One by one, the Xaverian chorus loaded onto their bus Wednesday morning, ready for their first performance of the year at St. John’s University. There, the chorus would sing at the University’s Feast of St. Vincent De Paul mass.
St. Vincent de Paul was the founder of St. John’s University, originally establishing the school in 1870 after receiving a letter from the Bishop of Brooklyn asking de Paul to create a school for the youth in Brooklyn to attend. For many years of the school’s existence, the St. Vincent de Paul mass has been commemorating the anniversary of the school’s founding.
Xaverian Music Director, Mr. Joseph Loposky, had been working with St. John’s University Chorus Director, Michael Fontana, to coordinate this event since June, and both Xaverian and St. John’s could not have been more grateful for it.
“It’s an honor to be asked to perform at the Founder’s Day mass at St. John’s. Every time the chorus is asked to perform at a public event—or any music group for that matter—we are always happy to attend,” explained Mr. Loposky.
For student Eamon Vega ‘25, the trip was “very enlightening,” as the students enjoyed a mini tour of the St. John’s campus and learned about St. Vincent de Paul and the founding of the university from Mr. Fontana.
With only a few short weeks to practice at the start of the school year, the chorus practiced hymns such as "The Song of St. Vincent" composed by Jeff Paterson and "We Are One Body" by Dana Scallon.
“To perform with a collegiate choir and learn from them is an experience we are grateful for, and it would be amazing to get asked to return and for this to become an annual event for our chorus,” explained Mr. Robert Randazzo, Xaverian’s Chorus Director.
Xaverian has had a long-standing history with St. John’s. The university provides Xaverian students with college-level courses that students may take, but never before has there been performing arts opportunities for Xaverian.
Fontana, after the mass, told the chorus that “Xaverian students are always welcome here at St. John’s, especially you all.” Presented with these new performances, there may be new opportunities on the horizon for the performing arts side of the Xaverian community.