Presenting our 2020 St. Cecilia Award Recipients

By Nathan Costa, Assistant Director of Music & Liturgist

At its annual end-of-year music celebration Wednesday, June 3 the Music Department established the St. Cecilia Award, named after the patron saint of musicians, to be given to a person who has made extraordinary contributions to the mission of Christ Church Cranbrook in music. Robert Carrigan and Claire Danaher are this year’s inaugural recipients. 

Robert has been a leading inspiration for music and the arts in the Birmingham-Bloomfield Hills area for decades. In 2016 he joined the standing committee Music at Christ Church Cranbrook, and became its chair in 2017. He significantly contributed to revising the MACCC Charter to follow the general church bylaws (adopted in 2018) and was the mastermind behind the 2019 Christ Church Choir tour and residency in England. Robert remains a stalwart cheerleader for music and musicians at Christ Church and, in pre-COVID times, could often be seen in the pews listening to choral warmups every Sunday morning — one of his favorite pastimes. We thank Robert for his great support and promotion of music at Christ Church.

Claire has been involved in the music program for nearly five years and continues as a singer in the Christ Church Choir, but for the past 11 weeks, Claire has been THE face of music at Christ Church Cranbrook. She has devoted herself to enriching the music and liturgy on Saturdays and Sundays by singing, playing the guitar, praying, working as sound engineer, and being a rock-solid pillar of our worship these three months. Performing in these uncharted times makes one vulnerable, demands enormous energy, willingness, and creativity, and is the Christ-like work one never imagines; Claire has taken up this call with grace, skill, and artistry, and we thank her for continuing to lead us musically during this time.

The Music Department thanks all our musicians and ensembles — the Christ Church Choir, Cranbrook Choristers, St. Francis Choir, Cranbrook Ringers, Parish Choir, and CCC Philharmonic — as well as parents and other church staff for their support, work, and ministry in music this year and for adapting to new circumstances of music ministry these last weeks.