Plans for the Mount St. Mary’s Seminary schola to release its second CD took a big leap forward on March 8th when Sheffied Recording Company of Phoenix, MD arrived on campus to hold a rigorous two day recording session. Back in 2008, the seminary released its first CD, a collection of hymns and chants sung during a live celebration of Vespers. This time around, the schola recorded around twenty sacred hymns traditionally sung during the liturgical celebrations in the Advent and Christmas seasons. The Christmas themed CD will hopefully be available for purchase this upcoming November, offering the public a chance to allow the seminary’s schola to be a part of their future Christmas preparations.
While the schola’s twenty-four singers worked for more than thirteen hours with scores of individual takes during the two days of recording, the preparation for this CD has been ongoing for months. The seminary’s schola director, Ms. Julia Parker, first began working on the project last July, though her efforts have demanded a more heightened dedication since the beginning of the school year. Laboring for countless hours, the completion of the recording process is a great achievement for Ms. Parker who arrived at the Mount just over two years ago in January 2011. Prior to brining her musical abilities to Mary’s Mountain, Parker, a native of Virginia and South Carolina gained abundant experience working for various Catholic institutions in the Diocese of Columbus, OH. She held posts at Columbus’ seminary, the Pontifical College Josephinum, from 1998 to 2010 while also working at the cathedral and another large parish. Possessing skills as both an accomplished organist and an abundant knowledge of the Church’s tradition of sacred music, Parker now holds the positions of Director of Liturgical Music at the seminary, university organist, and the seminary’s instructor of Pastoral Music. Though the completion of the CD’s recording process is a huge step ahead, Ms. Parker will now turn her attention to the grueling process of editing the lengthy recordings before sending the final version back to the recording company.