Salvatore Basile

in Fifth Avenue Famous

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print May 2010 | ISBN: 9780823231874
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823234929 | DOI:

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Most histories of ongoing institutions tend to wrap up with a somewhat lame Where-We're-Going ending. In many ways (and especially for an institution like St. Patrick's Cathedral, which like a barometer must always respond to happenings both in New York and the world beyond), this is impossible. It is preferable, maybe, to end a history of music at the Cathedral by sitting in the Cathedral itself, quietly, looking hard at the surroundings. Thinking of that quiet, it's a moving experience to imagine what it would have been like to hear those long-ago singers and organists. Or even longer ago, what it would have been like to hear those 106 boys and young men, processing slowly down the Cathedral's central aisle on a spring day in 1879, making the first music ever heard in the space of St. Patrick's, and hearing absolutely no sound other than their own voices in unison.

Keywords: St. Patrick's Cathedral; history; music; New York; singers; organists

Chapter.  445 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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