“I will sing of your strength; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning. For you have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress.”
In its current form the 10 a.m. Mass parish choir at Bryanston has existed since September 1998, when the new Church was built. Before this the choir stood next to the altar in the old Church, now the Emmaus Centre; two or three of us huddled around a microphone as we attempted to sing while being stared at by the congregation — intimidating to say the least! Jorge, the Polish organist at that time, was an incredible musician who once composed a three-part harmony for one of the favourite Easter hymns, “I kiss the Wounds”, in 10 minutes. The choir still sings this hymn at Easter Masses.
Our current organist, Michelle, has accompanied the choir for many years. A talented lady with an astounding repertoire, she is never afraid of a new challenge and is available to play at weddings and funerals.
The current parish choir is a mixture of young and old, male and female. Our youngest member to date was an 8 year old boy, who sang with us for a month or two. Most of the members have participated since the early days, but new members are acquired here and there. The function of the choir being to lead the congregation in worship, we try to keep the music as close to the liturgical message of the week as possible with a combination of the traditional and modern.
Christmas is a particularly busy time. Apart from our weekly Sunday commitment, the choir participates in several external events: the Nazareth House Christmas lunch on 16 December and the CWL Christmas Lunch for Pensioners from all over Johannesburg. We also sing Christmas carols at the Douglasdale Retirement Village. On Christmas Eve we sing carols before the 18.00 Christmas Eve Mass and lead the congregation during the Mass itself. Later the same evening we do the same before the Midnight Mass and sing the Mass. On Christmas morning we sing the 10.00 Mass. At Easter we sing at all the Masses other than the 7.30am one, and if required we sing at weddings and funerals.
Singing is a form of prayer and a very important component of the Mass. The aim is to assist in worship and prayer, and it seems to work, for on many occasions people can be heard singing the Recessional hymn or humming one of the Communion hymns as they leave the church, or outside after Mass.
We would love to grow our choir and are always on the look-out for new members. If you can hold a tune, we practice every Sunday morning in the Emmaus Centre at 09h00. Please come and see what we are all about.
Contact person: Stella
We now come to music provided by and for younger parishioners. The JAM Band has played at the Bryanston Saturday 6 p.m. Mass for some years, and although members have come and gone the music has continued to uplift and enhance the worship experience of parishioners. JAM plays a variety of music from classic hymns to more contemporary styles. The band has a broad range of appeal and quite often has a small audience while they warm-up before Mass.
An acoustic guitar, a keyboard and a bass guitar are regular fixtures. When musical friends are able to join in, the band is boosted by instruments such as drums or a clarinet. Although affiliated to the Youth Mass, members of the JAM Band currently range in age from children to ’40 somethings’.
We have an inclusive approach and welcome fellow musicians who would like to share their talents with the congregation. If you can play an instrument or sing and you’d like to have fun performing with the band for an audience, come and take part.
Contact person: Adrian