Ensembles

Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean. (Ryunosuke Satoro, poet)

All of our ensembles are blessed with people who willingly volunteer their gifts for the sake of assisting the congregation in worship. These dedicated individuals are literally the pulse and sound of our music ministry...

Choir

posted Aug 18, 2015, 4:52 PM by Steven Vaughan   [ updated Aug 23, 2015, 7:31 PM ]

I love to hear a choir. I love the humanity...to see the faces of real people devoting themselves to a piece of music. I like the teamwork. It makes me feel optimistic about the human race when I see them cooperating like that. (Paul McCartney, singer, songwriter)
Our choir sings a variety of musical styles, from traditional to contemporary, at our 11:45 AM Sunday liturgy. It enriches the celebration by adding musical elements beyond the capabilities of the congregation. With a stronger choir, perhaps those who are reluctant to fully participate in the Liturgy will get excited and want to be a part of all the positive energy; tapping their feet, humming the tune...

Weekly rehearsals are on Wednesday evenings from 7:30 - 9:00
PM. (They're posted on the calendar.) There's no audition necessary, you don't need any musical experience or knowledge, and you won't ever have to sing a solo if you don't want to. And it's OK to come and just listen. There's also no need to make any long term commitment; new members are encouraged to sing when they can.

Did you know that singing can enhance your well-being, reduce your feelings of pain and even prolong your life? Studies have linked singing with a lower heart rate, decreased blood pressure, improved lung capacity, higher energy levels, better posture and reduced stress. So if you sing in the car or the shower, why not do it with other people? (Sing, not shower!)

cuori BELLissimi!

posted Aug 18, 2015, 2:04 PM by Steven Vaughan   [ updated Oct 5, 2016, 7:24 AM ]

If children are not introduced to music at an early age, I believe something fundamental is actually being taken from them. (Luciano Pavarotti, tenor)
This is our handbell choir 
that plays semi-regularly at Sunday Masses; the Lighting of the Trees & Angels; the 5:00 PM Christmas Eve Mass; and in December goes "carol-ring". Rehearsals are conveniently scheduled Sunday mornings at 10:00 AM, in between the two Masses down in the Good Shepherd. (Rehearsals are listed on the calendar.)

Ringers of all playing levels are invited to get together for these 45-minute rehearsals. Anyone between the ages of 8 and 108 is encouraged to join. At last summer's Vacation Bible School we had a multi-generational experience, with elementary school-aged children, teenagers, adults and senior citizens all performing side by side! Wouldn’t that be great to do with hand chimes? 

Becoming a “ringer” develops team work, self-esteem, and provides general music training. However, musical ability is NOT the most important characteristic; a willingness to learn and a commitment to attend regularly is. 

But you won’t need to attend every Sunday. We're divided into two teams; the Blue and the Gold. The Blue team meets on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of each month, learning to read simple music; count basic rhythm patterns, and play easier handbell parts with KidsPlay® colored handbells. Then eventually, they can “graduate” to the Gold team, which meets on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of each month; rehearsing songs, hymns and carols with hand chimes. And if the month has a 5th Sunday in it, we’ll all gather together to ring together! 

So if you know anyone who might be interested, send them down to the Good Shepherd Sunday mornings. Better yet, stay and plan on ringing with them! Bring a friend, or a grandchild! This is something the whole family can do together!

Liz & Maureen

posted Aug 17, 2015, 5:41 PM by Steven Vaughan   [ updated Aug 23, 2015, 7:16 AM ]

Friendship is like music, brought together through a passion so strong and played with a beautiful harmony and a never ending melody that you'll never forget. (Pinterest, unknown)
Maureen O’Neill was baptized here in Immaculate Heart of Mary Church and lives in the neighborhood house her Irish immigrant grandparents bought in 1920. For as long as she can remember, she wanted to be a teacher and she cherishes her memories as one at Immaculate Heart of Mary School, where she was also the musical director of the school chorus for twelve years. For over twenty years she prepared students, both spiritually and musically, for the Sacraments of Initiation. Presently, she is cherishing her role as principal at P.S. 56 in the Bronx. 

Music has always been a part of Elizabeth Normandia’s life. Gifted with a beautiful voice and a singing family, she performed in the school choir and on stage, voicing such diverse roles as the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz to the King in The King and I. But she didn’t pick up a musical instrument until our prayer group needed some accompaniment. She began to play the guitar at prayer meetings, then on Sunday mornings at the “folk mass” with her sisters. 

While working as a physical therapist at Coney Island Hospital, "Liz" met her husband, who joined her in coaching Immaculate Heart of Mary's girls’ basketball, where she met Maureen, the mother of one of her players who also played guitar. Their friendship quickly became a duet, and even though Liz relocated to New Jersey in 2003 - she’s been singing with Maureen at the 5:00 PM Saturday anticipatory Mass for almost 20 years! Currently, they accompany the music at this Mass on the first, third and fifth Saturdays of the month.

Urdu Choir

posted Aug 17, 2015, 4:10 PM by Steven Vaughan   [ updated Aug 23, 2015, 7:18 AM ]

Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19)
Immaculate Heart of Mary is fortunate to host the Pakistani Apostolate. The many Ethnic Apostolates in our Diocese provide an opportunity for immigrants to come together so that they do not feel alone, and are designed to assist their spiritual well being, along with their feeling of belonging in this country, as they become part of our larger community.

Each Sunday at 4:00
PM we celebrate Mass in their native language of Urdu. A choir sings at this Mass, led by Patrick and accompanied on an electric keyboard. And occasionally, our English and Pakistani musicians perform at liturgies together to develop a spirit of inclusion here in the “heart” of Brooklyn.

Resurrection Choir

posted Aug 14, 2015, 6:00 PM by Steven Vaughan   [ updated Aug 23, 2015, 7:33 PM ]

Music is integral to the funeral rites. It allows the community to express convictions and feelings that words alone may fail to convey. It has the power to console and uplift the mourners... (Order of Christian Funerals, 30).
This group of volunteers comes together to sing at funerals. Any adult who’s available in the mornings can assist in this ministry. Funeral repertoire is small, so we don't rehearse except maybe once a year. It’s ideal for those whose schedule is limited but still want to be involved in a parish ministry. We sit in the pews behind our Consolation Ministry, so as not to feel like we’re “performing”. But our participation provides a warm and caring liturgical presence that goes a long way in helping grieving families. Besides singing, we provide leadership in the spoken responses of the Mass, which is especially helpful to those who might not be familiar with Catholic liturgy. Lastly, we represent our parish-at-large during this important and holy time. As Jesus says in John 13:35, “This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

If you’d like to be a part of this important ministry, please contact Steven Vaughan, the Director of Music Ministry. Then, when a funeral occurs, he'll notify you a couple days in advance either by email or text, and you simply come 15 minutes early. It’s that easy!

Guitar Jam

posted Aug 14, 2015, 8:51 AM by Steven Vaughan   [ updated Oct 1, 2016, 2:43 PM ]

It's my experience that in the end, life lessons and guitar lessons begin to blur in all sorts of interesting ways. (Brad Paisley, Diary of a Player: How My Musical Heroes Made a Guitar Man Out of Me)
Guitarists get together for an hour once a month to swap techniques, fingerings, styles, and pick up some tips by playing with someone else as opposed to playing alone, etc. Anyone with a guitar is invited, whether they play well or just a beginner who wants to try and come learn something. It doesn't matter whether you want to play a liturgy or not. Popular songs and warm-up and improvisation exercises are explored as well as songs for Mass. The emphasis is simply to encourage more and better guitar playing in a self-run master class type setting, where you can help each other. The monthly jam is 3:30 - 4:30 
PM in the Marian Center on the last Saturday of the month. (Sometimes it's moved up a week if the last Saturday falls on a holiday weekend. Check the calendar before you come!)

Li'l Hearts & Voices

posted Aug 11, 2015, 7:26 AM by Steven Vaughan   [ updated Aug 22, 2015, 1:26 PM ]

Singing is the instinctive language of the child.  (Zoltán Kodaly, composer, pedagogue)
Each Sunday at the 11:45 AM Mass, children are invited during the Liturgy of the Word to a separate space to hear it “broken open” in a way they can easily understand, and to sing a song, which helps them express their emotions in acceptable ways while teaching them teamwork. They occasionally share these songs when they return after the intercessory prayers so the “adults can benefit spiritually…when children take part in the Mass.” (“Decree and Directory for Masses with Children” published by Pope Paul VI in 1973)

Cantors / Song Leaders

posted Aug 11, 2015, 7:22 AM by Steven Vaughan   [ updated Aug 25, 2015, 2:43 PM ]

Where speech stops short, then the art of music begins. (Richard Wagner, composer)

The cantor leads the congregation in songs and responses, especially the psalms. At the 11:45 AM Mass, cantors sing weekly and are part of the choir. But we are currently seeking individuals willing to volunteer for at least once a month at the 8:45 AM Sunday Mass; or the 5:00 PM Mass on Saturday. Limited rehearsal is prior to Mass, with additional seasonal training if necessary. Some notes on how you can become a more effective cantor are attached...

1-8 of 8