After many months of limited performance opportunities due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Saint Ignatius Choral Program was back in full swing this semester. The last 17 weeks have been full of music-making, memories, and merriment. Under the student-created motto, “A Brotherhood of Song and Spirit,” these young men have approached each event with a level of professionalism and excellence.
Highlights from the fall semester included a Fall Concert in October that featured folk music from various countries (and languages), pop music by The Jackson 5, Queen, and The Beatles, as well as some popular Saint Ignatius choral standards. Accompaniment featured student instrumentalists on percussion, clarinet, and piano.
The Cat-o’-Tonics made their debut appearance of the year in late September at the 1886 Society Leadership Reception event. They led a rousing chorus of the Alma Mater for the generous members of the community, who give so much to our school. The students were treated to a delicious dinner at the tent party following the leadership presentation.
One of the most exciting events for the students was serving as a host school to the Men’s Chorus from Bowling Green State University in October. The BG group, under the direction of Dr. Richard Schnipke, performed an inspiring private concert for our students at St. Mary of the Assumption Chapel. One of the best parts was for our students to sing with the BG guys on a popular men’s choral piece, Brothers Sing On!
In mid-November, juniors Daniel Durrant, Brady Green, and Pedro Villa-Forte participated in the OMEA (Ohio Music Education Association) Districts 4 & 7 Honors Choir. The concert, which took place at Cleveland State University, featured two days of intense rehearsal with 90 other high school students from around northeast Ohio. The guest conductor was Mr. Vincent Oakes, who teaches at The Baylor School in Chattanooga and conducts the Chattanooga Boys Choir.
In addition to concerts, the group stayed busy with leading the liturgical music at the school. In addition to three All-School Masses, the Chorus provided music for our 1886 Society Leadership Mass in September, the Alumni Memorial Mass and the Father-Son Mass in November. Additionally, they helped send the soul of Mr. Dale Gabor ‘66 to heaven, as the school collectively mourned his passing this semester. Additionally, individual Chorus students gave of their time and talents to cantor for the Friday morning community Masses, Taize prayer services, and various other Masses throughout the semester.
The holiday season was rich with music as the choral groups returned to St. Patrick Church for the 21st Annual Lessons and Carols service. The service was well-attended, and was a prayerful way to celebrate Gaudete Sunday, the third Sunday in Advent. Additionally, the Cat-o’-Tonics serenaded audiences at The Breen Center, as they participated in a combined Christmas Concert with the Jazz Orchestra and Steel Drum Ensemble. They also visited their friends at EnnisCourt nursing homes in Lakewood, to do some caroling for the residents.
We look forward to many more performances by our very talented students in the semester ahead.