SINGING DURING the pandemic poses challenge and demands heavy responsibility. With trial comes renewed appreciation and inspiration. Much gratitude is owed to Barbara Hill, soprano, Jaime Korkos, mezzo-soprano Michael González, tenor, and Taras Leschishin, bass (and Ciarán Nagle, tenor) for consistently creating beauty during such a time. We are deeply mindful of our good fortune to sing when countless others in pews and choir lofts have been rendered voiceless for over a year.
Choirs in the Archdiocese of Boston have been limited to four masked singers following a previous limit of only one cantor. In addition, there has been a suspension of congregational singing. The lifting of these restrictions in Boston will hopefully take effect on Pentecost Sunday, appropriately so on the Church’s birthday.
We emerge from silence a changed people more in tune with our need for the Eucharist, prayer, and praise. Singing God’s praise is inseparable from our prayer. It is intrinsic to who we are as a faithful community — global and local — and as a people. We sing with inexorable purpose toward God.
The quartet at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross has found artistic refuge in the south tower of the Cathedral where its bells reside and toll each day. The tower’s acoustic properties are beautiful owed to a wood floor and an exceedingly high ceiling. It is astonishingly friendly for singers who must distance from each other offering an experience akin to standing close.
What began as an experiment in December of 2020, recordings became for a time a weekly ritual immediately following Mass. It has been a balm during difficulty. I hope you you enjoy these; we will likely add recordings from time to time.
Sacred Music from the Bell Tower:
Photo of bells: Evan Landry Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Boston