Wednesday, May 22, 2013

An Inspiring Visual Revelation: To the Sounds of T. Tertius Noble


Sunday, May 19. Does anyone remember the weather? I'll remind you. In Manhattan, it was grey, grey, grey, and rainy ALL DAY. Sometimes the rain was heavy. When it wasn't raining seriously, it was constantly drizzling. And grey. The greyness enveloped everything. You could almost taste it.

In the midst of all this misty, water, precipitation, wetness, my choir  at the Roman Catholic Church of the Ascension on West 107 Street was giving a concert. It was a combination of the adult choir with the children's choir. The children's choir are neighborhood kids, not some chosen music majors elite. I admire their participation, since this kind of choral singing isn't the coolest thing for a 10 year old, and what they accomplished in the concert is truly wonderful.

The Music
The piece from the concert that music director Preston Smith uploaded to YouTube is the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in B Minor by T. Tertius Noble. That's a memorable name. He was born in England in 1867, and was organist and choirmaster at the great Ely Cathedral from 1892 to 1898. Then he came to New York, and was choir director of St. Thomas Church, the Episcopal beacon on Fifth Avenue, where he founded the St. Thomas Choir School for boys in 1919.

That draws a nice line from the glories of Ely Cathedral to the young kids around West 107 Street.

The Revelation
Here's the amazing thing.  I had a pretty good idea of how the concert went, from the singing to the dreary wetness of everyone slogging into the pews with dripping umbrellas. I was wet and soggy myself from 9:00 a.m. onward, with all the back and forth to the church for Mass, then rehearsals, and the concert.

Then, when I watched the video, I was astonished to see sun rays streaming across the choir loft. They are so artfully beautiful that it is almost like something out of Hollywood.

It would be surprising to see such defined rays on any day, because the church is situated such that other buildings, built after the church,  block the light, and it is only very specific times when any sun actually enters through the stained glass.

But it is bordering on the miraculous to see these rays, caught on the video, on the wet, dreary, grey day WHEN THERE WAS NO DISCERNIBLE SUNSHINE AT ALL THAT DAY.

And that's the revelation: sometimes you are surrounded by light, which you cannot see until someone shows you a different angle, a different perspective from the one you're entrenched in.

Please click and see. And think about this phenomenon, especially if things seem dark and grey in your life. There are always positive and wonderful things around you. You may even be bathed is sun rays, and not know it. Plus the music is pretty good too.




Photo by Jean Prytyskacz.

2 comments:

dorki said...

Great Post, M.A., That was a very enjoyable video. The great music, the magnificent performance, and that wonderful organ installation would have been very enjoyable by itself. But with those sun rays it was transformed into something special.

Also - great trick shooting that video over your shoulder!

Ellen O'Neill said...

Thanks dorki, I'm glad you enjoyed it. That's not my video work, I'm in the loft singing.