Our parish is in for another special treat this Sunday (Sept. 25) as the Rhodes Women’s Chorus returns to sing for our 10:30 a.m. service.
The chorus, directed by Dr. Mona Kreitner since 2003, was founded in the 1990s by Dr. Diane Clark as the first all-women’s choir of Rhodes College. The chorus is accompanied by assistant minister of music, Dr. Jane Gamble, who also serves on the Rhodes faculty.
In Apil, the choir joined the Holy Communion Choristers in anthems. The joint choir was directed by Dr. Kreitner and our own assistant minister of music, Mrs. Ellen Koziel. The chorus enjoyed singing here, which is why we have invited them back to sing on a Sunday.
Under Dr. Kreitner’s direction, the chorus gives annual fall and spring concerts and has joined the Rhodes Singers for the Christmas at St. Mary’s concerts.
This Sunday,the chorus will sing a beautiful arrangement of “There is a balm in Gilead” by American composer Jackson Berkey (b. 1942). Berkey is a Julliard graduate who is well-known for his work with Mannheim Steamroller, which he co-founded in 1974. Berkey has written music in all genres from choir and orchestra to concertos for harp and organ and many works for chamber orchestra.
They will also sing the John Rutter (b. 1945) “God be in my head,” an old English prayer text from the Sarum Primer (1558). This beloved text is found at Hymn 694 in The Hymnal 1982 and is a favorite of many, including this parish:
God be in my head, and in my understanding;
God be in mine eyes, and in my looking;
God be in my mouth, and in my speaking;
God be in my heart; and in my thinking;
God be at mine end, and at my departing.