I'm a member of the Philadelphia Archdiocesan Choir--a second tenor, to be precise. Our numbers have swelled considerably since the powers that be announced auditions for singers to participate in the Papal Masses taking place later this week. We've been rehearsing weekly since the beginning of July, and this week we have a rehearsal or a service every day.
Today was rehearsal for the full 500-voice choir. This consisted of 100 members of the AD Choir, the Cathedral Basilica Choir and Schola, the AD Children's choir, and representative choirs from the Catholic high schools, and the Vietnamese, Spanish-speaking, and African American communities. Add to this another 125 singers auditioned from the parishes of our diocese and others surrounding, and you get the picture.
Our leader is a fine young choral conductor. How he's managed to do his job so well without totally losing his mind is beyond me. He's the choir director at St. Andrew parish in Newtown, Bucks County. They're lucky to have him, but I'm guessing that if he pulls off this week, it won't be long before he leaves for greener pastures.
Here's the schedule for the week:
Sunday--rehearsal for the Mass on the Ben Franklin Parkway
Monday--dress rehearsal for the WMOF opening Mass on:
Tuesday--Opening Mass for the WMOF, Pennsylvania Convention Center
Wednesday--Rehearsal for Saturday's Cathedral Mass
Thursday and Friday--rehearsals at Verizon hall for Mass on the Parkway
Saturday--Papal Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul (for clergy, religious, and "invited guests")
Sunday--Papal Mass on the Ben Franklin Parkway
Monday--consume mass quantities and sleep.