Churches are starting to introduce the Mass for Philadelphia into their services, and I’m starting to hear back that all’s well. “Really fine” and “very well received today” were among the reports received—all positive, by the way!
Some are working it in over a couple of weeks, and some began with the already-prepared choir in “plainclothes” in the nave, to help along. This is a great idea, and one Bach used in Leipzig with some of the schoolboys who’d come early to learn his reworked chorales. Even though this Mass is written specifically for congregational singing, and is easy to learn, anything new will give pause.
(I was going to add, “especially in church,” but it’s true everywhere.)
The proof of the director is in the preparation, and I’m indebted to the wonderful ones who have purchased and prepared this for their congregations. In the churning, week-after-week world of church music, you want your pieces to be bullet-proof as well as beautiful, and so I couldn’t have received a better compliment than this one, from a director in New England, “It was all good”!
More information about the Mass, composed for the Philadelphia 2012 Conference of the Association of Anglican Musicians, is here. Any questions about any of it, please send me an email here, and thanks!