Extraordinary Form Las Vegas - Ave Verum Corpus Mozart
Dear Herr Mozart,
I am your biggest fan. I love your music. I have often obsessed about the beauty of your compositions and have spent hours upon hours listening to your "voice". And if you weren't already in the afterlife I might be tempted to travel to Austria and follow you around until you give me a personal autograph and agree to snap a selfie with me that I can post to Instagram. That's not creepy at all, right?
This weekend our Schola Cantorum at St. Bridget's here in Las Vegas sang your Ave Verum Corpus for the first time. We have some limitations - all our singers, ranging from age 11 to 17, are sopranos and altos. That means we are missing half of the music you composed (tenor and bass parts). We are really sorry about that. And no offense, Maestro, but we also do not have a pianist or organist to accompany us, so we sing everything acapella, including things that should be sung with accompaniment.
Yet, despite missing the bottom two voices and the piano part, I think you will find that they have done extraordinarily well. I am very impressed with how far they have all come in their musicality and singing abilities.
We sing every Sunday, which is a lot of work since there are new chant propers each week. That's a lot of work for the kids! This is the kind of thing they sing every week.
Not your cup of tea, Maestro, I realize. But to us, it is a pretty big deal and to me personally, a wonderful achievement.
The kids also attend rehearsal faithfully each week. The truth is, their entire families are so supportive of the Schola. And the Schola could not exist without them. They host each week, alternating between each other's homes, driving their kids to and from rehearsal, and even taking turns providing dinner for the group. Sometimes they even come with me to extra Masses and events just so I don't have to sing alone. God will reward them for their dedication, this I know. And even though I realize they are doing it for the Lord, not for me personally, I am still so grateful that I don't have to do this alone, ha! I know that as a musician you can appreciate the dedication required to create heavenly music.
I want to express my gratitude for sharing the genius of your compositions with us. I hope we can do right by them even without tenors or basses. You enriched our lives and made our Extraordinary Form Mass truly beautiful.
Here is a recording of us singing your beautiful composition.
Maybe someday we can attempt some of your other compositions too!
PS - Say hi to Beethoven and tell him I am a big fan of his Egmont Overture!