Richard Evans, Organist-8:00am Mass
Thomas R. Granzow, Organist/Choirmaster-10:30am Mass
Preservice Music & Carols - 7:30pm
Mass - 8:00pm
featuring the music of the ordinary
St.Nicholas Mass by Haydn
with anthems by
Burleigh, Carter, Darke, Hairston, Johnson, Raney, Schrader, and Schubert
Our Music Program
A Brief Overview of the 2012 Year
In observance of Dr. Martin L. King’s birthday in January, we sang several appropriate hymns. The choir was devastated the entire month with illness resulting in as few as only 2-3 singers present on any given Sunday—no anthems were performed. For the entire month of February, we observed Black History Month by concentrating both the hymns, as well as any anthems/solos on ethnocentric music meaningful to the community. During Lent this year, several moving anthems and solos were presented.
On Palm Sunday, the venerable anthem The Palms by Gabriel Faure was sung with Richard Blakeney as featured soloist. Monica Perdue presented an extremely moving of Were You There using the beautiful Hairston arrangement of that song. The choir also sang two other anthems that emulated both the joy of Palm Sunday and the anticipated sorrows marking the beginning of Holy Week. The mass ended with the haunting Ah, Holy Jesus by Lani Smith.
At the Easter Day Mass of the Resurrection, the choir provided the congregation with a wide variety of both anthems and solos representing many musical genres from the 18th through 20th centuries. Starting with the Choral Introit of Welcome Happy Morning by Gordon Young, and then following the Gospel with the triumphant Risen Alleluia by Douglas Wagner. During the distribution of the Eucharist, Sarah McIntyre provided a superb rendition of I Know that my Redeemer Liveth (fr The Messiah by Handel). The choir sang the ordinary of the mass from the Messe Solennelle (Ste. Cecelia’s Mass) by Charles Gounod. Soloists during the mass setting were Richard Blakeney, Randolph Johnson, and Sarah McIntyre.
With the return of the choir in October, anthems were presented on a weekly basis that covered many genres. With Advent beginning the 1st Sunday of December, the focus of the music became anticipatory of Jesus’ coming to earth for our salvation.
At the Christmas Eve Mass this year, the choir performed anthems that once again covered many different musical genre. The Preservice Music was changed with the addition of choir anthems: Go Tell it on the Mountain arr. by John Carter and How Quietly by Joel Raney with Mirjana Jovanovic singing the carol Away in a Manger above the choir. Directly preceding the Station at the Creche, the choir sang a new gospel anthem by a very talented young black composer Victor C. Johnson entitled Run, Run to the Manger with Randolph Johnson providing solo work. The Choral Introit of Well, the Savior is Born by Glenn Burleigh was sung with many in the congregation joining the singing! Monica Perdue was fabulous as the soloist. Monica also sang an Offertory solo—The Virgin Mary had a Baby Boy by J.B. Hairston that was commissioned by the notable Afro-American opera singer Kathleen Battle. As the sequence anthem, the choir performed Harold Darke’s hauntingly beautiful In the Bleak Midwinter. Following the Gospel, the fanfare-like anthem Jesus Is Born, Alleluia by Eugene Butler was gloriously presented by the choir. Following the sermon, a delightful arrangement of the French carol, He Is Born (arr by Jack Schrader) was sung. During distribution of the Eucharist, Adolphe Adams’ O Holy Night was gorgeously sung as a solo by Sarah McIntyre with the choir on the refrain, and Randolph Johnson sang the Ave Maria by Schubert. The Gloria from Mozart’s Coronation Mass was magnificently sung by the choir as part of the ordinary of the mass.
Once again, the paid singers in the choir have remained remarkably stable for another year. With the departure of tenor Christian Ketter in February, we added a very talented Richard Blakeney, who, in addition to singing, is currently doing volunteer work with the youth of the congregation in developing their vocal talents. You will find him at the piano in church after coffee hour with 8-10 of our youth nearly every Sunday. After the Spring Season, Valea Woodbury left Chicago for Atlanta to continue her education, and Dr. Susan Arjmand left the choir for personal development reasons. In October, Elizabeth Smith was added to replace her. In mid-October, Beth Johnson joined the singers to add a 2nd person to the alto section. Additionally, an extremely talented singer, Mirjana Jovanovic was added in mid-December.
Our On-Going Mission
"He who sings, prays twice!" St. Augustine
We are a diverse and very enthusiastic group that loves to sing...and with great gusto! Every voice, no matter how big or small, good or less good (there's never a bad voice), is an important contributor to the total sound of our choir! We provide tremendous support for the Sunday Mass in both the music of the Ordinary and for congregational hymnody. Many parts of the Ordinary, as well as parts of the hymns are sung in harmony. In the Eucharist, the Proclamation of the Mystery of Faith is set to the tune We Shall Overcome. We utilize the noted black composer Lena McLin's Agnus Dei (Lamb of God). We perform a wide range of music from the classics to contemporary to traditional gospel. If you enjoy music and singing, please consider becoming a member! All are welcome!
Augmenting our congregational volunteer singers, we are blessed to have some very talented individuals who are paid musicians: Sarah McIntyre-Soprano, Elizabeth Smith-Soprano, Beth Johnson-Alto, Mirjana Jovanovic-Alto, Monica Perdue-Alto, Richard Blakeney-Tenor, Randolph Johnson-Tenor, David Banasiak-Bass, and Stephan Martone-Bass.
Sarah is a vocal instructor with offices in the Fine Arts Building on Michigan Avenue. She holds a Master of Music degree in Vocal Pedagogy & Performance from Belmont University and Bachelor of Music in Performance from Samford University. In addition to her university education, she has been chosen to participate in numerous opera intensive programs including the International Vocal Arts Institute in San Juan Puerto Rico, and Voice Experience in Orlando, FL. Sarah is a frequent concert and oratorio soloist, and has sung for: the Greensboro Oratorio Society, Chicago Lyric Opera Guild Concert Series, and Northbrook Parisian Salon Series. Sarah has appeared at Symphony Hall in Chicago as a guest soloist for the annual Rush Medical Center Fundraiser. In February, 2010. she will be singing the role of Jane in the Chamber Opera of Chicago's premier performance of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice: The New Musical. More information on Sarah can found her website: www.fineartsvoice.com.
Monica, besides educating young people, has found the time to perform with various Chicago Park District programs throughout the year. In the 2009-10 Season, Monica will be presented in the Inaugural Young Artist Concert Series of the Park Manor Church. She is also a member of this Season's South Shore Opera Company Ensemble. Additionally, Monica regularly appears as the featured soloist at various Chicagoland musical presentations. Despite being a superb soprano, Monica's voice range is broad and she is currently the leader of our alto section.
Rehearsals are held on Sunday afternoons from approximately 1:15-2:30pm from the second Sunday of October through the end of May. Come and try us out......you'll love it!
Carolyn Martin, PhD
Marguerite Stams, PhD