Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Detroit Free Press: Assumption Grotto pastor creates music for mass, lifts spirits at vulnerable parish

Fr. Perrone conducts a Mass his wrote, at the dress rehearsal before Christmas
Photo: Jarrad Henderson/Detroit Free Press

Detroit Free Press reporter, Niraj Warikoo, and photographer, Jarrad Henderson, paid a visit to Assumption Grotto on the Wednesday before Christmas as the dress rehearsal was going on for the orchestral Mass, composed and conducted by Fr. Eudard Perrone, the pastor.

I was quoted a few times in the article.  Tomorrow, I will elaborate on what I was  quoted on to give it greater context than could be made in this excellent feature story about Fr. Perrone's Mass.   I've added one note, bracketed in gold (since my link color is red - LOL).

Assumption Grotto: Pastor creates music for mass, lifts spirits at vulnerable parish

The Rev. Eduard Perrone, while on vacation last summer at his mother's home in Warren, awoke from an afternoon nap with a melody in his head. He scribbled it down before he forgot it.

Over the next few days, more musical ideas popped into his mind, often after he woke up.

That was the start of what has turned into a full orchestral piece for Catholic mass, a 30-minute composition being performed for the first time this holiday season. It's rare for a full-time priest to compose his own music for mass, but for Perrone, 63, it fit well with his role as pastor at Assumption Grotto, a historic Detroit church with a rich musical history.

Called "Fountain of Beauty," Perrone's composition is dedicated to the mother of Jesus.

"It's my belief that the Virgin Mary is the most beautiful of all God's creatures," Perrone said.

Divided into six parts, the piece is written for a 65-member choir and 38 musicians, some of whom are professionals with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Michigan Opera Theatre. On Dec. 21, it was performed for the first time with the full orchestra during a rehearsal under the neo-Gothic arches of the majestic church.

"That was stunning, Father," Diane Korzeniewski, a choir member and member of the church, said after the rehearsal.

Unifying the parish

Born to parents who were both musicians, Perrone learned music at Cass Tech High School and at a now-closed school in the Detroit archdiocese that taught church music [Fr. Perrone was referring to the famed Palestrina School]. He learned piano, organ and Gregorian chanting.

But his heart was set on a higher calling.

Read the rest at the Detroit Free Press... 

You can read a letter Fr. Perrone provided to the choir with details about his newly composed Mass. 

The article goes on to quote me a few more times as I spoke with Niraj after the interview with Fr. Perrone.  Tomorrow, I will elaborate. 


If you are wanting to hear this beautiful music in the context of holy Mass, there are two more opportunities:  January 1, 2012 at 9:30 AM and at the noon Mass on January 8th.  Prelude music begins 15 minutes before Mass.  Parking and seating will not be a problem if you get there earlier.

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