Saturday, November 24, 2007

And the Chant Goes on.

This is a very nice story in the Hartford Courant, about Holy Apostles Seminary and the learning of chant. Be sure to watch the video.

CROMWELL - On Thursday nights they gather here, in this basement classroom with whitewashed walls, a banged-up piano and a wooden crucifix perched above the chalkboard.

They are five men, four in black suit jackets and white collared shirts and one in the slate gray habit of a friar. They come from places like South Dakota, Kansas City and California. All want to be priests.

With their teacher and the rows of empty chairs as their audience, they fill their lungs with air and sing the sonorous chants that are centuries upon centuries old.

Or try to sing them. Tongues trip over lyrics crafted in a dead language. Their lungs give out under syllables meant to be held for seven, sometimes 10 seconds.

But the men, all seminarians at Holy Apostles College and Seminary, are devoted to it. This is a class in Gregorian chant, one of the world's oldest musical traditions.

And, as any of its disciples would tell you, there's nothing quite like it in the world.

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