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St. Laurence Chorale Preparing for Easter

As choir rehearsals resumed on Wednesday, January 11th after a short Christmas break, the St. Laurence Chorale started rehearsing the Easter anthem. Holy Week is very demanding musically, and it is necessary to start rehearsing as early as possible. After searching and listening to quite a few pieces of music, I decided on Ye Choirs of New Jerusalem by Charles Villiers Stanford.

The text is comes from Fulbert of Chartres (952-1028) and was translated from Latin to English by Robert Campbell in Hymns and An¬thems (1850). It begins:

Ye choirs of new Jerusalem,
Your sweetest notes employ,
The Paschal victory to hymn
In strains of holy joy.

The full text can be found HERE.

Charles Villiers Stanford (1852-1924) was an Irish composer who studied in Cambridge, and later Leipzig and Berlin. He was also one of the founding composers of the Royal College of Music where he taught music composition from age 29 until his death in 1924. Although he composed music in a variety of genres, he is best known for his choral music in the Anglican tradition. Most Anglican church choirs have at least one piece of music in their choral repertoire, and the St. Laurence Chorale has sung several pieces by Stanford in the past.

I am grateful for the enthusiasm, motivation and dedication from the St. Laurence Chorale whenever we start working on a piece of music of this magnitude, and God will be with us as we prepare for the most important week of the church year.

John Heimel
Organist & Choirmaster