Do you like to sing? Here’s your invitation to join the Cuenca Archbishop’s Choir

Jun 21, 2024 | 0 comments

By Rich Westcott

Do you like to sing? What do you think of a choir that not only sings in Cuenca but in many towns around Cuenca? One that exposes you to other people and places in Ecuador?

I’m speaking of the Archbishop’s Choir here at the cathedral. My wife and I have been members for eleven or twelve years. In many ways the members are a part of our family here. For our fiftieth anniversary they kept us out of the rehearsal room until they had decorated it and brought out a cake and soft drinks. Birthday celebrations happen from time to time. We have a year-end party. On 12/04/2024, after singing at the Old Cathedral we all went to Dos Chorreros for breakfast. Between us and the clergy there were close to 100 people for breakfast.

If you were at the Concert for Peace at the Cathedral shortly before Christmas you would have heard us. When Archbishop Caberra was elevated to Archbishop of Guayaquil the choir accompanied him to sing at his first service. Breakfast and a rest stop on the way down, lunch with all of the clergy in attendance, a bus ride home with a stop for refreshments and then
another for fresh produce

When La Virgen del Cisne was here for the diocese’s 250th birthday celebration we sang with two other choirs for 18,000 people in the Stadium. (I still can’t figure where the mariachi band came from after the service.) The Pope sent representatives, it was filmed for him and there were 100 priests serving communion.

Our music was arranged by our co-director who teaches at the conservatory as well as being third violin in the symphony orchestra. Shortly thereafter there was a luncheon for those who had participated. At the luncheon we each received a 64-page full color booklet covering the event.

We did a tribute to Marco’s grandfather and his music. Handwritten music. Women didn’t sing then. I think that is what made me decide I was better off in the bass section.

Our other director is Padre Marcelo of La Iglesia del Vergel which is where we rehearse Monday nights at 7:30. When big events are upcoming we also practice on Wednesday nights also at 7:30. Marco is an excellent teacher and, although Spanish is the language spoken, several members speak varying degrees of English. No reason to worry, my Spanish is better than average and many times I can’t understand him. He is very good at illustrating what he wants from each voice though.

Try as I might, I cannot download WhatsApp on my $20 cell phone but those of you with smart phones will receive the music for new songs through a network of members who do have it.

We meet at La Iglesia del Vergel at 7:30 pm on Monday nights. The church is on 12 de Abril (your cab driver will know it.) There is a plazoleta adjacent. When you walk to the back of the church there are several large rooms as well as the church itself that can serve as rehearsal halls.

I will place a notice on rehearsal dates in the electronic newsletters to advise of the date and time. By the way, this is a residential area and parking is very difficult, much better to arrive by taxi or bus. The bus stop for the number 7 bus is within sight of the church entrance.

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