The combined choirs of Toronto’s Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts performed the Missa Gaia at Holy Name Church April 3. Photo by Michael Swan

Student concert inspired by the Earth

By 
  • April 13, 2013

TORONTO - The Earth matters to students and staff at Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts — it matters enough to inspire prayer, song and art.

The combined choirs, a dozen musicians and a company of dancers performed the Missa Gaia at Holy Name Church in Toronto’s Greektown April 3 and 5. More than 60 singers lifted their voices to sing everything from Gregorian Chant to a Gospel-soul inspired setting of The Beatitudes.

“It was excellent. It was so wonderful to hear Latin music,” said Ann Gilbride, who was in the audience April 3.

Gilbride was heartened that the young choir would perform a concert structured around the musical form of a Mass.

“Because it’s their religion,” she said. “You have to have something to believe in and this is it.”

Elaine and Paul Ebach were thrilled for their Grade 10 daughter Melanie, who was part of the choir.

“It’s a pretty impressive display of not only their talent but their love of the Earth,” said Elaine Ebach.

The Missa Gaia was a jazz Mass composed by Jim Scott and Paul Winter and first performed at the Episcopal Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York in 1982. Much of the music is based on wolf calls and whale singing. It was first performed on the Feast of St. Francis.

Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts was established by the Toronto Catholic District School Board in 1990 to give students an opportunity for advanced and intensive study in the arts.

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