MusicNotes Oct 29-30

MusicNotes - Learn about the music at Mass this weekend.

October 29-30, 2011

Prelude- A Love Round Traditional, arranged by Nancy Gifford

The Elementary Vocal Choir will share this piece at the beginning of the 10:30 mass, under the direction of Karen Hiller, our Music Associate. This traditional Christian tune has been arranged into a round for young voices by New Jersey native and well-known children's music composer, Nancy Gifford. Although our children's choir is accustomed to singing one part at a time (unison), this will be the first time the children are singing in two-parts. This anthem reflects the Gospel reading for this Sunday, in which we are called to humble ourselves and to serve one another. We best serve our neighbors through love, the love that comes from God.

Choral Anthem- Hymn of Fire Eugene Butler (b. 1935)

Born in Durant, Oklahoma, Eugene Butler has been a prolific composer of sacred music for decades. Although he earned a degree at the University of Oklahoma, he spent most of his career in Kansas, during which 1000 of his compositions have been published to date. This piece reflects the chiding tone of the Gospel and urges us to examine our faith. The biting, angular harmonies and the rhythmic drive create an unsettled pace that remind us that our job as Christians is to practice what we preach and to be cautious of our pride. All that we have truly comes from God, and not from our human acts of faith.

Mass Setting- Land of Rest Richard Proulx (1937-2010)

The Eucharistic setting (Gospel Acclamation, Holy, Memorial Acclamation, Great Amen, Lamb of God) that has been used since September includes the Land of Rest Acclamations, based on a familiar hymn tune, called Land of Rest. Most of the acclamations have been arranged by the great Catholic composer Richard Proulx, while some I arranged myself. The tune is an old American folk tune, which came from the ballads of Northern England and Scotland, before spreading to the Appalachians. It was published in 1844 in The Sacred Harp, a musical collection that forms the backbone of early sacred music in this country.

Postlude- Finale, from Variations on The Servant Song Rebecca Groom te Velde (b. 1956)

Continuing from the closing hymn, The Servant Song, this variation on the hymn tune comes from a set of variations commissioned this past year by my predecessor, Walter Stout, in honor of the choir at St. Mary's. Rebecca Groom te Velde is internationally-known as a composer and organist. She currently serves as Organist at First Presbyterian Church in Stillwater, OK, and as adjunct professor at Oklahoma State University. This variation highlights the hymn tune in loud chords with both hands, while being underscored by a faster, more active line in the pedals. As we go forth from mass, I hope that this tune will remind us of our role as servants to one another. Jesus shows us this week that "the greatest among you must be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted." (Matthew 23:11-12)
Will Buthod
Director of Music
Church of St. Mary
(918) 749 2561, ext 120
1347 E. 49th Pl.
Tulsa, OK 74105

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Will. Your analysis of Sunday's anthem is very helpful, for it explains the bizarre harmonies and rhythms quite eloquently and highlights the doctrinal and pastoral intent of the message in the lyrics.


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