December 23, 2011
The parish is blessed to have the talented voices of its Singer Servants choir, one of five music ministry groups at Saint Alphonsus Liguori.
Over the last twelve months, this ministry produced its first ever CD titled, Songs of the Seasons. With 16 different tracks the album takes listeners on a sort of musical journey through the liturgical year - beginning with Advent and continuing through to the Feast of Christ the King. After making the music selections and going through the process of acquiring copyright and licensing for the album, the members each received a booklet with every note and measure of music they would be performing.
The group regularly meets each Tuesday evening, except in the summer when rehearsal times can fluctuate. Between practicing individually at home and together at rehearsal, it wasn't until Saturday, June 25 when they met to record the official tracks.
"The whole day was great." said Sandra Santucci, the Director of Worship and Sacred Music at the parish. "To spend an entire day together was a lot of fun." A full day it was, as the servants arrived at the parish early that morning and did not depart until three in the afternoon.
Another special piece to the album is that it was recorded within the very walls of the church where the servants most often rehearse and perform - a familiar place to be themselves and enjoy the project. A professional recording company captured the different tracks throughout the day with special equipment and a sound technician positioned in the church.
"We would review each song and then perform it for the recording." explained Santucci. "The equipment was extremely sensitive so we had to be careful not to bump a chair, cough or even sneeze once they pushed that record button."
Well after a full day of work and a shared lunch amongst friends, the 25 vocalists completed their mission that day and went on only to anticipate when the album would be complete. Each track was then reviewed carefully for any errors or odd sounds. Santucci helped select what she felt were the best recordings for the songs. The music was then made into the album and sent for replicating.
The cover artwork was created to capture each stained glass window inside the church and the packaging of all 500 discs was completed just in time for the albums debut at the Christmas Masses.
The Singing Servants have many members including families who sing and participate together. Their youngest vocalist is about 13 years old. Even though building a dynamic choir takes practice, the group is also sure to have fun together as they enjoy using their talents doing something they love.
Read below to learn more about the songs and watch a short video from their recording day that also features two songs on their album.
Find out how to receive a copy of Songs of the Seasons
Read more about music ministries at St. Alphonsus Liguori
About each song:
1. We Are Waiting
An advent anthem with the air of anticipation and a little jazzy style that highlights some of the most popular advent hymns: Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus & O Come, O Come Emmanuel.
2. Tu Scendi Dalle Stelle
A famous European Christmas carol written by our patron Saint Alphonsus Liguori and performed in Italian For a translation of the text, click here.
3. O, Tiny Babe of Bethlehem
This Christmas Octavo portrays the manger scene, aglow with the light of God's love and has images reminiscent of the beloved carol "O Little Town of Bethlehem.”
4. Ave Maria
Enjoy the prayerful mediation of this Marian favorite in a three-part motet-style accapella arrangement sung in Latin. For a translation of the text, click here.
5. A Pro-Life Hymn
This hymn sung to the tune BEACH SPRING and with all voices in unison has a prominent pro-life message that everyone should hear especially in January around the time of the March for Life, but is fitting throughout the entire year.
6. Psalm 100
A vibrant rendition of Psalm 100 that highlights the women in the choir. Being that it is a Psalm is perfect for anytime of the year, but has been used during Ordinary Time.
7. May We Have the Mind of Christ
A reflective song for Lent that calls us to be more Christ-like and recalls the Passion of Christ.
8. Ave Verum
Mozart’s classic Ave Verum Corpus is a Eucharistic Hymn which lends itself most appropriately for use during Holy Week as the first words are “Hail, True Body." For a complete translation of the text, click here.
9. Laudate, Laudate Dominium
Praise God! This catchy tune will keep you singing it all Easter long.
10. Spirit, Come Down
A spirit filled three-part anthem, with images of the Holy Spirit as fire and breathe, has text references to Pentecost and being sealed with the Holy Spirit.
11. At the Table of the Lord
An anthem for Corpus Christi about gathering at the table of the Lord, and that wherever two or more are gathered there our Lord will be
12. Hymn to St. Alphonsus
Celebrate the feast day of our patron Saint, which is August 1, with this Hymn to the tune HYFRYDOL.
13. Shout to the Lord
An SATB contemporary anthem that reminds us all creation is made to praise God.
14. For All the Saints
A traditional anthem known and sung by Christians around the world.
15. Peace Be with Those
In this moving anthem, often used for All Saints or All Souls, we pray, “Peace be with those who have gone to God. May they be at peace. May they be with God.”
16. Hosanna to the Son of David
Used for the Feast of Christ the King, this jazzy upbeat anthem is also well suited for Palm Sunday, but due to its style is most fitting for this joyful feast.