The Loyola Choir, under the direction of performing arts teacher Steven Speciale, performed during a Mass at- the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels on Wednesday, Dec. 6, for church-goers, workers of the cathedral and Archbishop José Gómez.
Consisting of Speciale’s music classes and any other students wishing to be a part of the choir, the group sang mostly advent music at the cathedral performance. Speciale also decided that all of the music being performed would be sung in Spanish.
Speciale said, “Because Los Angeles is a multicultural place, we are singing all of our mass parts in Spanish. I also wrote a decant for the choir because we have some really talented tenors with extended falsetto range and they can sing soprano notes. We will be singing a Loyola version of a hymn that I wrote unique to this event, and before the mass begins we are also going to sing a four part setting of ‘Ave Maria.’”
According to Speciale, the choir had been rehearsing everyday for the past few weeks leading up to the performance. The choir’s practice schedule depends on the timing of their performances.
Speciale said, “[The choir] worked really hard. They practice a lot and they really have been preparing for a very long time. All of the students sound great and I wish more people could hear them preform.”
Over Speciale’s 13 years of teaching at Loyola, the choir has performed a number of times at the Los Angeles Cathedral. The cathedral specifically reached out to Speciale asking for the choir to perform during a Christmas liturgy for their workers.
Speciale said, “These people do these things out of the goodness of their heart, even if they’re paid. They sacrifice their Christmas’s so that other people can have a nice Christmas. We just wanted to acknowledge all that the church does through our music. They gave us this opportunity, and we wanted to repay them our kindness.”
Sophomore Nick Borkovich, a member of the choir, said, “I think our choir singing at the mass went very well. Mr. Speciale really does a great job of leading the choir. The people that came to the mass appreciated us. They liked it enough that the cathedral may invite us back again soon.”
Speciale said, “The cathedral was very complimentary of us. Our choir was really well prepared and anytime we step in front of people, we try to be prepared at the highest level. I was not surprised that it went well.”