Liturgical Music: Much More Than What People See

Anthony Abron

VIDEO:  The Friars’ Lantern Visits the Liturgical Music Homeroom


Over the past three years, I can certainly say that I have enjoyed my years in Liturgical Music. Whether it be the class or just the plain love of singing I have, Liturgical Music just has the power of making one’s day better. Now when most people see or hear the words “Liturgical Music”, they think “Mass, Church music, boring.”  However, that is certainly not at all what the class is about. Yes, we do provide the school a service in doing masses but there are several other things that we do. By using these “other things”, I hope to change most of your perceptions about Liturgical Music and maybe to fill some more seats in our class.

The first example I will give you is Stations of the Cross. Whether it is the deafing chant of “O Fortuna” composed by Carl Orff or the nice slow solo of “Philadelphia”, everyone is sure to come away with something. The first year I did Liturgical Music the piece of music that I came away with was “Philadelphia.” It was sung by Tony Del Pizzo. That year, I was fortunate enough to be in Men’s Chorus and hear Tony’s great singing for forty-five minutes a day. When he sang “Philadelphia”, my brain was like, “man, that guy is one of kind.” For the whole day the conversation between the teachers and the students was, “Wow, did you know Tony was that good?” My sophomore year the song that got me was the first song “O Fortuna.” I personally think it was the gong or “Tam Tam” as we like to say in Liturgical Music that got to me the most. When you put the gong with the trumpets and the high singing by the tenors, you get perfection. Again the conversation mostly among the students was that it was awesome. This year I hope that Stations of the Cross will live up to the hype again.

To talk about something more recent, as in this year, Liturgical Music will be performing at the Inaguration Ceremony of the new President and new Head of School of Malvern Preparatory School. I’ll be frank with you. I don’t know what to expect because I have never sung at one. Nor has any of the whole ensemble. What I can tell you is that it’s history. Now some students may like to partake in history by saying that’s where I sat when this whole thing happened. By being in Liturgical Music, you can say “I performed during that.” I can speak from experience and say that whenever Malvern’s Liturgical Music ensemble is a part of something, it makes the whole thing more enjoyable. For example, for those fortuante to be at Malvern we remember Mr. Stewart’s tribute. The tribute was one of the best things Malvern has ever put on. The days after, while we constantly heard about the overload of Bruce Springsteen, we also talked about how the whole tribute was great. Liturgical Music was a part of that special memory that was forever planted in the life of our former President Mr. Jim Stewart.

One last example I can think of right now is our winter and spring choral concerts. When the Liturgical Music group puts on concerts, we know how to get the crowd excited. Whether it is exciting guitar solos or the up-tempo beat of the song showcased by the drums, the crowd engages in our concerts and it becomes a night to remember. I can talk all I want about how awesome it is but you won’t get the full effect of the class until you actually are in it. No amount of words can give it justice.

I encourage all members of every single class to give it a try. It’s a homeroom. If you don’t like it, you can always leave. If you do like it, there is a place for you. We accept everybody. You need not know how to sing to join; we always need a tambourine player. All jokes aside, this year’s activities fair was great with regards to the number of new students that we have interested, and they seem to be really digging it. Bring a friend, bring two. The more the merrier. Ask your friends who are already in the homeroom. The best advice comes from those who you trust and are comfortable around. I hope to see you in our homeroom soon and hopefully you can become a long term member