Tortolano, Schola bring seasonal sounds to great space

December 13, 2016

A concert of Gregorian chant, organ solos, and seasonal carols in the vibrant acoustical resonance of the Chapel of Saint Michael the Archangel, Saint Michael’s College, will take place on Sunday, December 18, 2016 at 3 p.m.  The concert, directed by William Tortolano, will be repeated at the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Swanton, VT on Monday, December 19, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.

Tortolano is a 50-year professor emeritus and College organist emeritus at Saint Michael’s College, a former Visiting Fellow at Kings College and Trinity College, Cambridge University, England, as well as a recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship at Yale University.

The Schola is an eighteen member men’s singing group is in residence at Saint Michael’s, founded and directed by Tortolano.  For these concert’s the group’s repertoire will include the Gregorian setting of the Missa cum Jubilo, as well as liturgical rounds from Denmark, Jacques Clement, Des Prés, and Mozart.

The two-manual Casavant organ of 14 stops in the Saint Michael’s chapel has 921 pipes. The acoustically reverberant Chapel was built in 1964 and the organ was installed in 1966 with a tonal design by Tortolano.

The audience will also have an opportunity to sing traditional carols within the concert, including Once in Royal David’s City, Adeste Fidelis, and Ding Dong Merrily on High. Vocal soloist is Saint Michael’s College graduate, Dr. Patrick Mahoney, M.D. ’64 who will sing the Appalachian Folk Melody I Wonder as I Wander. The program includes four carols in French, sung by the Schola, and organ compositions by J.S. Bach and Pachelbel on Von Himmel Hoch.

His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, conferred upon Tortolano the Pontifical Honor, Cross Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice for his recognition of service to the Burlington Diocese, and the Church.

The purpose of the Schola, or school, organized more than 17 years ago by Tortolano, is to continue the great musical heritage of the Church called Gregorian Chant. In monastic men’s tradition, this group of about 20 voices prepares concerts and sings liturgies several times during the year.

The concerts are open to the public.  A free will offering will be available.

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