Peter Hallock’s connection to Canterbury School
- November 14, 2023
- Steve Macias
Many of my “liturgical arts” friends know of Peter Hallock (November 19, 1924 – April 27, 2014) through his choral music published through the compline choir at St. Mark’s Cathedral in Seattle, Washington.
As we were waiting for a wedding to start yesterday, I was describing our recent Choral Evensong service to our Deacon Patrick Milbank. Patrick replied, “Mom used to go see Uncle Peter perform sung services like that up in Washington.”
Dcn. Patrick continued, “We played the records from St. Mark’s during our services for years! They’re probably still around here.”
Peter began work as organist/choirmaster at Saint Mark’s Cathedral on October 28, 1951, a position he held until his involuntary retirement in 1991. He was named Canon Precentor, the second layperson in the Episcopal Church to hold such a title; he received two Bishop’s Crosses from the Diocese of Olympia, was named an Associate of the Royal School of Church Music, and was granted a Doctor of Church Music degree honoris causa by Church Divinity School of the Pacific. In 1992, at the invitation of the Rev. Ralph Carskadden, Peter became organist at Saint Clement of Rome Episcopal Church, Seattle, a position he held until March 2013.
Hallock composed over 250 works, from occasional church music to extended anthems, to dramatic works (sacred and secular), to music specifically written for the Compline Choir.
In November 2023, I reached out to the current director the Compline Choir, in an email he wrote back:
“You might be interested to know The Compline Choir’s current vestments were purchased thanks to a substantial gift from Tillie [nickname for Matilda Ann Hallock Milbank] to The Compline Choir in her brother Peter’s memory.”
A blog dated November 5, 2017 describes the dedication service for the vestments here.
“The Compline Choir dedicated new vestments at the beginning of the All Saints’ Sunday Compline service. Purchase of vestments were made possibly by a $10,000 gift in memory of Peter Rasmussen Hallock (1924-2014), given by his sister Matilda Ann Hallock Milbank (1917-2015). Cassocks and surplices were custom-made by the English firm Watts & Co., London, and amices were procured from the American firm Gaspard, Inc., Brookfield, Wisconsin. As is our custom on All Saints’ Sunday, the names of deceased Compline Choir members was read aloud and a bell tolled for each at the beginning of the office.“All Saints’ Sunday with Dedication of Vestments • November 5, 2017