Sacred Heart Choir hosts gala to promote third album “Endless Grace”

Friday, May 29, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Sacred Heart Catholic Church wanted to repair its stained glass windows. And its choir wanted to help.

The group held a gala May 15 to promote the release of its new CD, "Endless Grace." Proceeds from the CD, along with other maintenance funds, will help pay to repair the windows.

This CD is the third to be released by the group and is preceded by two Christmas records. The first CD “Sing, Choirs of Angels” was released in 1999, followed by “Holy Night” in 2001.

The gala took place at Sacred Heart Catholic Church and included both choral serenades and music by parish musicians. The choir decorated the site for the gala with soft lighting, flowers and Christmas lights; wine, punch and finger food were served.

Ellyn Forbes, director of liturgy and music, said there were about a hundred people in attendance. “It was raining cats and dogs, but it was a beautiful evening anyway," Forbes said. "People came out in horrible weather, and we're glad they did,”

The Sacred Heart Choir, under the direction of conductor Emily Edgington, performed three sets that included selections from the new CD.  Choir accompanist Rachel AuBuchon played the piano.

The album also provided the choir with a sense of gratification: The stained glass windows that the proceeds helped repair were almost 100 years old and needed upkeep.

“The church settles with time, and it takes a true artisan to take out the windows piece by piece. It’s a major undertaking,” Forbes said.

The church initially had 1,000 CDs to sell at $15 each and completed some sales at the gala.  At subsequent Sunday services, the choir raised enough to pay its expenses and to start contributing to the window-repair fund, Forbes said. Any extra proceeds not used for the windows will go toward the church's maintenance fund.

The choir has performed at Carnegie Hall in New York and at the Missouri Theatre Center for the Arts.

“The choir has always strived for a really good choral sound. They have a broad range of repertoire, and they want to do quality music well,” Forbes said. The choir’s music library includes more than 500 anthems and more than 100 collections from which it can select pieces to perform.

The choir will perform 8:30 a.m. Sunday at Sacred Hearth Catholic Church, 1115 Locust St., before it begins its summer break.


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