NE OF THE JOYS of a life in sacred music is encountering new and talented people all over the world. Such people enrich our lives beyond measure. There is a bond forged by those struggling to create beauty and pray the scriptures through sacred melody.
As someone who grew up in the 1970s and 1980s, I am always thrilled to meet exceedingly talented people who are half my age or at least a decade younger! They bring a fresh perspective — one quite different than those of us who lived through the early days of the Post-Conciliar Era.
One such young conductor to watch is Andrew Leung. A native of Hong Kong, he is currently The Director of Music at St. Pius X Church in Conyers, Georgia where he directs the St. Cecilia Adult Choir, two Scholae Cantorum, and the St. Dominic Savio Children’s Choir. He is also Gregorian Chant Instructor at the Trappist Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, Georgia. While in Hong Kong he studied with Aurelio Porfiri. Furthermore, Andrew recently finished a degree in Sacred Music at the Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio. It was there that he founded the Schola Cantorum Sanctorum Angelorum at Christ the King Chapel at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, a student group which he developed and elevated to great heights in three short years.
OST UNEXPECTEDLY, I recently received recordings from Maestro Leung of two of my sacred choral works. They were recorded this past summer by the Schola Cantorum Sanctorum Angelorum. The first is a TTB setting of O Sacrum Convivium. The second, a TTBB setting of the Ave Maria. (The SSAT version of this Ave Maria has been performed around the world by The American Boychoir. One of the finest choirs in the world, they will be featured throughout the upcoming film Boychoir starring Dustin Hoffmann and Kathy Bates.)
Leung’s recording (TTBB version) stacks up well even next to the American Boychoir’s live recording (SSAT version). The American Boychoir’s rendering is transcendently exquisite; sublime prayerfulness distinguishes Leung’s recording with the Schola Contorum Sanctorum Angelorum. How do they compare for you?
Finally, I leave you with Leung’s beautifully prayerful recording of O Sacrum Convivium.