Thursday, April 24, 2008

A Fairy Tale Wedding in the Making

This Saturday's wedding between two of Chapel of the Cross' Senior Choristers, Roberta Van Ness and Gerald Whittington, is promising to be quite the musical affair. I attended the rehearsal last night. Even though I received the invitation to re-join the Senior Choir for this occasion, I was saddened (as were other members of the Senior Choir) that my voice has not recovered sufficiently enough for me to be able to do so. But oh, the music that was rehearsed last night ... this is promising to be quite the musical affair!

I don't recall all the music that will be sung, but I can say there will be some of the Senior Choir's "signature pieces" that will be sung during the course of this service. Some representative composers include Purcell, Brahms, Rutter, des Prez ... and I'm blanking on others. Not to worry - I will post a complete Order of Worship after the wedding.

Here's what has me a little sad that I'm not singing with the Choir: a very lovely piece, written by the very talented Howard Helvey, will be debuted at the wedding. It was commissioned by the Senior Choir (and I count myself in that group) specifically for Roberta's and Gerry's wedding. Helvey took the words from Psalm 117 (Laudate Dominum omnes gentes or O praise the Lord, all ye nations) and set it to music, for SATB, a cappella. Oi, what a beautiful piece! I fell in love with Helvey's work after having sung his setting of O Lux Beatissima. If you ever have a chance to check out Helvey's compositions, please do. I know a lot of his stuff is published by Hinshaw Music.

The Senior Choir is being joined by members of another choir, and if I were to have my guess, it would be members of Bel Canto out of Greensboro (although I could be wrong; haven't been with the Senior Choir since January for obvious reasons, but I'll know for sure on Saturday who they are), and they have some *amazing* voices. The soprano who will be singing the solos that Roberta usually takes for some of the pieces has a breathtakingly beautiful voice. There was an alto I heard singing - beautiful voice, and she is spot on with her pitches and intonations. Yet another reason why I'm sad I'm not well enough to join this lot in singing this Saturday.

But enough with the pity party. I wish I had a digital recorder because if there is any service to be recorded, this would be one of them, if only for the music alone. With Roberta being the President of Hinshaw Music, and Gerry being in the Administration of Elon University, I'm pretty sure Chapel of the Cross will be choc-a-bloc full of people by the time the wedding starts at 4.30 pm.

I already have a sense that this is definitely a Fairy Tale Wedding in the making, and I am very much looking forward to spending a lovely Saturday afternoon and evening in the presence of such wonderful and talented people.

Congratulations in advance, Roberta and Gerry!

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