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Happy Birthday, St. Louis!

posted Jul 27, 2014, 8:08 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Jul 27, 2014, 8:08 AM ]
Fr. Robert and I spent this week in St. Louis, attending the 37th Annual Convention of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians. This gathering of pastoral musicians, clergy and liturgists is dedicated to fostering the art of music in liturgy. It provides learning opportunities in both liturgy and music; it allows us to visit colleagues for mutual sharing and support; and we see exhibits and showcases of products that support music ministry. This year's theme is “Proclaim Good News!”

St. Louis turns 250 this year, and to celebrate this anniversary, they've installed 250 cakes decorated by local artists in notable locations. So this “Cakeway to the West” is one-part public art exhibit, one part scavenger hunt and one part history lesson!

And St. Louis' musical history is rich. Located at the crossroads of the country, it soaked up the diverse assortment of musical styles and sounds that traveled to, from, and through the area. Its symphony orchestra is the second oldest in our country, preceded only by our New York Philharmonic. “Ragtime King” Scott Joplin, who composed The Entertainer while living here, was a huge hit with the thousands who came to hear him perform at the 1904 World's Fair. Chuck Berry not only became famous in the 1950's with hits like Roll Over Beethoven and Johnny B. Goode, he just gave his 205th show in the landmark music club Blueberry Hill last month! In 1957, Ike and Tina Turner met in East St. Louis and formed one of the most famous rhythm-and-blues groups in history. And in 2000, Cornell Haynes Jr., better known as Nelly, released his debut album from here, branding himself the “rap star of the Midwest.”