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062417 sacredsongpreview 03 fileOrganist, liturgist, choir director, community faith leader: Our community mourns the loss of our beloved Jared Jacobsen and celebrates his remarkable life and artistry.

Having spent 65 summers at Chautauqua, Jared Jacobsen served as the Institution’s organist and coordinator of worship and sacred music since 1996, shaping the worship life of Chautauqua’s thousands of residents and guests for each of its nine seasonal weeks. He was the primary operator and guardian of the 112-year-old Massey Memorial Organ of four manuals and 5,640 pipes, located in the Amphitheater, which is the centerpiece of Chautauqua’s programming. He also shepherded the 50-voice Motet Choir for daily worship services and the 150-voice Chautauqua Choir for Sunday morning and evening worship, played weekly recitals on the Massey and the 1893 Tallman mechanical-action organ in the Hall of Christ, and appeared frequently as soloist with the Chautauqua Symphony and Music School Festival Orchestras.

In 1987, Jared played for the papal mass in San Francisco’s Candlestick Park for a congregation of 70,000 and the following spring was invited by Pope John Paul II to be an American delegate to the historic First World Congress of Church Music at the Vatican. 

When not at Chautauqua during the summer months, Jared served as director of music for First Lutheran Church in downtown San Diego, and as a member of the performing arts faculty of The Bishop’s School, an independent college-preparatory middle and high school in La Jolla, California.

Please feel welcome to leave a public tribute to Jared in the thread below.


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In Memoriam: Jared Jacobsen, March 18, 1949–August 27, 2019

"Day is Done" & "Largo," August 25, 2019
Sacred Song Service: "Camp Meeting is Over — Final Chautauqua Thoughts"

Leavetaking: Litany of Thanksgiving for Chautauqua

A version of the following litany written by Jared, shown as it appears in the program, has been read near the conclusion of the final Sacred Song Service of each season since 1999, including his last on Aug. 25, 2019.

 JaredJacobsen Leavetaking

Public Tributes to Jared

We welcome you to share memories or tributes to Jared using the comment box below. Please note that comments are public.


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Mark your calendars for Chautauqua's spring, fall and winter events. Subscribe to our festival email list to stay up-to-date on all culinary and festival events!

Winter Village Paused in 2020: While we still encourage safe exploration of the Chautauqua grounds and patronage of our businesses throughout the fall and winter, Chautauqua will not host Winter Village festivities this coming holiday season. Bestor Plaza and other areas on the grounds will be decorated and illuminated to the extent we are able with our limited in-house team. We look forward to welcoming our residents and regional neighbors back in 2021.



This summer at Chautauqua Institution, celebrate the roots, richness and variety of American culture with a festival of folk featuring two back to back evenings of live performances in the Amphitheater from returning Chautauqua favorites Our Native Daughters with Rhiannon Giddens, and Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn, “the king and queen of the banjo”. Our Native Daughters will take the Amphitheater stage on Thursday, June 25, followed by Fleck and Washburn on Friday, June 26.


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Our Native Daughters (featuring Rhiannon Giddens, Allison Russell, Leyla McCalla and Amythyst Kiah)

Thursday, July 25, 2019

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Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn

Friday, July 26, 2019

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