Sacred Anthems for Treble Voices

Benjamin Britten, Aaron Copland, Gabriel Fauré, César Franck, Charles Gounod, Peter Hurford, Stephen Paulus, Steve Pilkington, Daniel Roihl

Saint Ignatius Loyola Children’s Choir
Michael Sheets
Nancianne Parrella

Music From St. Ignatius Loyola, Vol.x



“The program is exceptional in its performance quality, with all selections very worthy—even essential—items in the sacred or nearly-sacred repertory. The children manage it all very well”.
Steven Ritter, Audiophile Audition [February 2014]
“Here’s a sweet collection of 25 short anthems from a very pleasant-sounding all-treble church ensemble of girls and boys… you’ll know most of the classics from composers like Franck, Britten, and Copland; and there are assorted arrangements of well-known hymn-tunes, spirituals, and sacred songs. There are also quite a few worthy original compositions by modern notables… They offer bright sound and excellent intonation; their frisky delivery of the livelier numbers tells you that they’re having fun. They sing mostly in unison here, with occasional forays into two-part harmony. Keyboard collaboration is consistently excellent… The booklet is useful; texts and translations.”
Koob, American Record Guide [September/October 2012]
“this is a top-notch group that sings with great purity and sweetness of tone, no shrillness, and excellent intonation, balance, ensemble, and diction. Classic pieces such as Copland’s Simple Gifts, Fauré’s Ave verum corpus, Franck’s Panis Angelicus, and Gounod’s Regina Coeli are winsomely performed… Complete texts are included”
James A. Altena, Fanfare [July/August 2012]
“the earnest voices of these young, talented singers give one the feeling that their songs represent a labor of love. One can’t help but be moved by this… artistic excellence, superb intonation, clarity of tone, and graceful legato.”
Raymond Beegle, Fanfare [July/August 2012]
Teaching children to sing is a great joy. Teaching bright children with dedicated parents among gifted colleagues in the acoustically rich sanctuary of the Church of Saint Ignatius Loyola is a true privilege for me each week. Watching the choir grow from a small ensemble of twenty children to four choirs of 120 young people has been just as rewarding as watching my first group of tiny second graders in 2004 now graduate to the High School Choir as confident, poised, and musically literate young adults. As the years have passed, I have been fortunate to work with generous donors including the McNulty family who take great joy in sharing the beauty of music with children. With this inaugural recording of the Saint Ignatius Loyola Children’s Choir, the children and I join the McNultys in honoring the memory of their son, Sean, who sang joyfully in this place for many years.
{ Mary Huff, September 11, 2011 }

The Saint Ignatius Loyola Children’s Choir was reestablished in 2001 under the leadership of Kent Tritle, Director of Music Ministries, and Fr. Walter Modrys, Pastor, after a decade of silence in the 1990s. A choir of men and boys at Saint Ignatius flourished in the 1920s until well beyond the mid-20th century, followed by a children’s choir in the 1970s and 1980s. In the past decade, the program has grown into a ministry of 120 children in grades 1 through 12 in four graded choirs directed by Mary Huff, a vital part of the nationally respected music program at the Church of Saint Ignatius Loyola. Each choir rehearses once weekly and is open to children of the parish, school and larger community. Singing monthly at Sunday and festival liturgies, and as part of Christmas and Spring concerts, they are frequently heard on the Sacred Music in a Sacred Space concert series.

The choir made its Carnegie Hall debut in 2009 under the direction of George Mathew in Mahler’s Symphony No.3. The repertoire of the Saint Ignatius Loyola Children’s Choir stretches from the plainchant of the Early Church through new anthems of the present day, from cornerstones of the oratorio repertoire to romantic Latin Masses sung in their liturgical context, as well as traditional and
contemporary hymnody. Recent performances include Handel’s Jephtha, Bach’s St. Matthew
Passion, and Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors.

Mary Wannamaker Huff is the Director of Children’s Choirs and the High School Choir at the Church of Saint Ignatius Loyola and the Associate Director of Music at Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church
in New York City. She balances a weekly schedule of rehearsals and administration of ten different choirs between both churches, and conducts and plays the organ for Sunday and festival liturgies. Ms. Huff graduated cum laude from Furman University and earned a Master of Music degree from Yale University, with further study in music education at Westminster Choir College. She has taught music to children of all grade levels in Catholic, independent and inner-city schools, and often consults with teachers and conductors in parishes and schools in developing healthy vocal technique in children and teens, effective repertoire and engaging rehearsal strategies.

This recording is lovingly dedicated to the memory of Sean Peter McNulty (July 21, 1971-September 11, 2001) who sang joyfully in the Saint Ignatius Loyola Children’s Choir as a boy. Sean graduated from Saint Ignatius Loyola Grammar School and Fordham Preparatory School in New York City before working his way up the Wall Street ladder as an international trader for Cantor Fitzgerald. Fiercely devoted to his family and friends, Sean was a generous, genuine, bright, and funny man.
May he rest in peace and rise in glory.
PAUL HALLEY (b. 1952)
How can I keep from singing?
Lord of all hopefulness

When I survey the wondrous cross
We cannot measure
The Lord’s my shepherd

The New Year Carol
The Birds

AARON COPLAND (1900-1990)
Zion’s Walls
At the river
Simple Gifts
Ching-a-ring Chaw

PETER ASTON (b. 1938)
I give you a new commandment

Hear my words

JAMES BIERY (b. 1956)
O Come, Divine Messiah

Litany to the Holy Spirit

Canticle to the Spirit

Bless the Lord, O my soul

CÉSAR FRANCK (1822-1890)
Panis Angelicus

CHARLES GOUNOD (1818-1893)
Regina Coeli

GABRIEL FAURÉ (1845-1924)
Ave verum corpus

K. SCOTT WARREN (b. 1971)
Humbly I adore thee

Wondrous Love

I want Jesus to walk with me

Ev’ry time I feel the Spirit

DANIEL ROIHL (b. 1975)

MSR Classics