Nov. 30, 2012 By Bill Parry
This Sunday, St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church will put on the Christmas portion of Handel’s Messiah Concert.
The event will take place inside the 149-year-old church and will feature a well known pipe-organ player and a choir compromised of professional singers. Together, they will perform the 1741 classic, considered to be Handel’s finest work.
The concert will get underway at 5:00 pm and Michael Xavier Lundy — a pianist, organist, and choral conductor — will play the church’s 1894 pipe organ. Lundy and the organ are expected to be the centerpiece of the event.
St. Mary’s will feature a big screen, closed-circuit television system for the first time so the audience can see Lundy’s hand and foot movements.
“For years people complained that they could only hear the music,” said Giovanna Varlese, St Mary’s music director and a life-long LIC resident. “Now they can see how it’s performed.”
Monsignor Joseph Mulqueen points out that the old organ adds a whole new dimension to a choral recital. “The organ does more than just reach your ears,” he said. “It comes up through the soles of your feet and permeates your very being.”
The staff has spent the past few months planning the event, paying attention to every last detail. They have advertised it, made sure the pipe organ is in good working order; and got the closed-circuit TV worked out.
They had initially planned for about 1,000 attendees. However, those lofty goals were dashed when they discovered they had overlooked one item.
“We forgot to check to see if the #7 was running [Sunday],” Varlese said. “When we found out it’s not running on Sunday we were quite shocked.”
Now they’re hoping for a big turnout by its own parish members within LIC.