Happy Friday to one and all. The Friday before Labor Day weekend always evokes some mixed emotions in me. I recall those 20 academic years (8 years of Catholic grade school, 1 year of scary public school ninth grade, 3 years of public high school, 4 years of seminary college, and 4 years of seminary graduate theology school) when this day meant that the coming weekend was the last real free time for nine months. I also recall this day as a day of gratitude for the glories of summer.
Today, I am excited that parish musicians are gearing up for a return to regular choir rehearsals and (of course), the teaching of new choral music.
I sent an email to members of the music editorial staff here at WLP a few days ago after having listened to the CD that accompanied our August choral mailing packet, telling them how proud I am of their fine work. The August choral mailing is magnificent. I can say without hesitation that WLP is producing the finest choral music for parish choirs today. Many of the selections were music pieces for Advent and Christmas. Now is the time that choir directors are planning their repertoire for those seasons. And, being the associate publisher here at WLP, I am always fascinated to watch the sales of our choral pieces. Sometimes what we think choir directors will fall in love with doesn't sell well. Then there are the surprises; music that wasn't necessarily what we liked best becomes a best-seller. Usually our instincts are right on target, but some reactions surprise us. One piece for Christmas has become one of our most popular. The Holly She Bears a Berry is a great piece for choirs. Here's a snippet. Hard to believe that Christmas will be here before you know it.
But for now, I hope you enjoy your holiday weekend. I am looking forward to Mass on Sunday at St. James (haven't been there in a few weeks, having been on the road), then a nice long bike ride along Lake Michigan on Monday morning with a few of my carpool colleagues. Below is a great photo of what the experience is like in this great city. Remember, bikers, always wear your helmets!
Gotta labor. Gotta rest.
Gotta sing. Gotta pray.