Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., was among the thousands who filled New York’s Carnegie Hall to witness the June 29 premiere of “Alleluia!,” an evening of sacred music sponsored by St. Thomas More Chapel at Yale University as an opening gala for its new Center for Music and Liturgy.
British conductor Stephen Layton led a full symphony orchestra, a 400-voice International Festival Chorus (including the 150-voice National Children’s Chorus) and 200 handbell players along with two soloists, in performing the new “Mass of the Divine Shepherd” by Julian Revie, composer in residence at the Yale Center.
Bishop O’Connell explained, “I was invited to attend what promised to be an extraordinary concert by Ed and Barb Smith. Ed is an alumnus of Yale and a great friend of the Diocese of Trenton. He serves on our Diocesan Finance Council and I was pleased to accept the invitation.
“I was also contacted by Layton, the director of the International Festival Chorus, and invited to serve as a patron for the concert along with a few other bishops,” he continued. “It was a privilege to participate in this way.”
Under the direction of Father Robert Beloin, chaplain for St. Thomas More Chapel and Center at Yale, the Center gave the title of honorary patron to Bishop O’Connell; Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archdiocese of New York; Bishop Frank J. Caggiano, Diocese of Bridgeport, Conn., and Archbishop Leonard P. Blair, Archdiocese of Hartford, Conn.
Revie’s “Mass of the Divine Shepherd” is the first major setting of the Mass in the revised English translation; part of the Mass is scheduled to be performed during Pope Francis’ Mass in Philadelphia this September.
Following the concert, Bishop O’Connell voiced his approval of the extraordinary musical event. “I enjoyed the performance very much and I wish the choir every success as they share their mission to advance sacred music, and in a special way liturgical music, before the in our Catholic community and beyond,” he said.
To read the full concert review in the Fairfield Country Catholic, the newspaper of the Archdiocese of Hartford, click here.