Monday, November 24, 2014

Centenary Foundation Day Mass

The Mass to mark the 100th anniversary of the opening of the School in 1914 was held on Friday 19 September at Westminster Cathedral.  The principal celebrant was Cardinal Vincent Nichols. He was joined by around 30 of his fellow priests, many of whom have links to the Vaughan.

Those present at the Mass will have heard the Schola and Senior Brass lead the School's worship in considerable style. The Schola was augmented by twenty former members of the choir who sang the baritone choir part in Widor's Messe à deux chœurs et deux orgues. It was wonderful to have these former members back with us - some left recently, others as long ago as 12 years. They made a marvelous sound - which you can hear on these videos:

The other very welcome guest with the Schola in the apse of the Cathedral that day was the world renowned composer James MacMillan, who had composed a piece for the occasion. It was a great honour, and quite nerve-wracking, to give the first performance of his motet, Emitte Lucem Tuam in his presence - and what a piece he has written for us too. The boys sang very well and many people commented afterwards on what a dramatic and fitting addition the work was to the liturgy that day. James MacMillan was very pleased with the performance and complimented the choir warmly, including talking about the Schola and the performance later that afternoon when he was interviewed on BBC Radio. Mr MacMillan has very kindly agreed to become a patron of the Vaughan Schola, alongside David Hill and James O'Donnell.

The text of the motet is taken from Psalm 42:

Emítte lucem tuam et veritátem tuam; ipsa me deduxérunt, et adduxérunt in montem sanctum tuum, et in tabernácula tua. Et introíbo ad altáre Dei, ad Deum qui lætíficat iuventútem meam. Confitébor tibi in cíthara, Deus, Deus meus. Glória Patri, et Filio, et Spirítui Sancto; sicut erat in princípio, et nunc, et semper, et in sǽcula sæculórum. Amen. 

Send out your light and your truth; these themselves led me forth, and they brought me to your holy mountain and to your holy place.And I will come to the altar of God, to God who gives delight to my youthfulness. And I will give thanks to you upon the harp, O God, my God. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. 

James MacMillan (b.1959) Psalm 42 (43): 3-5 & Doxology

Further videos of the music from the occasion, which included a pslam setting by Colin Mawby and hymns specially arranged by Philip Wilby, will be available very shortly on this blog.


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