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In Plain Air at Christ Church Philadelphia

  • Christ Church Philadelphia 20 North American Street Philadelphia, PA 19106 United States (map)

September 22 at 1 pm
September 22 at 3:30 pm
September 22 at 6 pm
September 23 at 3:30 pm
September 23 at 6 pm

Tickets free at door. Limited seating available. Guaranteed seating with $2 advanced reservations using the links above.

Premiere performances of In Plain Air are presented by Christ Church Preservation Trust in partnership with FringeArts as part of the 2018 Fringe Festival. 

A 3,000-pipe organ, centuries-old bells as they are heard in the belfry, an orchestra of pipe whistles, community-built music boxes: the sounds of In Plain Air carry the audience through the campus and history of one the nation's most historic sites.

As Christ Church installed its C.B. Fisk pipe organ—the latest in a 300-year history of grand church organs within the space—it invited members of acclaimed artist collective International Contemporary Ensemble to inaugurate the new instrument with a program of original compositions featuring Parker Kitterman, organ. Composers Phyllis Chen (known for her work with hand-wound music boxes and toy pianos) and Nathan Davis (a percussionist fascinated by the mechanics of instruments) immersed themselves in the sound-making possibilities of the church’s organ, bells, and open spaces, as well as the history and public role of the venerable institution.

The resulting multi-movement program unites the historic bell tolls of “The Nation’s Church,” the majesty of the intricately constructed organ, and the Ensemble’s characteristic focus on place and community into a one-of-a-kind sonic experience—a worthy welcome to an instrument that will continue to ring in the ears of visitors for the next 300 years.

Chen, Davis, and International Contemporary Ensemble are in residence at Christ Church throughout 2018. Follow the project here.

In Plain Air was commissioned by the Christ Church Preservation Trust for the International Contemporary Ensemble and Parker Kitterman

Major support for In Plain Air has been provided to Christ Church Preservation Trust by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, with additional support from Dolfinger-McMahon Foundation and Arthur Judson Foundation.

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OpenICE is made possible by the generous support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Howard Gilman Foundation, Booth Ferris Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Jerome Foundation, A.N. and Pearl G. Barnett Family Foundation, Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts, Amphion Foundation, Pacific Harmony Foundation, Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University, Casement Fund, BMI Foundation, as well as public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, the New York State Council for the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency. Yamaha Artist Services New York is the exclusive piano provider for ICE.

Photo credit: Plate 3