SAINT MARY'S CHURCH MUSIC PROGRAM
"The full and active participation by all the people is the aim to be considered before all else; for it is the primary and indispensable source from which the faithful are to derive the true Christian spirit: and, therefore, pastors of souls must zealously strive to achieve it, by means of the necessary instruction, in all their pastoral work" - Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, n. 14.
Since its inception in 1828, the Church of the Holy Name of Mary, Our Lady of the Isle, Rhode Island's first Roman Catholic Parish, has served as a model of worship, fellowship, and service, with the Sacred Mass and the Sacraments at its heart.
St Mary's music program's mission is to lead and uplift the community in sung prayer. The magnificent Gothic Revival setting of St Mary's Church, as well as its glorious acoustics and our recently restored Casavant pipe organ, combine to lift the worshippers' spirits to a higher awareness of God's love and power. Our parish music program recognizes the Church's rich musical history and strives to supplement it with the vast musical resources available.
The Parish Choir
St. Mary's is truly blessed to have talented and gifted singers and highly skilled instrumentalists who regularly participate in our liturgies. Our parish choir's repertoire includes choral music from several centuries and languages. Our choir practices on Thursday evenings from 6:30pm to 8pm in the Parish Center and sings regularly at the Sunday 11am Mass. The choir can also be heard providing music for special liturgies such as Christmas, St. Patrick's Day Mass, Lent, Holy Week, and Easter, as well as other church events. All interested singers are welcome to join the choir. No audition is required. All that is required is a strong desire to praise God through song! For more information, please introduce yourself to our Organist/Choir Director, Kyle Medeiros, after any of the weekend masses.
Cantors/Leaders of Song
The role of Cantor is a special ministry within the Music Ministry. Cantors are responsible for leading the responsorial psalm and thus proclaiming the Word. They also lead the assembly in congregational hymn singing, alleluia verse, antiphons, and all other sung mass responses as song leaders. Previous singing experience is required, and reading music is recommended. For more information, please contact the Director of Music.
Our Casavant Pipe Organ Op. 2462
The Casavant Op. 2462 pipe organ is an appropriate match for a grand, historic church like St Mary's. Casavant Frères Ltée of Quebec, Canada, built and installed St Mary's organ in 1958. It was one of the last (if not the last) organs built under Stephen Stoot's tonal supervision, who was known for the beautiful tone of his organs. Today, the company is the world's largest pipe organ builder, and it was chosen to restore St Mary's nearly 60-year-old pipe organ.
In 2015, one of the worlds leading authorities on the history and art of organ building and design, Mr. Jonathan Ambrosino, was commissioned to conduct due diligence and offer his expert opinion on a full restoration. Mr. Ambrosino's evaluation was clear. His report stated: "I believe the organ should be considered one of historic merit. In its physical manufacture, and in the construction and voicing of its pipes....Saint Mary's organ, as anachronistic in 1958 as a brand new Victorian house would have been, is revealed as a most fortunate instrument for accompanying the Mass and for Saint Mary's in general. This is an instrument demanding respect, pride and best treatment."
In 2016, the pipe organ was dismantled and shipped to the Casavant Company, where it was meticulously restored. The work was completed entirely by hand by skilled craftspeople and returned to St Mary's in the spring of 2017. The pipe organ is now of the highest sound quality, and its presence in the choir loft is aesthetically pleasing, structurally sound, and perfectly matched to the Church's remarkable and historic Gothic Revival architectural style.