What an amazing performance!
As I write this brief post this morning, I contemplated titling this one "On the Stage at Carnegie Hall" because, having performed at Carnegie Hall, that is where I thought I was as I entered St. Paul's Church in Princeton to the sounds of the opening number of the Christmas Concert performed by the Daughters of Saint Paul Choir.
"Amazing" is to some degree an understatement and should be replaced perhaps by the adjectives "mesmerizing," "captivating," and "envigorating."
Being quite familiar with the Sisters' music and singing through their CDs, I anticipated the concert with great enthusiasm and high expectations for its musical quality. However, I did not expect the total experience of a performance complete with choreography, props, and interaction with the audience. To my surprise, even my high expectations were exceeded.
The program was a balanced combination of energy and reflection and drew on the rich cultural and talent diversity of the Sisters' community here in the United States.
The two-part program, complete with an encore following a spontaneous and immediate standing ovation from the amply filled church (and St. Paul's is by local standards a large Church), respected the spirit of Advent while gently ushering the audience closer to the much anticipated feast of Christmas. Under the direction of FSP Conductor Sister Bridget Charles Ellis, the program included an amazing and moving "O Holy Night" with solo by our fellow blogger, Sister Anne Flanagan. (More on the contents of the program later along with links added.)
Following the concert, the audience was invited to a nice reception in the lower Church where there was welcome opportunity to greet the Sisters and peruse their Pauline Books & Media display. And for me, the icing on the cake was the blessed opportunity to see Sister Anne, Sister Lorraine, and Sister Kathryn!
The witness of the Daughters of Saint Paul , through their music and their presence, was moving! The Sisters in the Choir received support and encouragement not only from each other and those who traveled with them from Boston but also from the Sisters and Cooperators ministering in New York City, Edison, NJ, and Philadelphia, PA. A true reflection of sisterly love! I know that Blessed Father James Alberione, Venerable Mother Thecla Merlo, and Mother Paula Cordero were indeed smiling from their places at God's right hand!
The Sisters' final three concerts will take place in the Boston area. If you have the opportunity, this year or in the future, make their concerts part of your Christmas tradition. For more information, contact the Daughters of Saint Paul, 50 St. Paul's Avenue, Jamaica Plains (Boston), MA 02130, 617-522-8911.
Truly this choir of Sisters merits the stages of Carnegie Hall and I hope someday soon a gracious benefactor (or benefactors) will make that possible. It will be an amazing experience for the Sisters and a mesmerizing, captivating, and envigorating experience for the audience.