Five Fridays bids adieu

Announcing the finale of Five Fridays

On April 19 the 2023-24 Five Fridays season at St. Paul’s Church will come to a close, and the concert will also mark the end of the series as a whole.

Five Fridays was launched in October 2011 with a performance by the popular Jasper Quartet, and upon its conclusion will have presented a total of 58 concerts, ranging from classical chamber groups and unusual instrumental ensembles to recitals by an eclectic range of solo performers. Interrupted only by the Covid-19 pandemic and one epic snow storm, Five Fridays has regularly brought music lovers from Chestnut Hill and beyond to the labyrinth in St. Paul’s beautiful sanctuary, to enjoy an intimate evening of world class music followed by a convivial reception to meet the performers.

Five Fridays was conceived from the outset as a way for the St. Paul’s music program to contribute to the parish’s mission of supporting the hungry and unhoused in northwest Philadelphia. Thanks to a dedicated group of very generous businesses, individual sponsors and a loyal audience following, we have been able to pass substantial proceeds from every season to the two beneficiaries, Face to Face Germantown and Family Promise of Philadelphia (formerly Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network). When the series concludes this spring, we anticipate that the total amount raised by Five Fridays to further the vital work of these two remarkable organizations will be in excess of $75,000.

For the 2024-25 season the St. Paul’s Music Guild will be focusing its attention and energies on marking the rededication of the church’s landmark Aeolian-Skinner organ. Nearing the end of a massive five-year renovation, it has evolved from a highly-respected local church organ into a truly awe-inspiring instrument. We look forward to launching the season-long series of celebratory events on September 27th 2024 with an organ recital by Cherry Rhodes, the fabled West Coast organist whose local roots go back to her early training at the Curtis Institute. For information and further updates please visit the St. Paul’s website and sign up to receive the Music at St. Paul’s Newsletter.

We know that there are many local music lovers who will regret the passing of the Five Fridays series. However we are impressed and encouraged by the recent proliferation of other musical events in and around Chestnut Hill, and feel that the time will come before long for the Music Guild to consider fresh ways for St. Paul’s to contribute to that scene going forward. For now, we are deeply grateful to the sponsors, artists, audience members, and Music Guild personnel who have contributed in so many different ways over the years to the success of Five Fridays.

We warmly invite you to join us for the final two Five Fridays concerts, details linked below.

Andrew Kotylo, Director of Music
Lorraine Knudson, Chair of the Music Guild