Seton's Chamber Choir is welcome addition to school liturgies

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"To me, there are few things as rewarding as working with others to produce something truly beautiful," said Elizabeth Foeckler, choir and chamber choir director at Seton School in Manassas.

Foeckler became Seton's choir director in spring 2013 and created the chamber choir, an auditioned, select group, in the fall. The chamber choir sings a classical repertoire of sacred music during the two weekly school Masses.

During Lent, the chamber choir has performed hymns for meditation such as "What Wondrous Love is This" and "O Sacred Head Surrounded."

"The church is blessed in that the Lenten Season has some really great music," said Foeckler. "I think it is God's way of being merciful."

Students who participate in chamber choir have the opportunity to use their gifts to praise God while also receiving a half-credit. The beauty and reverence of their performances is worth the hard work, according to Foeckler.

"There is nothing more awesome to me than seeing the reactions of my choir once they have nailed a piece we have been working on, or when a complicated harmony comes together or when someone comes up and tells me a specific piece we sang helped them to meditate and focus," said Foeckler. "It shows you that hard work and commitment pay off, and that music is something that is more than just for yourself; it is for the community."

Many of the students in chamber choir also will appear in the spring musical, "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat." Foeckler sees chamber choir as "great preparation for the spring musical. There is nothing better for your voice than exercising it year-round and improving your pitch and your ear by singing harmonies."

Last year, Foeckler helped establish the St. Cecilia Scholarship, recognizing a graduating senior who has shown exemplary commitment to sacred music. "I saw how much talent and commitment there was among some of the students to music, especially sacred music," she said. "I wanted to encourage and reward that."

Of the 13 current members of chamber choir, four are seniors eligible for this award. The scholarship will be funded through a benefit concert held May 23.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2015