SALT LAKE CITY — The internationally-recognized singers of the Madeleine Choir School have had extra rehearsals for weeks.
It's always an intriguing experience to watch the intensity of those rehearsals. The young people of the choir understand the responsibility they have to bring the traditional sounds of the season to so many.
The ethereal sounds of this children's choir are at once centuries old and beautifully present. Notes so seemingly effortless are months, even years in the making.
"It's physically exhausting sometimes, because you're having an hour practice every single day and extra rehearsals on top of those rehearsals and extra, extra rehearsal. But it all pays off in the end," said 12-year-old DaVinci Eccles.
Even the man who founded the school, bringing children of different faiths together, still thinks they are amazing.
"The magic of that sound, I think that that is part of what is so thrilling about these children's voices," said Gregory Glenn, director of liturgy and music at the Cathedral of the Madeleine. "And why this has been a tradition for so many centuries."
- The Madeleine Choir School singers will perform at the Christmas Carol Service Monday at 4 p.m. with the Cathedral Choir.
- Midnight Mass with the choir and orchestra Tuesday at midnight (Monday night).
- Mass at noon Christmas Day with the choir and orchestra.
They study the phrases and the language of the music. Each listens to his or her own voice and then blends to create a spiritual moment.
"Mr. Glenn wants us to put our emotions into the music, just like he does," said 13-year-old Victoria Stevens. "So, it's hard but it's very fun."
Crowds packed the Cathedral, and surrounded by the images of Christ in the stained glass windows, they listened as if to angels.
"They say, 'Well, you've made such a difference in my life, you've just sung greatly. It's very helpful at this time in my life' Maybe something bad happened to them," said Armand Weaver, 11 years old.
One of the Madeleine Choir School graduates has quite the honor at an upcoming performance. Christopher Gray, class of '97, will serve as Deacon of the Mass, singing The Gospel for the Pope in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, during Midnight Mass on Monday.