A Majestic Setting for Wonderful Young Voices

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— A Message From our Director on Performing at the Cathedral of The Madeleine

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On Dec. 2nd and 4th the Salt Lake Children’s Choir will continue its long tradition of performing in the Cathedral of the Madeleine.  It has been suggested that I convey a few thoughts of what this experience is like for me.  Inasmuch as I have been doing this for so long, one might think it may have become simply routine by now.  However, the reality is quite the opposite.

When I first made my proposal in 1984 to then Associate Rector, the Reverend Father, M. Francis Mannion, about a joint concert with my father’s Ralph Woodward Chorale, The Salt Lake Symphony and The Salt Lake Children’s Choir in the Cathedral of the Madeleine it did feel a little audacious. It was indeed a venture ‘into the unknown,’  However, following Father (now Monsignor [retired]) Mannion’s gracious approval and a very successful initial performance, each successive appearance of our choir in this lofty, inspiring space has had its own excitement, electricity and newness.  In fact, every time I and our eager young singers gather in the Cathedral, I am awestruck by the entire setting and the possibilities that await us and our audience.

Indeed, the combination of this majestic setting, with great music and wonderful young voices is something that never grows old for me–or seemingly, for our singers, past and present, or the audiences that return year after year.  As I interact with these young musicians during their singing, witnessing their accomplishment and somehow relating to what they are experiencing, I am inspired and often find myself asking, “How is it that I even get to be here doing this?” It seems the whole experience is a great gift all the way around–one which extends in many directions.  And most certainly, it is largely made possible through the decades-long kindness and support of officials and clergy at the Cathedral of the Madeleine who have so generously allowed us to be their guests.  My sincere appreciation and thanks go to all, young and old, who have allowed me, and so many others, to experience this wonderful tradition for so long.

Wishing all a wonderful Holiday Season,

Ralph B. Woodward, Founder-Director

Salt Lake Children’s Choir