Carolyn Gordon '03 directs the Liturgy Arts Group at a recent rehearsal.
"The students have been asking for the last few years to do a recording and, I guess, I finally gave in," said Leavey in a recent interview. "Actually, it serves as a wonderful benchmark for the group and is something we should probably consider doing every four or five years."
"Expressions of Faith," most of which was recorded at BC, is intended to capture the group's spirit as well as its repertoire, Leavey said. "We definitely wanted this recording to be reflective of the songs of prayer and praise we use in our regular worship services. While we are not a performance ensemble, the group really has a wonderful sound, and we wanted a benchmark, a memento for students to take with them. Parents at campus Masses are always asking us if we have a recording they can buy - and now we do.
"Recording can be a very sterile process, and we tried to make the entire experience from rehearsals to finish a prayerful and fun one. These sessions were long and intense but exciting for the group.
"As with most intense experiences, the hard work and effort has helped the group grow in musicianship and in friendship."
The 12-track CD includes one song Leavey said has become "very significant" to the BC community in recent months: "This Is My Song," a setting of the Jean Sibelius hymn "Finlandia" that features a piano arrangement by Anne Marie David, liturgy music coordinator at the University's Institute for Religious Education and Pastoral Ministry.
"We sang 'This is My Song' when Sept. 11 occurred and then again at the one-year memorial last fall," said Leavey. "It is an amazing piece that seems to perfectly suit the need of the BC community during this crisis, the kind of song that actually promotes the healing process - allowing us to pray for our country while honoring the need to respect and honor other countries."
Other songs on the album include a selection based on "Anima Christi" that was written by part-time faculty member Michael Burgo (Music), music director at St. Ignatius Church. Burgo also did the arrangement for the group's rendition of "How Beautiful" that appears on the CD.
The Liturgy Arts Group will formally celebrate the release of "Expressions of Faith" as part of their performance at the BC Arts Festival [see related story].
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