Thursday, June 22, 2023

Maria Mater Nostra: Music to Honor Our Lady: A New Album by St Joseph College Seminary

St Joseph College Seminary, the minor seminary of the diocese of Charlotte, North Carolina, has lately released a new set of recordings titled “Maria Mater Nostra – Music to Honor Our Lady,” a collection of fourteen pieces sung and played by the seminary choir and the Daughters of the Virgin Mary, a local religious community. The pieces include four settings of the Ave Maria, the Angelus, the Ave, Maris Stella, two Magnificats, the Regina Caeli and the Salve, Regina; the final piece, Salve, Pater Salvatoris, is a song in honor of the seminary’s patron. Here are some selections from the seminary choir’s YouTube channel; the album is also available via iTunes and Spotify.

A polyphonic Magnificat sung by the seminarians.
Ave Maris Stella, sung by the Daughters of the Virgin Mary.
The seminary’s own hymn for St Joseph. (The first part of this is a late medieval hymn; the last two strophes in this version were composed by the seminary’s Latin teacher, Dr Nancy Llewellyn.)  
This was also the last recording project of the seminary’s previous music director, Thomas Savoy, who passed away very unexpectedly last October, a month before his 67th birthday, while the final editing of the recording was still going on. He had worked in sacred music since he was a child, and served for many years as the head of music at the cathedral of Albany, New York. In 2012, he moved to Charlotte to begin working at the church of St Thomas Aquinas, where he built a superb choral tradition, and then became full time music director at the seminary in January of 2022. The seminary recently put out this video about him, and the new Marian album is dedicated to his memory.
I had the great honor of Tom’s friendship for all too brief a period, the last seven months of his life; he was a gracious, hilariously funny, and generous man, and is sorely missed by many. Please offer a prayer for his eternal repose, and for the peace and consolation of his wife and children, and their many, many friends.
The organ heard in the recording, which was made in the seminary chapel.
The chapel’s Marian shrine.
The main altar and tabernacle.

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