Choirs Gearing Up for Holy Week
After months of rehearsal, the choirs are gearing up for Holy Week! The Canterbury Choir will be singing at the 8:30 Mass on Palm Sunday, as well as soprano soloist Amy Atkins. The St. Laurence Chorale will be singing at the 10:45 Mass, and Amy will also be singing a solo at that Mass as well.
The St. Laurence Chorale will also provide music for all of the additional Holy Week Masses. On Maundy Thursday, one of the pieces that they will be singing is Wash Me Throughly (lyrics HERE) by Samuel Sebastian Wesley (1810-1876), composed specifically for Maundy Thursday. Samuel Sebastian Wesley was the grandson of Charles Wesley, who is most famous for the hymns he composed for the Methodist church. Despite his grandfather's move to the Methodist church, Samuel Sebastian Wesley is famous as an organist, choirmaster and composer in the Anglican tradition.
On Good Friday, the St. Laurence Chorale will be singing Salvator mundi (lyrics and translation HERE) by Thomas Tallis (c. 1505-1585). Tallis is one of the most recognizable names in Anglican choral music, and for good reason. Tallis and William Byrd were granted a 21 year monopoly for the printing of polyphonic choral music by Queen Elizabeth in 1575, so it is no surprise that their own compositions are some of the most prominent to come out of England during that period.
Information about the Easter anthem, Ye Choirs of New Jerusalem by Charles Villiers Stanford, can be found in my previous blog article. As has been the tradition in years past, we will also have a brass quintet on Easter Sunday at both Masses to enhance the music.
I would like to conclude with a special thank you to all of the choir members who have given many extra hours of rehearsal time to prepare for Holy Week! Their dedication to St. Laurence makes all of this special music possible.
Organist & Choirmaster