Monday, January 7, 2013

The Dameans at Hofinger

Monday greetings to all from a very cold and windy Chicago. I arrived back home yesterday afternoon after having spent four days in New Orleans at the 31st annual Johanes Hofinger Conference.

One of the highlights of my time there was a reunion concert given by the Dameans. Not sure how many of you remember them. They were all seminarians at Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans, hence their name "Dameans." I remember singnig their music back in the 70s and 80s, most notable Beginning Today, All That We Have, Song of Thanksgiving, and We Praise You, O Lord.

The group hadn't sung together in 25 years. Four of the five originals were present at the concert: Darryl Ducote, Mike Balhoff, Buddy Ceaser, and Gary Ault. These men are all in the late sixties, I assume. Quite honestly, I didn't know what to expect. As soon as they sang their first notes, I knew I was in for a treat; what a wonderful sound. It was a delight from start to finish and brought back so many memories for me. Here's a shot I took of them on the stage at the Pontchartrain Center.

Here's another shot of the wider stage shortly before Father Richard Fragomeni's keynote presentation. 

It's always a wonderful thing to experience the warm hospitality of the people of Louisiana. There were a little over a thousand people in attendance. Brother Mickey McGrath gave one of the plenum sessions and his presentations are always moving and challenging.

Well, folks, it's back to the grind here at WLP.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

1 comment:

FJH 3rd said...

The Dameans' history is well covered in Ken Canedo's book: "Keep the Fire Burning: The Folk Mass Revolution". Canedo made some podcasts in which he played the old records of that era. They may still be available on his site or on iTunes. I remember those "folk Mass" days too well. While some of those songs resonated pleasantly with my memory of high school, thank goodness for the ongoing "reform of the reform"!!