This past year, as the Redemptorist family looked for ways to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the icon of Perpetual Help, Jeannie, the founder and director of the Grande Prairie Boys’ Choir, naturally thought “with music, of course” – specifically, with a newly commissioned piece of choral music performed by the Grande Prairie Boys’ Choir. That initial conversation led to several more, eventually leading to a formal proposal to the Edmonton-Toronto Provincial Council for a musical commission. Happily, the council gave its blessing.
To write the score, Jeannie enlisted Edmonton composer Trent Worthington. For the text, Jeannie and Trent chose the words of the Magnificat. The world premiere of the piece, entitled Magnificat anima mea, was set for May 21st at the historical McDougall United Church in Edmonton as part of Podium 2016, the annual gathering of choral conductors from across Canada. The performance was outstanding, as it evoked a delightful sense of joy and brightness, quite appropriate for a celebration of Our Mother of Perpetual Help. It must be said that following the concert there was a noticeable buzz about Jeannie, the choir, and the Magnificat. I think even St. Alphonsus would say, “Bravissimo!”
The boys’ choir again performed the Magnificat at St. Patrick’s parish in Toronto during the Perpetual Help Triduum at the end of June. The Redemptorists are thankful to Jeannie and Trent and the boys for helping us honour Our Mother of Perpetual Help in such a beautiful way.
To watch the performance of the Magnificat at St. Patrick’s parish, please go
www.romancatholictv.com and click the link at the top of the page.
By Fr Ed Eherer, C.Ss.R.