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Notre Dame Folk Choir records hymn from isolation

J-P Mauro - published on 04/05/20

Each member of the choir recorded their part from home.

With the churches closed, the Notre Dame Folk Choir, one of the principal liturgical choirs of the University of Notre Dame, has no venue to sing their praises to the Lord each week. With an undetermined amount of down-time in front of them, alumni of the group have found an unorthodox way to bring their art back to the people, even in their isolation.

Fifteen alumni members of the choir took the time to record their voice parts at home, and all these videos were mixed into a fine chorus of the hymn, “Lead, Kindly Light.” In the video’s description, they write:

Though separated by distance, we are united by song. Listen as former members of the Notre Dame Folk Choir combine as a virtual ensemble to sing an old favorite, “Lead, Kindly Light.” While the future may be very uncertain right now, we must trust that God’s light will guide us through the darkness.

The Notre Dame Folk Choir performs every Sunday of the academic year at the 11:45 a.m. liturgy in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. Their members come from a variety of academic backgrounds, but join together to share a love of music and a desire to practice, explore, and share their faith.

It’s great fun to watch the singers performing in a string of unlikely places. We thought it was especially charming when the first soloist had chosen to sing in her car. While the small space doesn’t offer great acoustics, it is certainly a great place to isolate.

We were also very impressed with how well they all stayed together throughout the piece. Even with an accompanying track, it is very difficult to maintain precision when there is no conductor to keep the group in time. Nevertheless, they come together in wonderful harmony and their voices sound as one.

The performance isn’t quite as grand as it is in the choir’s normal concerts, as seen below, but they work with what they have to bring a wonderful song of faith to those who have been forced to do without in the last few weeks.

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