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The Sacred Arts at Second

Music and Fine Arts Series


2018-2019 Brochure



North Central High School Wind Ensemble
Sunday, February 10, 3 p.m.

Free Concert
Rick Granlund, conductor

Florence Price Symposium
Friday, March 8 - Sunday, March 10

Explore the music, life and legacy of this prolific African-American composer.

  • Friday, March 8, 7:30 p.m. – Organ Music of Florence Price, Dr. John Allegar, organ
  • Saturday, March 9
      10:30 a.m. – Studio In Bloom with String Quartet, Children’s Choir, and Music/Art Activities
      11:45 a.m. – Lunch and Learn, Dr. John Allegar, lecturer ($10 Lunch Tickets)
  • Sunday, March 10
      9:30 and 11 a.m. Worship Services, String Quartet and Sanctuary Choir
      3 p.m. – Orchestra Concert with Mezzo Soprano Marietta Simpson, Dr. Michelle L. Louer, conductor

All events are free, except Saturday’s luncheon =>REGISTER for the Lunch & Learn.

For more information, contact (317) 253-6461 x309,

Holy Spirit Mass
by Kim André Arnesen
Sunday, April 7, 3 p.m.

Sanctuary Choir and Soloists with Festival Orchestra, Dr. Michelle L. Louer, conductor


The Sacred Arts at Second Series (formerly Anima Sacra) is a unique endeavor of Second Presbyterian Church that utilizes the gifts and talents of members of our congregation and community to provide opportunities to experience the embodiment of God’s Word through live music and art. The intersection of faith, theology, and culture with beauty in sound, color, and texture provides the foundation for a vivid conversation as we discern as a community of disciples how to live as children of the Divine Creator.

Three of the events in the series this year focus on the lives and legacies of American artists.  We explore works by Duke Ellington, Leonard Bernstein and Florence Price, who embody common themes of conviction, passion and faith in a troubled world.

Duke Ellington, best known for his big band jazz music, presented a series of Sacred Concerts in the latter part of his life. Second’s Jazz Quintet with Erin Benedict and Gary Walters presented a concert, “Duke and the Divine” in September. While Ellington rose to fame as a popular secular band leader, it was his Sacred Concert series that he self-described as his “most important work.”

If Leonard Bernstein were alive today, he would be celebrating his 100th birthday. Throughout his life Bernstein wrestled with integrating his faith and his particular orientation to music into a life of meaning through music.  In reflecting on his first symphony, Jeremiah, which was presented as part of the Sanctuary Choir’s Lenten concert in 2017, he says:

“The work I have been writing all my life is about the struggle that is born of the crisis of our century, a crisis of faith.”

His Judeo-Christian heritage appears in various ways in his music in both works for theatre and for the concert stage.

The Sanctuary Choir under the leadership of Dr. Michelle L. Louer presents a community concert on Thursday, October 18 which explores how Bernstein responded to the challenges of discrimination, racism, immigration and other humanitarian issues through his compositions.  Excerpts from West Side Story, Candide, Trouble in Tahiti and other compositions provide a distinctive lens for viewing how we live in the world today.

In our Festival Sunday services on October 21, excerpts from Bernstein’s Mass, which combines surprising elements of jazz harmonies and rhythms, will be integrated into our liturgy and accompanied by Festival Orchestra.

In March we take a close look at the music and life of Florence Price, the first African-American woman composer to have her work performed by a professional orchestra. Price lived during a time in which women – especially black women – had no voice. Her oeuvre was presumed lost until recently discovered in an abandoned home in Illinois just a few years ago.

A woman of faith, she served as a church organist in Chicago. Her compositions organically incorporate the spirituals of the African tradition into the musical language and forms of the European tradition. In a weekend Symposium, her works for organ, chamber ensemble, orchestra and solo voice will be explored.

Two additional concerts on the series present works old and new.

The history of salvation and redemption is presented in monumental form in George Frideric Handel’s musical and theological masterpiece Messiah. It will be presented in two performances by the Beecher Singers of Second Church and the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra under the direction of Dr. Michelle Louer. The ensemble will then join forces with the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra and members of Tabernacle Presbyterian Church’s Chancel Choir for a third performance.

The conclusion of the series will be the presentation of a newly-composed work by Norwegian composer Kim André Arnesen, the Holy Spirit Mass during Lent.

Through these musical offerings, we share the good and challenging news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and pray that we may hear God’s voice anew.

For more information, visit or contact Dr. Michelle L. Louer at (317) 253-6461 x 309 or