Episode No. 14: A Choral Scholar’s Covid Easter
In the midst of the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Triduum and Easter services at Christ Cathedral signaled hope for the future with the brief return of choral music from a small but mighty Cathedral Schola of seven singers. Each of them were spaced over 25 feet apart in the choir loft conducted by our Host, David Ball, Cathedral Organist and Acting Head of Music Ministry. For experienced church musicians like David and one of today’s guests Lauren McCaul, Cathedral Music Administrator and Soprano in the Schola, this year’s Easter services are memorable in their uniqueness – singing in a very small “choir” spread so far apart it was impossible to hear the next singer, a congregation of restricted numbers for safety reasons, and this year being the second consecutive year of Easter services complicated by the pandemic. Join us today as we compare the experience of David and Lauren with that of young Alyce Reynaud, Cathedral Choral Scholar and high school senior, who for the first time was invited to join the all-professional schola this Easter and, in spite of all the difficulties of these trying times, held her own singing some of the most complicated and well-known choral anthems of the Church’s Holiest days including the high C’s in the revered Miserere Mei by Gregorio Allegri, the thundering Let all the world in ev’ry corner sing by Ralph Vaughan Williams, and a new setting of one of the oldest Easter tunes in Christendom, O Filii et Filiae (aka Ye Sons and Daughters) by Benjamin LaPrairie, Organist at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington D.C.