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Gregorian Choir of Paris in PH for free concerts

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MANILA, Feb. 20, 2015—Catholics who would like to give their Lenten observance a Medieval, “Old World” feel to it should not miss the Philippine tour of the Chœur Grégorien de Paris (Gregorian Choir of Paris), starting on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 18 until Feb. 27, the Alliance Française de Manille announced.

The group is currently in Asia’s largest Catholic country to take part in the historic celebration of the 450th anniversary of Augustinian presence in the Philippines (1565-2015).

The Gregorian Choir of Paris chants the Litany of the Saints at the San Agustin Church during its “In Civitate Dei” concert on Feb. 19, 2015. (Photo: Raymond Sebastian)

Concert at San Agustin

Dubbed “In Civitate Dei” (“In the City of God”), the concert at the UNESCO-declared World Heritage Church of San Agustin, Intramuros, on Feb. 19, 7 p.m., featured a repertoire with acclaimed French organist Pascal Marsault on the 18th-century Spanish baroque organ, the oldest existing organ in the country, while Charles Barbier conducted the choir.

Some of the songs the group chanted were: “In medio Ecclesiæ,” “Kyrie XI Orbis factor,” “Sanctus XVIII,” “Quod dico vobis,” “Litaniæ Sanctorum,” “Ave Maria Cælorum,” among many others.

The classic poem of Spanish mystic and Doctor of the Church St. John of the Cross, “Cántico Espiritual” (Spiritual Canticle), was set to music and sung by a member, who is also a real-life Carmelite friar, Fray Alejandro Tobón Gonzales, OCD.

The tour, which has been endorsed by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), brings a spiritual and sacred message: the “world needs a form of silence that resembles a Gregorian chant”.

Members from different countries

The Gregorian Choir of Paris gathers musicians from all over the world. For its Philippine tour, 26 singers, male and female, are in the country for performances.

The international group boasts members from France, Germany, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Colombia, Madagascar, Lithuania, Chile, and the Republic of Korea.

The prestigious ensemble, which was created in 1974, continues the mission of preserving  the tradition of and spreading appreciation for the sacred music of the Gregorian chant.

Admission is free.

Events schedule

The complete tour schedule is as follows:

  • Concert: IN CIVITATE DEI (In the City of God)

Friday, Feb. 20 at 7 p.m.
Makati – Greenbelt 5

  • Concert: VIRGO MATER GLORIOSA

Sunday, Feb. 22 at 7 p.m.
Cebu – Ayala Center Cebu

  • Concert: VIRGO MATER GLORIOSA

Tuesday, Feb. 25 at 6 p.m.
Cagayan de Oro – Centrio Mall

  • Concert: VIRGO MATER GLORIOSA

Friday, Feb. 27 at 6 p.m.
Davao –  Abreeza Mall Davao

  • Concert: VIRGO MATER GLORIOSA

With the support of SSI Group Inc., the group has already held the “Virgo Mater Gloriosa” concert last Feb. 18, 7 p.m. at the Alabang Town Center, Alabang and another one last Feb. 19, 7 p.m. at the San Agustin Church, Intramuros

Gregorian Mass

The Gregorian Choir of Paris will also offer special moments for prayer with Filipinos, performing the Sacred Liturgy in Latin in the following churches:

  • Friday, Feb. 20 at 7:15 a.m., Makati – Greenbelt Chapel
  • Saturday, Feb. 21 2015 at 6 p.m., Cebu – Cebu Cathedral
  • Monday, Feb. 23 at 5 p.m., Bohol – Tagbilaran Cathedral
  • Tuesday, Feb. 24 at 5:30 p.m., Cagayan de Oro – Nazareno Church
  • Thursday, Feb. 26 at 5:30 p.m., Davao – Sacred Heart Parish

Workshop

Other activities include a chorale workshop with the Loboc Children’s Choir in Bohol on Feb. 23 and a workshop entitled “Gregorian Choir of Paris: celebrating the 450th anniversary of the Christianization of the Philippines” at Xavier University – Cagayan de Oro on Feb. 25.

The tour is made possible by the Ayala Malls, with support from Alliance Française de Manille and the Embassy of France to the Philippines, as well as official international airline partner Etihad Airways, official local airline partner Cebu Pacific, official hotel partners SEDA, InterContinental Manila, and its official media partner, The Philippine Star. (Raymond A. Sebastián/CBCP News)


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