Musical Program Celebrates Cathedral Renovation

By Henry C. Mayer

Louisville's time-honored Cathedral of the Assumption is about to begin a new chapter in its distinguished history.

On Nov. 21, an ecumenical musical celebration will commemorate its restoration. The committee to plan this event is chaired by Mrs. Christy Brown and she has invited Kentucky Opera's General Director Thomson Smillie to select the music. Mrs. Lois Mateus also had a significant role in these activities, along with many other volunteers.

Final arrangements for the musical program are in the processs of being completed but Thomson Smillie told Louisville Music News that he plans to include music by Bach, Handel and Schubert, plus The Lord's Prayer, the theme from "Schindler's List," Amazing Grace, Simple Gifts, the Brass Gabriele, an Introit from a Mass, the moving Pie Jesu (The Latin adjective in this piece's title emphasizes Jesus' commitment to fulfill His Father's Will) and the evocative Veni Sancte Spiritus (Come Holy Spirit) reflecting the liturgy of Pentecost.

Performers are equal to the music and they include Cathedral organist David Lang, harpist Rosanna Thompson, Edith Davis, Jonathan Sawyer, Bob Bernhardt, Louisville Orchestra concertmeister Michael Davies and the Orchestra Strings, also its Brass Section, the Greater Louisville Voices, Donn Everette, Robin Stamper and the Kentucky Opera Chorus, and the monks of nearby St. Meinrad Abbey. Archbishop Thomas C. Kelly, O.P., will read the Prayer of St. Francis while the congregation will be invited to join Donn Everette when he sings Simple Gifts.

The goal of this "Night of a Thousand Stars" is a "45-minute musical celebration of the restoration of the Cathedral which highlights the visual and acoustic beauties of the place, and combines different strands in the musical life of the City in praise of God."