Sunday, January 20, 2013

El Coro de Niños de San Juan

At the Shrine of the Sacred Heart this morning, the 10 a.m. English Mass was fuller than usual. I supposed that there might be visitors in town for the Inauguration, which proved to be true. A number of young men and women were lined up to the left of the altar, all wearing red vests, the young women over blue-green jumpers, the young men over white shirts, ties, and slacks.

When the congregation had settled back into place after Communion, their director walked up before them, baton raised. They sang an Ave Maria, then a Cantate Domino, both very well. The celebrant, Father Moises Villalta, then told us that this was El Coro de Niños de San Juan, a choir founded in 1966, and that the governor of Puerto Rico was here as well to watch them. The news says that they will perform at an inaugural event.

After the recessional, the choir formed up again, and I moved several pews up to hear and see better. They gave us two songs in Spanish, beautifully sung, but of which I could make out only a word here and there--"misma", "flores". They then gave us a song in English, in Gospel style. Their English enunciation was excellent, not a syllable lost, though curiously it seemed to have an English accent.

The choir is said to accept children from the age of 6 on. I should say that the singers I saw ranged from about 10 to about 15.

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