Friday, July 13, 2012

Pursuing Excellence in Music to Glorify God

At the Colloquium this year, we had a privilege of hearing Madeleine Choir school children.  Their singing quality was superb!  After the concert, they received a long standing ovation.  And all the adult musicians there felt quite 'small' (humble) in front of those children who work so hard and provide such a beautiful music for the glory of God.  For the next two days we also had master classes with the music teacher and a few children from the choir school. All the children at the school (K-8) have a music class everyday and a choir rehearsal everyday after school for children from 4th grade and above.  They sing everyday for the daily Mass, in addition to Solemn High Mass on Sundays and Feast days.  They have concerts, tours and etc., including singing at Vatican.  We couldn't have imagined that in Mormon city, Salt Lake City has the best kept Catholic children's choir and choir school.  But it makes sense that the small number of Catholics here try to keep up with the high standard of music from the Mormon choir and the excellent musical culture.  The children are truly serious with the music.  I didn't see any teens showing 'attitudes' towards music that are common in other areas.  Do they really live in a different environment? How do you get such a tremendous support from parents?  For them music is the 'thing' they do I was told, and everything else comes after music.  I dream a day when all the cathedrals in each diocese have their own choir schools and educate children to provide the best music to glorify God.  In this way children also learn to work hard in their daily life and to offer the best to God.

“The musical tradition of the universal Church is

 a treasure of inestimable value,

greater even than that of any other art.

 The main reason for this pre-eminence is that,

as sacred song united to the words,

 it forms a necessary or integral part of the solemn liturgy.”

112, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy Sacrosanctum Concilium
solemnly promulgated by his holiness Pope Paul VI on December 4, 1963

“As a manifestation of the human spirit,” said John Paul II in 1989, “music performs a function which is noble, unique, and irreplaceable. When it is truly beautiful and inspired, it speaks to us more than all the other arts of goodness, virtue, peace, of matters holy and divine. Not for nothing has it always been, and will it always be, an essential part of the liturgy.”



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