Concerts at Saint Mary’s
Earlier this year two different people, one a parishioner and one a friend of Saint Mary’s, both spoke to me about the need to get a concert series going here. People often speak to me about things they think the parish should be doing, but this was different: these two promised to write checks to help make it happen. This got my attention. Robert McCormick and I went to work.
In some sense we started a little late. Concert series usually are planned a year in advance. We didn’t have a year but we already had a fine organ recital scheduled for May 2005. One parishioner stepped forward to design a brochure for the series. Another parishioner, a professional announcer, volunteered to record advertisements for WQXR. Some very hard work by Robert has given us a good beginning for Concerts at Saint Mary’s.
The season begins on Thursday, November 18, with our extraordinary parish choir, an all-professional group of some of New York’s finest ensemble and solo singers, offering “Of Our Lady: Music from across the ages in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary.” The program includes Tallis’ Mass and motet Salve intemerata Virgo and John Tavener’s Magnificat (Collegium Regale) and works of Cornysh, Victoria, Mendelssohn and Stanford. Frankly, our singers and directors love this music and have the superior skills these compositions demand. This first concert will be at 7:30 PM. It will be an evening of great musical satisfaction.
Part of our hopes for this first concert in the series is that members of the metropolitan parish community may be able to introduce friends and colleagues to Saint Mary’s. Buy some tickets and invite some people who need to know about your parish church and its great music!
Ticket sales alone do not support any music series. They require special support to make them break even – which is our goal for the series. One of the supporters offered to give $6,000.00 if I could raise $12,000.00 in new support for music. Let me assure you, I am working on that (and if you wish to help, please let me know directly). In order to make the series a success we have included radio advertising in our budget. Clearly we are in a time when there are many needs at Saint Mary’s but music, liturgical and in concert, is part of the way forward for us. One significant overall benefit to the parish will be the radio advertising.
Our singers are great singers and sight-readers – you would never know how little rehearsal they take to prepare some of the most beautiful and challenging liturgical music there is. We are greatly blessed with the work of our organist and music director, Robert McCormick, and his associate, Robert McDermitt. We are privileged also to have Larry Trupiano as our organ curator. Music, like worship, is at the core of who we are as a Christian community. Many people remark to me about the quality of music at Saint Mary’s these days. Among them are many professional musicians from around the country who visit or discover us while they are in New York. They are bowled over when they realize what a young parish musician we have in Robert McCormick.
Many may not know that Robert has begun accepting more requests for organ recitals beyond our local area. His choral work is amazing in its on right, and I remind you that his primary academic work is in organ performance, not choral. He will be playing a recital at Saint Francis’s Church, Temple, Texas on Thursday, November 11 and a recital at All Saints’ Church, Fort Worth, Texas on November 12. His engagements in 2005 range from Vassar College to the San Francisco Bay Area.
Many things are going to be apart of the future of Saint Mary’s and music is certainly one of them. Initial planning is already underway for a 2005-2006 season of Concerts at Saint Mary’s. There are many reasons to enjoy this concert series. Pride in one’s parish can be a great source of spiritual strength. Pride in music at Saint Mary’s is one of the many gifts God is giving us. Stephen Gerth
PRAYER LIST . . . Your prayers are asked for Mary, Rick, Pamela, Charles, Gloria, Penn, Gilbert, Robert, Margaret, Jason, Bart, Hugh, Marion, Christine and Charles, priest; for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Bruce, Paul, Brenden, Jonathan, Jeffrey, Ned, Timothy, Patrick, Kevin, Christopher, Andrew, Joseph, Marc, Timothy, David, Colin, Christina, David, Nestor, Freddie, Matthew and Bennett; and for the repose of the soul of Joni . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . November 6: 1988 Beatrice Emily Clark; November 7: 1986 Bruce Taylor; November 8: 1992 Edna May Chaney.
LITURGICAL NOTES . . . The Sunday Proper: Job 19:23-27, Psalm 32:1-8, 2 Thessalonians 2:13 – 3:5, Luke 20:27-38 . . . Confessions will be heard on Saturday, November 6 by Father Mead and on Saturday, November 13, at 11:30 AM by Father Smith and at 4:00 PM by Father Gerth . . . On Sunday, November 7, Father Mead is celebrant and preacher for the 9:00 AM Said Mass. Father Beddingfield is celebrant and preacher for the 10:00 AM Sung Mass and the 11:00 AM Solemn Mass. Our preacher at Solemn Evensong & Benediction at 5:00 PM is the Reverend Peter Galloway, vicar of Emmanuel Church, West Hampstead and Area Dean of North Camden, London.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . On MONDAY evening Via Media continues in Saint Joseph’s Hall from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM . . . On TUESDAY Father Mead’s Bible Study continues in Saint Benedict’s Study from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM . . . On WEDNESDAY Bishop Grein’s class, “Feed my Sheep” continues in Saint Benedict’s Study from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM . . . The 228th Annual Convention of the Diocese of New York will be held Friday and Saturday, November 12 and 13, at the Westchester Marriott Hotel in Tarrytown, New York. Rick Miranda is the lay delegate of Saint Mary’s to the convention . . . Attendance last Sunday 218, All Saints’ 398, All Souls’ 175.
NOTES ON MUSIC . . . This Sunday at the Sung Mass, played by Robert McDermitt, the prelude is from Andante from Sonate Nr. 7 by Josef Gabriel Rheinberger (1839-1901) and the postlude is Rigaudon by André Campra (1660-1744) . . . At the Solemn Mass, the voluntaries are movements from Symphonie I, Opus 13 by Charles-Marie Widor (1844-1937). The setting of the Mass ordinary is Missa in honorem Sancti Iosephi, Opus 21 by Flor Peeters (1903-1986), a Belgian organist, composer and teacher (who once played a recital at Saint Mary’s). Peeters wrote a great deal of sacred choral music and this relatively brief setting dates from 1929. The motet at Communion is Selig sind die Toten, SWV 391 by Heinrich Schütz (1585-1672). A great German master of the early Baroque period, Schütz, who was a Protestant, wrote a large amount of sacred choral music (like Peeters), most of it in German. He studied in Venice with Giovanni Gabrieli, and much of his music is polychoral (for more than one choir simultaneously), reflecting his teacher’s style. This motet for 6 part choir, from Geistliche Chor-Music (an important collection of motets), is a beautiful setting of the text from Revelation, “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord” . . . The organ recital at 4:40 is played by Paul Murray of the Church of the Holy Family, New York . . . The concert by Saint Mary’s choir on Thursday, November 18 at 7:30 PM is quickly approaching. It features music composed in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary by Tallis, Cornysh and others. Tickets by be ordered by phoning 212.869.5830, extension 25 or by printing and mailing the form, with a check, found at www.stmvirgin.org/MusicatSaintMarys. Robert McCormick
JACOB’S TENTS MEETING . . . On Sunday, November 14 at 1:00 PM (or just a little after) in Saint Benedict’s Study we will have an orientation and training meeting for those who are interested in learning more about this program with the homeless around Saint Mary’s. J.B.
MEMBERSHIP NOTES . . . Welcome our newest church members. At the Solemn Pontifical Mass on All Saints’ the following infants were baptized: Alisha Monet Aviles, daughter of Kendra Salvatore (niece of Bashir and Rosario and great-niece of J. Bailey Morgan). Also baptized was Alexander (Xander) Enrico Tommasino, son of Liz and Sal Tommasino, and Maxwell Keith Passaro and his twin brother, Michele Salvatore Passaro III, sons of Krisleah and Michael Passaro. Shirley Ashley Young, fiancée of Rob Imig, was also baptized. We also welcome formally into this parish LaVerne Williams Cameron, who was confirmed. Bishop Taylor also received Julie Ann Gillis, Mijung (Christine) Kim and June Elizabeth Lennon into the Anglican Communion . . . While not part of the liturgy on Monday night, we also welcome John Simon-Ash and Lyson Bazile, who have recently joined our parish officially.
The Calendar of the Week
Sunday The Twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost
Wednesday Leo the Great, Bishop of Rome, 461
Thursday Martin, Bishop of Tours, 397
Friday Charles Simeon, Priest 1836 Abstinence
Saturday Of Our Lady
The Parish Clergy
The Reverend Stephen Gerth, rector,
The Reverend John Beddingfield, The Reverend Matthew Mead, curates,
The Reverend Ian Bruce Montgomery, The Reverend James Ross Smith,
The Reverend Rosemari Sullivan, assisting priests, The Reverend Canon Edgar F. Wells, rector emeritus.