Friday, June 16, 2000

Diocese of Covington enlists singers for 2000 celebration

By Susan Vela
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Joanna Schoborg, 16, sings with the Jubilee choir.
(Luis Sanchez photo)
| ZOOM |
        COVINGTON — The voices of about 100 altos, basses, tenors and sopranos were soaring through the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption this week, as singers from throughout the Diocese of Covington prepared for a special diocese-wide Mass commemorating 2,000 years of Christianity.

        “I can't wait. I can't imagine what it will sound like,” said Kevin Frommeyer, who usually sings in the choir at St. Joseph Church in Cold Spring. This week, he practiced with singers from the 14 Northern Kentucky counties that make up the diocese.

        The singers — males and females of all ages — crowded the church's front rows as they faced Thomas More College music professor Robert Schaffer and followed his instructions.

        Their voices blended harmoniously.

        Mr. Frommeyer said there's nothing like singing in a church choir.

        “It's probably one of the best feelings you ever get,” he said.

        “You're surrounded by so much good. You're almost crying, because you're so happy. It's as if the Holy Spirit reaches down to your soul and says, "You're alive, and God loves you.'”

        The Diocese comes together to celebrate the Jubilee Mass at 3 p.m. June 25, at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center in Covington. More than 3,000 people are expected to attend.

        Jubilees are celebrated every 25 or 50 years. On Christmas Eve, Pope John Paul II opened the Holy Door at St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican to launch a yearlong Roman Catholic Jubilee celebration.

        The special “Jesus Christ: Yesterday, Today and Forever” Mass will feature incense, colorful banners, a lengthy processional, a special Jubilee Cross and the presence of Bishop Robert W. Muench. There also will be musicians, in cluding a brass quintet, guitarist, keyboardist, percussionist and two flutists.

        The choir will perform some hymns, choral selections and a piece by Mozart, said Sister Madonna Kling, director of the diocesan Office of Worship.

        “They ... really will create a wonderful spirit,” she said. “... We're hoping that the choir will be able to unite us all in praise of God.”

        Rebecca Slater, one of the choir directors at St. Thomas Church in Fort Thomas, has been organizing and planning for the special Jubilee celebration since last year. The owner of Slater Music Academy in Fort Thomas, she is the pianist for the Jubilee Choir. She began rounding up Jubilee Choir members some months ago.

        They have practiced twice so far. They will meet once more before their debut.

        “We're all coming together in a spiritual manner,” Ms. Slater said.


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