Eden Casteel Music Studio

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Filtering by Tag: chant

Somewhere out there

My son, the world's No. 1 Rush fan, recently became a blogger. Reactions to his blog were mixed. (You can do a quick search for it at the Good Man Project's Good Feed Blog.) The feedback from his peers -- whose tastes run more to hip-hop -- was mostly negative, but that was no surprise. Readers old enough to know all the lyrics to Tom Sawyer were supportive and enthusiastic. I wish he had more support from friends in his area, but I know he will find camaraderie eventually.

The apple didn't fall far from the tree. Last year I started "Chants Occurrence," a Meetup group that I hoped would help me link up with people who liked Gregorian chant and early sacred music. It was a way for me to handle the sudden musical isolation I felt after my big move to the East in 2010. I was hoping to start a mini-schola, and maybe even bring that group to a church occasionally, because I think St. Augustine was right. But, we all live too far away from each other for that to happen anytime soon. I've had the pleasure of meeting a few of the 11 members of the group at concerts, and I'll see a couple of them at a Vespers I'm singing this weekend in Connecticut. I still hope we'll get to chant together sometime, but I feel better just knowing they're out there.

Finding my tribe has not happened the way I thought it would, but isn't that God's favorite way of answering prayer? A few weeks ago, recoiling from negative news stories, I found I had an urgent desire to save a life. I prayed to save just one life. Less than 24 hours later, I had an unexpected extra hour in my teaching schedule and out the window, I saw a red-letter opportunity. I walked into a building near my teaching studio, and gave a pint of blood.

I feel better just knowing it's out there. ;)








EC loves Ecclesia Consort

Continuing my not-at-all-penitential Lenten practice of listening to really great sacred music . . .I attended an Evensong at an Epsicopal parish in Newport. The Providence-based Ecclesia Consort was the guest choir -- one of their sopranos was the rector of this lovely church.

The all-volunteer group, led by Pierre Masse, is concluding its 19th season now . . .they'll kick off their 20th anniversary with the Bach B Minor Mass in late September. Heck yes I'll be there!

Here's the Consort singing Richard Farrant's Hide Not Thou Thy Face. What a wonderful blend. (What a terrible iPhone stealth audio engineer I am.) And here is their Ave Regina Caelorum.

I also met Brendan, a member of my Meetup group, "Chants Occurrence." We met at the front of the church following the concert. He went to seminary in my hometown and went to college in southern Michigan, near where I used to live. Small world! I'm more eager than ever to find more Chant and sacred music lovers in South County RI (South County is the nickname for this region, even though the technical name is Washington County).

Earlier that day, I cantored at St. Michael Catholic Church in Pawcatuck, CT, just over the western border. I had a great time with the organist -- we've been trying to get together for months and it finally worked out. I was in my element, sightreading music 30 minutes before Mass. I'll be joining her choir for a Lenten Evensong on April 3. So. . . I've met Catholic sacred music/chant lovers in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and now Newport . . . all of these areas are adjacent to South County. I keep telling myself, "You're getting warmer, you're getting warmer . . . "

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