Concert Mass Sunday at St. Aloysius
Women in Song, a women’s chorus at St. Aloysius Gonzaga parish (Bridgetown, OH, will present “Divine Tapestry,” a concert Mass, on Sunday afternoon at the church.
Pieces from many eras, countries, and composers will “weave together a complete setting of the Mass,” says Michael Match, who has directed the group since 2009.
Each concert piece is a prayer from the Mass, and they will be presented in the order of a Mass. It will include pieces by French composer Gabriel Faure, English composer John Rutter, Italian favorite Antonio Vivaldi, and American Randal Thompson. “We will also have some lesser-known composers like Sigismund Ritter von Neukomm, an Austrian contemporary of Mozart,” says Match. “The newer music is more contemporary in the sense of time rather than style. We are singing works by Laurence Rosania, Brian Lewis, and Victor Johnson, which fall very easily on the ear, from hymn-style to Spiritual arrangements. We’ll also feature the Agnus Dei from Bob Chilcott’s 2004 ‘Little Jazz Mass,’ and a few settings of Gregorian Chant.”
Women in Song was formed in 2005 by Music Director Michael Phelps. Except for one year, when they were based at Saint Catharine of Sienna (Westwood, OH) with Director Rick Foegler, the group has been based at Saint Al’s, where it performs two or three times a year.
It’s the last concert for Match, the winner of the 2010 Cincinnati Opera Idol contest. A former member of the world-renowned chorus Chanticleer, Match teaches voice at the preparatory department of UC’s College Conservatory of Music and is finishing his doctorate at Indiana University. “This event will mark the end of my tenure as musical director, and will therefore be the last Women in Song concert at Saint Aloysius,” Match says. The group has not found a new director, so the concert may be their last.
There is no charge for the performance, although a free-will offering will be accepted for the music department of St. Al’s. “Saint Aloysius parish is trying to foster a commitment to quality music in the liturgy and community, so that our worship is always joyful and praiseworthy,” Match says. “We believe that a beautiful Liturgy helps inspire a more prayerful atmosphere. This concert is modeled on that principle.”
Music lovers of all faiths are welcome, Match says. The concert provides the opportunity to hear some of the best music ever composed for worship, but now rarely heard outside concert halls. “Much of this music is not possible within the realistic context of an actual, modern-day Liturgy,” he says. “These are pieces which would either be too long or too performance-based for a congregation to join in singing. Since today’s music ministry is all about involving the full participation of the assembly, most of these pieces would not have a place in the Mass today. For example, one would never hear Bach’s B minor Mass, or Mozart’s great Mass in C minor, at an actual church service. They are all definitely showpieces, but all sacred and completely suited to the sanctity of the altar and the Mass.”
The April 22 concert begins at 4 pm. Reservations are not required.
Photos courtesy St. Aloysius Gonzaga Parish and Stock XChange.