals by ensembles directed by internationally-renowned Byrd experts, Ross Duffin and William Dawes. Mark Williams, Informator Choristarum and Fellow in Music at Magdalen College, Oxford, returns to Portland to give a recital on the organ of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, and direct the closing concert which will include a number of Byrd’s most famous motets as we mark the 400th anniversary of his death in 1623.

Mark Williams, Informator Choristarum at Magdalen College, Oxford and Artistic Director of the Byrd Festival, writes that ‘This year’s Festival sees all the usual fixtures, including lectures, services and concerts, plus some exciting extras, including two short illustrated recitals, led by Byrd experts, Ross Duffin (of Case Western University) and William Dawes (of Oxford University, and one of the founding members of the early music ensemble, Stile Antico). In this anniversary year, as we mark 400 years since the death of the composer who has been the focus of our festival for over 25 years, I greatly look forward to this annual celebration of some of the most beautiful music to come out of England in the Renaissance era.’
The full program is attached here and further details may be found at

Tickets for the concerts on August 4th, 16th & 20th are available online at, or at the door. All other events are free admission with a freewill offering.

Kerry McCarthy travels to England to commemorate the 400th Anniversary of Byrd's death

She will be lecturing at the medieval Temple Church in London, at Lincoln Cathedral, and featured on the BBC Radio 3 series Composer of the Week. 

The 2023 Byrd Festival begins at 7:30 pm on Friday, August 4 with a special opening concert commemorating the 400th anniversary of William Byrd’s death. Our concert is a journey through the various seasons of the church year as they were experienced by Byrd and the musicians who sang his Catholic works in secret. Catores in Ecclesia will sing selections from Byrd’s Gradualia (including some favorites from past years) and Kerry McCarthy will illustrate them with very short talks about the music and the lives of the singers. Tickets available HERE.

Kerry’s 11 am lecture on Saturday, August 19 (“Mr. Byrde affirmes it to be truth”) will continue a series of talks she is giving in England during this summer’s Byrd anniversary celebrations - at the medieval Temple Church in London, at Lincoln Cathedral, and on the BBC Radio 3 series Composer of the Week. More information is available at these links: Lincoln Cathedral's Byrd 400 FestivalTemple Music's William Byrd FestivalBBC 3 Composer of the Week.

If you wish to support this year's Festival please follow this LINK.View the full 2023 Byrd Festival schedule HERE.

Thank you!

Many thanks to all who attended our Byrd at the Belle fundraising event at the Victorian Belle Mansion! The weather was beautiful and it was a joyous afternoon! Sarah Wright took some great photos that can be viewed HERE.

If you were unable to attend but would still like to support this year's festival, follow this LINK. View the full 2023 Byrd Festival schedule HERE.

Byrd Festival video appeal from Artistic Director Mark Williams:


Upcoming Schedule

Sunday, August 20, 2023
at 3:30 PM

Pre-Concert Lecture given by Dr. William Mahrt, Stanford University

St. Philip Neri Church
2408 SE 16th Avenue

Sunday, August 20, 2023
at 4 PM

FINAL CONCERT:‘Anniversary – marking 400 years since the death of William Byrd’

Given by Cantores in Ecclesia, conducted by Mark Williams, Magdalen College, Oxford

St. Philip Neri Church
2408 SE 16th Avenue

Advance tickets at; remaining tickets available at the door