St. Giles’ parish theme for Lent 2017 is “Return to me with your whole heart,” so we’ll be singing a lot of songs that help us all think about what it means to approach God and each other with open hearts. Here are some Lenten songs we’re not as familiar with to help you practice for Mass. Finally, Ash Wednesday and Confirmation are the same week this year, so we’re going to reward you by giving you the next week off – you’ll have earned it!
Praise and Honor – used throughout Lent as the Gospel Acclamation
Turn Our Hearts Around (Trevor Thomson) – used as our opening song throughout Lent; a cantor will lead a different verse each week.
Christ In Me Arise (Trevor Thomson) – used as our closing song throughout Lent (if you are a St. Giles parishioner, you’ll close with it on Sundays as well)
Be With Me – psalm for Ash Wednesday
Spirit of Life – Confirmation. This will be sung during the anointing. After getting confirmed, you’ll come up front and join the choir in singing both this song and “Veni Sancta Spiritus.” We’ll switch off between sung, played and hummed verses, so watch Ms. Tuma carefully!
Veni Sancte Spiritus – Confirmation. This will be sung during the anointing. After getting confirmed, you’ll come up front and join the choir in singing both this song and “Spirit of Life.” You only need to know the refrain of this song, though Ms. Tuma will occasionally sing some of the verses. We’ll switch off between singing, playing, and humming, so watch Ms. Tuma carefully!
Living Spirit, Holy Fire – Confirmation. For this song, the choir will be split into two parts (one that always sings the tune and one that switches to a “veni sancte spiritus” part halfway. There is also a short, optional descant at the end. This will be sung after Communion, and only the choir will be singing.
Attende Domine – March 14. We sang this as our closing song throughout Lent 2016, so hopefully it sounds familiar. We’ll be singing it in English, but here’s a recording of the original Latin to give you a feel for the style and pacing. (You might recognize the notation in the video from our sixth grade lessons on Medieval music history and the development of pitch notation.)
Give Us Your Peace (Mahler) – March 20
Take, O Take Me As I Am – March 20. I’ll post a recording of the descant sometime next week.
Wade In the Water – March 27. This is the version found in our hymnals. We’ll need soloists to sing the verses. The choir keeps singing the refrain throughout, even while the soloist is singing.
You Are Mine – April 4
Our Blessing Cup (Haas) – Holy Thursday; CANTORS ONLYView More
“You do not have to love a work of art or a style to criticize it, but you do need to understand its attraction for someone who does…Criticism has no significance and not importance if it is not accompanied by understanding – and that implies the comprehension of at least the possibility of love.” – Charles Rosen, music critic
Music at St. Giles
Human beings have been making music for thousands of years. In that time, countless styles of music have been created to fulfill countless purposes. In studying music, we gain a greater appreciation for the many ways that different people and cultures have responded to their own life journey and cultural moment. Studying music gives students a chance to compassionately engage with the unfamiliar, while music performance gives students an opportunity to learn the value of discipline while gaining poise and self-confidence.
Each student at St. Giles has a music class once each week – 30 minutes in grades K-4 and 50 minutes in grades 5-8 (students may also opt to participate in the Band Program). Weekly music classes combine singing, Orff instrument performance, music theory, and music history to provide students with a grounding in basic musical concepts. Each grade level has its own area of focus:
- Kindergarten: steady beat, high/low, fast/slow, loud/soft, comfort with using the voice, nursery rhymes.
- First Grade: Musical Instruments, African and Native American folk music
- Second Grade: Medieval and Renaissance periods, Chinese and Japanese folk music
- Third Grade: Baroque and Classical periods, European folk music
- Fourth Grade: Romantic and Modern periods, American folk music
- Fifth Grade: World Music (Central Asia, Middle East, North and South America, Africa, India, East Asia, Indonesia)
- Sixth Grade: Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque periods
- Seventh Grade: Classical, Romantic and Modern periods
- Eighth Grade: Music Careers, Electronic Music, Musical Creativity. Eighth graders also produce a full musical theater production.
Links & Resources
Al quebrar la piñata (I don’t have a recording, but I do have the words and piano chords)
Mary, Mary (pt. 1 practice track)
Mary, Mary (pt. 2 practice track)
A Merry Modal Christmas (pt. 1 practice track)
A Merry Modal Christmas (pt. 2 practice track)
Mary Did You Know (Full SATB choral recording – the instrument parts aren’t the same as yours, but you can still practice playing along with this video)
Mary Did You Know (soprano practice track)
Mary Did You Know (lower line practice track – boys can switch octaves when necessary to make it more comfortable)
How to use the practice tracks:
- Practice singing your part along with the track
- For an extra challenge, practice singing your part along with another part’s practice track – if you can do this then you’re really ready for the concert!
About the Teacher
Nicole Tuma is a flutist, singer and educator with a special interest in the ways that the performing and visual arts are an expression of people’s lives and values. Originally from the Twin Cities, where she attended Nativity of Our Lord Catholic School and Cretin-Derham Hall High School, Ms. Tuma earned a Bachelor of Music in flute performance at Rutgers University-New Brunswick and a Master of Music in flute performance with a Concentration in Voice at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In addition to teaching at St. Giles, she is heavily involved in Catholic liturgical music throughout the Chicago area. Ms. Tuma is currently a regular cantor and choir section leader at Old St. Pat’s and St. Vincent Ferrer churches, and in the past has worked at the Cathedral of St. Paul (St. Paul, MN), the Cathedral Parish (Madison, WI), and St. Thomas Aquinas (Madison, WI). She is featured on Catholic singer/songwriter Aaron Thompson’s album Be With Me Lord.
As a flutist, Ms. Tuma regularly collaborates with The Group Project to produce shows that combine storytelling and live improvised music in unconventional venues. She has performed at both the National Flute Association Convention and at the Wisconsin Flute Fair, and was a two-time winner of the Upper Midwest Flute Association’s Laudie Porter Competition. Ms. Tuma spends her summers as a music educator at the Grant Park Music Festival, where she helps campers from the Chicago Park District learn about and experience the power of a live orchestra and chorus.