The celebration of the Marian Library starts on a high note!

By Olivia Gillingham, Library Specialist in the Marian Library

Eya filled the packed Chapel of the Immaculate Conception with soaring, ethereal music last Thursday in their concert and the first event of the Marian Library’s year-long 75th anniversary celebration. The trio of singers is based in Washington, DC and specializes in medieval music for women’s voices. Allison Mondel, a soprano, leads the group as director and sings alongside Crossley Hawn, also a soprano, and Kristen Dubion-Smith, a mezzo-soprano.

The group performed their new program titled Regina, inspired by the Society of Mary and the Marian Library’s mission to make the Blessed Virgin better known, loved and served. Regina explores the themes of the four seasonal liturgical Marian antiphons: Alma Redemptoris Mater, Ave Regina Caelorum, Regina Caeli, and Salve Regina. Eya incorporated several pieces from Marian Library collections for the occasion, including “playful trios” from an 1841 French hymnal that Fr. Thomas Thompson, S.M., received as a gift last year. Other highlights included chants composed by the 12th century German Benedictine abbess, Hildegard von Bingen, and pieces from the Worcester Fragments.    

Eya’s visit to the University also offered a valuable opportunity for learning and the inclusion of UD students and other community members. Chaminade Julienne High School’s Concert Choir, directed by Debi Schutt, opened the concert with two songs. Later in the evening, the University’s own Early Music Ensemble, directed by Dr. Samuel Dorf, wowed with their rendition of “O Quam Mirabilis Est,” another antiphon composed by Hildegard von Bingen. Both groups had the chance to workshop their performances with Eya the day before the concert in a masterclass and rehearsal. The trio gave well-received advice and it was striking how excellently both ensembles incorporated the suggestions in their final performances.

Eya’s concert was a thrilling celebration of Mary, past and present, through music, and a wonderful way in which to recognize and bring to life the Marian Library’s collections.

Many thanks to Eya, the University of Dayton Early Music Ensemble and the Chaminade Julienne High School Concert Choir for the beautiful music, and to everyone who attended to create such a successful event. 

See the photo gallery for highlights of Eya's visit to campus and of the evening concert. 

We hope you’ll join us at other upcoming events as we continue to celebrate the Marian Library this year!


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