Published October 6, 2005
The Festival Choir of the Archdiocese of Atlanta is entering its fourth season and invites all interested musicians to participate.
Auditions will be held Saturday, Oct. 8, for the ensemble, which is made up of 80 singers representing over 30 parishes. Auditions will be held at the Cathedral of Christ the King, and all singers in the archdiocese are encouraged to call for an appointment.
For the last three years the choir has gathered musicians from across North Georgia to present concerts and to support liturgical celebrations, and has received considerable success and acclaim.
A long-held dream of many Catholic musicians in the area, the choir was formed in 2002 with the express intent of uniting singers from parishes all over the archdiocese. Open auditions have been held since its inception and dozens have come forward to lend their voices to the project. The choir was formed with Archbishop John F. Donoghue’s blessing and has received Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory’s continued support.
Wayne Baughman, director of music at St. Benedict Church in Duluth, said, “Our highest hope was that each singer’s love of music would be enriched and their faith deepened by the experience. And, by everyone’s estimation, participants and audience members alike, our performances have done just that.”
The choir initially focused on performing great sacred masterworks. Last year the choir also began to participate in a number of liturgical occasions highlighted by their singing at the closing Mass of the 2005 Eucharistic Congress.
Kathy Kuzca, director of music at St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Alpharetta and a member of the choir’s organizational committee, said, “Our first few seasons were concentrated on purely musical and organizational challenges, and we have been fairly successful in performing great Roman Catholic music. But this past year we supported several archdiocesan liturgical celebrations and were thrilled with the opportunities and the outcome. We hope to continue to bring together even more of the diocese’s musicians for wonderful liturgies of sung prayer.”
This season the choir will serve as the music ministers for the Mass of Ordination of Deacons where 16 new permanent deacons from as many different parishes will be ordained.
Festival Choir steering committee member John Brandt said, “This should be one of the highlights of our choir’s year. The ordination Mass is one of the most complex and moving liturgical experiences anyone could witness, and it will be a joy to participate in that solemn occasion.”
After this celebration, the choir will begin to prepare for its annual concert featuring works by Haydn, Verdi and Mozart. The choir hopes to finish the season once again supporting the sung prayer at the Eucharistic Congress in June 2006.
New singers interested in participating in this year’s projects need to schedule a simple audition on Saturday, Oct. 8. The format for each audition will be to sing a verse of “Amazing Grace,” some scales and vocalizations to determine voice part, and to sight-read a few measures of music. Rehearsals will begin in January. Interested musicians should contact the Music Ministry Office at the Cathedral of Christ the King at (404) 233-2145, ext. 470, to arrange an audition.