Recently I had the privilege of speaking with Glenn Mohr and learning about this very talented man and the chorale started as a result of Pope John Paul II. Glenn told me how, as an organist and choir director, he had been working with a choir from a church in Long Island where he worked. After several years, the choir had decided they wanted to go on one of those trips that gives choirs the opportunity to perform at different location in Rome. But before the choir could go, Glenn felt that, due to some difficulties with that job, he had to leave and take a new job at another church. The choir came to him and begged him to help them in their goal to travel to Rome. He did, and among the various concerts was one for Pope John Paul II.
Glenn told me he had attended a private Mass in the Papal Apartments with the Holy Father and about 25 other people. The Pope greeted him afterward, and Glenn told him that his chorale would be performing for him that afternoon at the Papal Audience. Later, after the audience, as Glenn and the choir were standing by the barricades, the Pope came over to Glenn and shook his hand and praised him for the choir and the beautiful music they had sung. That encounter sealed their fate–they had to keep going beyond Rome with this choir. That was on June 1, 1999.
Glenn and their choir have released several CD’s of their performances, and have performed again this year in Rome, and have sung at Lincoln Center in New York City. Their concerts are not just the choir singing — they are musical plays. They have a number of programs they perform at various locations. For example, the Lincoln Center performance on November 7th was called “The Hidden Heart”, and is based on the life of newly-canonized St. Jeanne Jugan.
The Chorale has released their first Christmas CD, entitled “A Star Still Shines”, which comes from the lyrics of one of the songs, “A Wiseman’s Carol”. There are some familiar Christmas favorites here, plus some original compositions by Glenn. Some of the favorites include a “Christmas Hymn Medley”, which features “O Come All Ye Faithful”, “Away in a Manger”, and “Angels We Have Heard on High”, as well as “Silent Night” and “The First Noel”. Original selections include “A Wiseman’s Carol”, “Christmas in Heaven”, “Everybody has a Guardian Angel”, and more. There are 13 songs altogether.
This is a wonderful project from a very talented group of singers. I recommend that you listen to them, and try to get to one of their live performances.
Visit GlennMohrChorale.com to learn more.
Copyright 2009 Jim Logue