Saint Paul’s Choir School Premieres 18th Century Work in Songs of Springtime Concert Film

Students of Saint Paul’s Choir School, image by Julia Monaco Photography

Culturally diverse program captures the essence of spring’s celebration of renewal and hope

McGRATHPR.com – Delivering musical hope, Saint Paul’s Choir of Men and Boys premieres its digitally recorded performance of Songs of Springtime, an uplifting choral music concert celebrating the joys of spring, available for ordering and viewing on Friday, May 28.  The performance is conducted by Saint Paul’s Choir School Director of Music and Choirmaster James Kennerley, with accompaniment by Assistant Director of Music Maks Adach on Saint Paul’s majestic pipe organ.  Bass-baritone soloist Jonathan Woody is featured. Contributions to stream the film begin at $25, available at bit.ly/songsofspringtime.

“Having the opportunity to present the North American premiere of 18th-century composer Manuel de Zumaya’s villancico Quien es aquella is particularly exciting, further fortifying our range of music reflecting the diversity and richness of our community,” shares Kennerley, who eagerly expressed his optimism for the ensembles and their sound.  “Nothing celebrates all that is good, true and beautiful about Saint Paul’s Church and Choir School more than the sound of the boys’ voices ringing throughout our magnificent church acoustic.”

A socially distant and safely recorded performance, Songs of Springtime instills hope through angelic chorister voices performing a thrilling and diverse hour-long program in Saint Paul’s Church’s sublime acoustic setting. The concert opens with the grand, stirring, melody-filled anthem Hear my words, ye people by English composer Charles H. Parry, featuring sections showcasing the boy choristers and double choir, and a rousing organ accompaniment, concluding with the hymn, O praise ye the Lord. A selection of music follows, honoring the month of May in its traditional Catholic observation, devoted to the Virgin Mary, and broadly recognizing mothers worldwide.  Pieces drawn from the great Mexican tradition of choral music include the North American premiere of Manuel de Zumaya’s poetic Quien es aquella. Works by celebrated Irish composer, Elizabeth McConchy and Black American composer R. Nathaniel Det are performed in observation of the school’s ongoing commitment to supporting diversity, equality and equity.  The concert concludes with the popular Eastertide song cycle Five Mystical Songs by Ralph Vaughan Williams, with poetry by George Herbert, featuring acclaimed NYC baritone soloist Jonathan Woody, along with rousing organ accompaniment. The final movement, Let all the world in every corner sing, raises the roof!

Access to the Songs of Springtime performance begins May 28 via donation at bit.ly/songsofspringtime. The performance is viewable on YouTube and Vimeo, where it can be streamed on most devices, including smart TVs, Amazon Fire Sticks, Chromecast, AppleTV and Roku via YouTube and Vimeo apps through desktop, laptop and tablet devices or smartphones.

Songs of Springtime program:

Saint Paul’s Choir School students, image by Julia Monaco Photography

Charles Hubert Hastings Parry (1848-1918): Hear my words, ye people

Francisco López Capillas (1614-1674): Alleluia, dic nobis, Maria

Manuel du Zumaya  (c. 1678-1755): Quien es aquella

(Villancico for the Feast of Our Lady of Guadaloupe)

Josef Rheinberger (1839–1901): Ave Maria

Elizabeth Maconchy (1907–1994): There is no rose of such virtue

R. Nathaniel Dett (1882–1943): Ave Maria

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872–1958): Five Mystical Songs

Founded in 1963 by Dr. Theodore Marier, Saint Paul’s Choir School is a Catholic day school that prepares boys in grades 3 through 8 to succeed in the strongest secondary schools, becoming confident and virtuous leaders, to  grow into compassionate adults. SPCS unites a rigorous academic and musical curriculum rooted in the Roman Catholic tradition. Within this community of faith, friendship and high expectations, students build the habits of mind and heart to rise to all of life’s demands and thrive.

A Saint Paul’s Choir School student prepares to sing,
image by Julia Monaco Photography

Saint Paul’s Choir School’s world-class music program trains students in choral music appreciation, theory and practice, enabling them to grow as thoughtful students, disciplined performers and virtuous young men. Students sing music ranging from Gregorian chant to contemporary choir commissions to choral masterworks.   The choir provides beautiful liturgical music at daily and Sunday services at Saint Paul’s Church and have released professional recordings, including Ave Maria and Christmas in Harvard Square by Aim Higher Recordings (available at saintpaulschoirschool.us). The ensemble tours internationally and has performed alongside renowned groups such as the Boston Symphony Orchestra. 

Saint Paul’s Choir School safely educated in-person during the pandemic in classrooms of 12 or less students, observing state health mandates.   To learn more about Saint Paul’s Choir School enrollment, curriculum, programs and performances, visit saintpaulschoirschool.us, call 617-868-8658, email admin@saintpaulschoirschool.us, or follow Saint Paul’s Choir School Harvard Square on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.  For more information on Saint Paul’s Harvard Square, visit stpaulparish.org.

About Saint Paul’s Choir School

Saint Paul’s Choir School (SPCS) is the only private all-boys Catholic Choir School in the United States, serving students in grades 3 through 8.  It is a vital facet of Saint Paul’s Parish in Harvard Square, Cambridge, led by Father William Kelly, Pastor, an alumnus of the school.  

Uniquely integrated with music study, the school’s vigorous academic program provides an outstanding classical preparation in the liberal arts, which prepare boys well for the most competitive high schools. The positive influence derived from the study of music on other academics is clearly evident. Often families are unaware that their child is a capable singer upon entry.  Students receive incomparable academic benefits through SPCS’s frequent choral practice, regular performances, and academic study of music theory. Classes are small and motivation is high among both students and teachers, making for a lively, energetic and creative classroom environment.

To learn more about enrollment, curriculum, programs and performances, visit saintpaulschoirschool.us, call 617-868-8658, email admin@saintpaulschoirschool.us, or follow Saint Paul’s Choir School Harvard Square on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.