Thanks to the determination of a choir member at St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral, the Minneapolis church is going to present the world premiere of "Vexilla Regis," written by British composer Ralph Vaughan Williams 115 years ago.

Dave Fielding, a bass in the choir and a self-described music sleuth, discovered the piece listed in the back of a 1964 biography of the composer, who started writing music when he was 6. In addition to an extensive body of church music, he wrote movie scores, symphonies, operas and ballets.

Fielding realized that there was no publisher listed for "Vexilla Regis." Nor was there any notation that it had ever been performed. After doing some detective work, he discovered that the piece was written in 1894 as part of Vaughan Williams' class work at Cambridge University and had been filed away in the school's library ever since.

"The library put me in touch with the Vaughan Williams Society," Fielding said. "We had to convince them that we knew what we were doing. Fortunately, the cathedral has done other Vaughan Williams pieces over the years, plus we've done other premieres. It also helped that [St. Mark's music director] Ray Johnston was a graduate of Cambridge."

The library took detailed digital photos of all 84 pages of the composition and e-mailed them to Fielding, who then began the laborious process of translating the piece into workable copies, using music notation software.

That was last May. At 7:30 p.m. today, a 100-voice choir accompanied by a string orchestra and organ will bring the music to life at long last. Tickets are $15, $10 for students, at the cathedral, 519 Oak Grove St., Minneapolis.

Because of legal restrictions, the performance will not be recorded.

"So, this is it," Fielding said. "But this is my passion: to find classic old works that never got a hearing or have been forgotten and give them a second chance."

You set the price In what is believed to be the first such program of its kind, the Sabes Jewish Community Center is offering a "pay what you can" membership option to people who have lost their jobs.

The center, 4330 Cedar Lake Road, St. Louis Park, includes a health club and a wide range of programs encompassing everything from political lectures to tap dancing lessons. Membership is normally $94 a month. Call 952-381-3414 or go to

The Flynn 'empire' He's not up to Donald Trump status yet, but retired Archbishop Harry Flynn is amassing a growing list of namesake buildings.

Last month, the University of St. Thomas named one of its dormitories Flynn Hall, and this week the office building at Resurrection Cemetery in Mendota Heights, which serves as the corporate offices for Catholic Cemeteries, was renamed the Archbishop Harry Flynn Center.

Getting the last laugh Comical storyteller Kevin Kling is headlining the annual fund raiser for Beth Jacob Congregation. Long-active in the Minnesota theater scene, Kling has developed a national audience via his humorous but touching commentaries on National Public Radio.

The event, which also includes a dinner and live auction, starts at 7 p.m. Sunday at the synagogue, 1179 Victoria Curve, Mendota Heights. Tickets start at $36. Call 651-452-2226.

Jeff Strickler • 612-673-7392