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Cover Story
Patrick Novecosky | Review
Nov 02, 2014
Filed under Music
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Christmas in Harvard Square

This new Christmas album will put you in the mood for worshiping the Lord Jesus . . .

christmasinharvardChristmas in Harvard Square
The Boys of St. Paul’s Choir School
Universal Music Classics, 2014

For most of us, the reality of Christmas — the Incarnation of Our Savior Jesus Christ — is obscured throughout Advent by the noise of the secular “holiday season.” As Catholic Christians, we are obliged to step back from the bright lights and contemplate the reason for the season.

The breathtaking debut recording from The Boys of St. Paul’s Choir School will certainly help you do just that. The prestigious school — in Harvard Square, Cambridge, Mass. — is the only Catholic choir school for boys in the United States.

The 19-track album features both traditional and contemporary arrangements, including some original arrangements by John Robinson, the school’s music director. The creative force behind the album along with Robinson is Grammy Award-winning producer Blanton Alspaugh.

The cozy and ethereal music collection of Christmas songs celebrates the Nativity of Christ and coincides with the school’s 50th anniversary.

Even though this is the choir’s first recording, the boys are not unfamiliar with the limelight. They’ve performed with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, at Carnegie Hall, and in St. Peter’s Square at a papal audience for Pope Francis. The choir has certainly reached an apex of greatness under the musical direction of Robinson, who came up in the boys choir schools in Cambridge, England.

“Working with a traditional choir of boys and men is a constant inspiration to me,” Robinson said in a news release. “The great music of Christmas has come down to us through the ages and is a constant source of joy and hope. It is a unique privilege to be able to record this music with the expressive sound of the boys in the glorious acoustics of St. Paul’s Church.”

That’s the back story, but what about the music? The album includes pristine renditions of classics including “O Come All Ye Faithful,” “Hark the Herald Angels Sing,” and “Angels We Have Heard,” among others. From start to finish, the music is a soaring, uplifting experience destined to become an evergreen favorite for decades to come.

PATRICK NOVECOSKY is Legatus magazine’s editor-in-chief.

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