In Your Midst

An 18-Month Celebration of Cathedral Music

Spring 2001

In This Issue:
In every diocese, the cathedral is the place where the most vivid connections with the universal church happen. Cathedrals are powerful reminders of our mission to be the “ones who serve” — the mission we share with Catholics throughout the world.

To honor the tremendous diversity of the people of St. James Cathedral and of the Archdiocese of Seattle, where people of many languages and nations come together to make up the one body of Christ, St. James began an 18-month festival of the Music of the World’s Cathedrals last year. The festival has had visiting choirs from around the world, as well as special performances by the Cathedral’s ensembles.

Africa: A memorable performance by the Christ the King Choir of the Cathedral of Kampaala, Uganda in the summer of 2000.

The Philippines: The richness and the diversity of the Catholic tradition is evident in the music of the cathedrals of the Philippines. Ella Rosana, of the Cathedral’s Youth Music Program, brought back a selection of the music sung in Manila and other major cities — music which included Gregorian chant, Latin masses from Italy, and vernacular works by Filipino composers. In September 2000, I had the great honor of conducting a festival choir of 100 Filipino musicians in the music of their homeland. It was a moving reminder for me of the great gifts the people of the Philippines bring to this Archdiocese, both spiritually and musically.

Guatemala: In December of 2000, the noted San Antonio Vocal Arts Ensemble performed music celebrating Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Mother of the Americas, including works sung as early as the 17th century in Guatemalan cathedrals.

Tokyo: This November, the Cathedral Choir, together with several area choirs and the Cathedral Chamber Orchestra, will join in the North American premiere of Shigeaki Saegusa’s Requiem, an extraordinary work composed in memory of those who died in World War II.

Constantinople: 2001 Cathedral Guest Choral Artist, Cappella Romana, presented the Akathist Hymn to the Mother of God.

Zagreb: The 18-month festival concludes with the North American premiere of Tomislav Uhlik’s extraordinary work for choir and orchestra. Narodil Se Mladi Kralj (A Young King Was Born) was premiered at the Cathedral of Zagreb. (Incidentally, the Archbishop of Zagreb celebrated mass here at St. James on February 25, with a large gathering of the Croatian community of the Pacific Northwest.)

Europe: Not only did we bring the music of the world’s cathedrals here to St. James, but we are taking some of our own music to cathedrals of the world as well! The parish pilgrimage has led the Cathedral Choir to such Cathedrals as Notre Dame in Paris and Chartres; and to the Cathedrals in Spain: Burgos, Leon, and Santiago de Compostela.

Dr. James Savage is the director of Liturgy and Music at St. James Cathedral. For more information about music program, please call 206/382-4874.

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