My Choir Experience

For those who haven’t figured it out already, my faith is pretty central to my life.  I have a lot of things to thank for that, but these days the key is my parish.  I have been actively involved at Church of the Incarnation (Episcopal) in Dallas, TX for almost two years now, and I serve as a volunteer in the choir and as a chalice bearer.  The latter doesn’t leave me much to talk about, so I’ll stick with the former for the purposes of this post.

I have had the distinct pleasure of singing under two different choirmasters.  I started almost concurrently with the interim choirmaster, Dr. Richard Sparks (click here for his blog).  Dr. Sparks is the Chair of Conducting and Ensembles at the University of North Texas.  His distinctive academic style was just what I needed to get me started in the Anglican choral tradition, with which I was unfamiliar.  After working with Dr. Sparks for the entire academic year, I returned home for the summer, after which I returned to Dallas to find a new Organist/Choirmaster in his place.  The auditions for the position had occurred before my return home, so I was greatly looking forward to meeting his successor.

Lo and behold, Scott Dettra!  Incarnation was lucky enough to snatch him away from the Washington National Cathedral.   Having received his most recent degree from the renowned Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ, Scott took off with an ambitious performance schedule.  It has been exhausting, but very fulfilling to work with Scott.  His background in Anglican music has opened a whole new world of possibilities for the choir, and his skills as an organist are top notch.

I think that the best way in which to share this integral part of my life with you is to sit back and allow the music to speak for itself.  Below you will find several recordings made of the choir.  Except for the final one, these are not my recordings, and I claim no right to them.  They are all, however, shared publicly already.  The full recording of the requiem mass can be found on the church’s website (see my links page) under “Media” -> “Special Audio.”  Happy listening!

“Locus Iste” – Anton Bruckner

“Salvator Mundi” – Thomas Tallis

Introit from Officium Defunctorum (Requiem) – Tomás Luis de Victoria

“Ave Maria” – Robert Parsons

Hymn: “Now, My Tongue, the Mystery Telling” (Grafton)


2 thoughts on “My Choir Experience”

  1. When I was a Music Director at a church in Michigan, choir was listed under “Bible Study opportunities.” Singing and digesting the words of so much great choral music is certainly a faith-enhancing experience. And it’s a revolving thing, the more your faith grows, the more you want to sing those pieces and hymns, and the more your faith grows… “How can I keep from singing” indeed!

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