Sacred Feast

Sacred Feast

       We had just come from singing the morning service at the Anglican church in Picton, on Canada Day, 2012, when the Gallery Choir stopped at this sunlit restaurant at Huff Estate Winery in Prince Edward County. We continued on to the house of generous friends and swam in Lake Ontario before returning home to Toronto. This event was emblematic of  this group of people. We have worked fairly hard at singing marvelous choral music, but there has always been a more profound element to this group. We have formed friendships that are enriched by music-making and we have supported each other through very challenging times. We’ve enjoyed exhilarating musical moments, and shared a lot of good food and wine. The next two weeks will be my last at the Church of St. Mary Magdalene and I have a lot to thank these people for. I thank the choir for their commitment to musical excellence which took us to the CBC competition in 2008 (and a memorable train trip to Laval, Quebec) and to Newfoundland’s Festival 500 in 2009. I thank them for giving me the confidence to write music for them, and for the hardworking team around the altar who create an atmosphere that cries out for liturgical music. Our two CDs “Willan Mass X” and “Alleluia” will be a lasting record of our time together in the very special surroundings of SMM, where the people listened and appreciated our music, and the building put an amazing glow on our singing. I thank the entire church community and Fr David Harrison for supporting me spiritually and physically through the dark time following my husband’s death. Some of those frozen casseroles are still  getting me through busy weeks : )

With the choir’s help I will be leaving SMM on a high note (literally) and they have planned an extra evensong service this Sunday, Nov 18 at 4:30pm, followed by a reception offered by the choir.

If you are a choral music geek like myself, you’ll want to know what we are singing in the next two weeks.

Sunday Nov 18, 11 am: Palestrina, Missa Brevis; Guerrero, O sacrum convivium

Sunday Nov 18, 4:30 pm: Martin, Selwyn Service; Willan, Hail gladdening light; Philips, Salve Regina; Martin, O Lord support us all the day long; Martin, At thy great name

Sunday Nov 25, 11 am: Palestrina, Missa Papae Marcelli; Willan, Lo in the time appointed

Got to

for more information, and maybe I’ll see you there?

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2 Responses to Sacred feast?

  1. Steph,

    Your commitment to all that is excellent in music and liturgy (and much more besides) together with your clearly demonstrated love and care for those who have shared your SMM journey over the past years will also stand as a lasting testament to all you are and have been to and at SMM. A more worthy successor of the great Dr Healey Willan none of us could ever possibly imagine (if I may speak for the rest of the liturgical music world).

    The dignity and courage with which you have carried yourself, and your continuing responsibilities at SMM, through the past dark months are a testament not only to your strength and integrity but also to your faith.

    It is more than a privilege to call you a friend and be assured that we will all always walk alongside you, with love, support and encouragement as you move forward in your life both personally and musically.

    May you be richly blessed as you have richly blessed us.


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