University of Notre Dame Chorale sings at Canadian Martyrs

As part of Christmas season celebrations, Canadian Martyrs Church hosted the 28-member choir from the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, on Jan. 9.

While it is known for its football, Notre Dame also has a long tradition of excellence for its official concert choir.

Directed by Alexander Blachly, the ensemble performed a set of Christmas music, including The Holly and the Ivy and O Holy Night. The concert continued with selections by Monteverdi, Wagner, Debussy and Stanford.

Photo: McE Galbreath discusses logistics with Alexander Blachly, director of the Notre Dame University Chorale. Photo by Nancy MacDonald

The choir provided two pieces from mass settings: one from Mozart and the second set prepared for the Russian Orthodox Church by Stravinsky and Kedrov. The final piece in the concert was the Hallelujah Chorus from the Messiah. Everyone in attendance stood up for the performance. The choir was accompanied by Paivi Ekroth on the piano.

The main choir is made up of some 50 members of the student body at Notre Dame, ranging in age from 18 to 22 and in interests from music to math to biomechanics. The touring choir was a subset of the permanent choir and comprised 28 youth on this trip.

Members of Canadian Martyrs were involved in preparing a potluck dinner for the choir, their director and pianist. Following the concert, choir members visited the homes of several parishioners.

Their winter tour started in Toronto at Holy Name Parish. It also included St.Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral in Syracuse, N.Y., St. Mary Church in Hudson, Ohio, and St. Joseph Parish in Pittsburgh, Penn.

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