Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Good Day.

We had a wonderful musical Sunday in our parishes. Our schola sang the Simple Choral Propers Introit by Richard Rice which was conveniently keyed in F Major as the pastor entered, at which time we seemlessly moved into three verses of "Hail the day that sees Him rise" (also in F.) Which then brought us to our revival of Proulx's Misa Oecumenica (in F maj/min,) so much Russian homophony you'd think we were Orthodox. Same for the Communio, the choral version by Rice, followed by "Amen: el Cuerpo de Cristo." Then a lovely anthem by Tremain, "O all ye people, clap your hands" with dual flute/organ intro/interludes.
Then our men headed over to the neighbor parish (we comprise 4 parishes now) and Wendy directed the women's ensemble, which we do on the fourth calendar Sunday of each month. We also paid homage to the Marian month with a lovely little song by Timothy R. Smith , "O Mother of Jesus," which I arranged for SSA voicing. And at both morning Masses, the secular holiday prompted us to sing "Mine eyes have seen..." after the dismissal.
Among the many compliments and comments heard since we started this rotation, Wendy provided me with the warmest observation. When the women lead (obviously in the upper octave) the men of the congregation can be clearly heard singing well! Bravo men of the parish. The pastor remarked upon that after Communion prayer, and then thought out loud "Now....a CHILDREN'S CHOIR!" Uh, Monsignor....
Speaking of men, we go over to the smaller parish. We generally sound pretty much like monks. But Sunday my lead tenor, a young man who's been with me since '91 and finishing his BA in voice, decided to check us out. So, we had our local version of the THREE TENORS up in the loft. It's not that we sing operatically, we don't. It's just that there's a unique humour present when so much testosterone is powerfully evident in the singing. We still chanted and sang primarily hymns; but as we descended from the loft out into the morning light, there was this little semi-circle of congregants who were beaming at us. We don't rehearse the men's group, we just kind of show up. Prior to that, our organist (also one of the Three Tenors) was the primary "voice" leading the congregation. And the folks at the smaller parish really take great care with their liturgical duties. The acolytes are all adults in albs, who have been well-choreographed over many years prior to our parishes' amalgamation. And those of us from the Mother Church do not sing from our own loft, but in the choir transept. So it's really kind of cool to be in the loft once a month.
Have a blessed day and week folks.

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