St. Olaf at Mary Queen of Peace

Submitted by lmcshane on Wed, 02/08/2012 - 05:06.

A beautiful night for CLE--as the heavenly choir of St. Olaf performed for a capacity crowd of 700+ at Mary Queen of Peace (formerly Our Lady of Good Counsel) in Old Brooklyn.  For Old Brooklyn and Brooklyn Centre residents--getting there was as easy as a brisk winter's walk.

But, given the unfamiliar musical venue, I was apprehensive to see how many folks would show up.  We got there an hour early, at 6:30, to find the front parking lot completely filled (fortunately--there are side lots for this formerly huge Catholic congregation).   The event was given promotion locally through WCLV and in the Plain Dealer Sunday paper:

We grabbed a quick bite at the Pearl Road. Tavern, served up by the delightful Ashley.  The bar is definitely a local watering hole, featuring pool, darts and a jukebox.  The volume was too loud for my companion's taste--but the juke box allowed me to change the music selection and then the companion was less grumpy.  And, after two $5.00 margaritas pitchers, he was just fine...

We grabbed good seats and settled in for a transcendent concert.  Shenandoah and My Soul's been Anchored in the Lord, especially touched me.  I am not a musician, but the concert was obviously very important to most of the folk in attendance for the technique of choirmaster Anton Armstrong.  I hazard a guess that 75% of the audience had some church affiliation and were especially interested in taking the devotional experience to a higher level.  A Mennonite couple behind us raptured about the performance and volunteered that they arrived with their congregation from Pennsylvania, making the two hour trip to attend.

A special mention goes out to the pastor and choirmaster at Mary Queen of Peace--both went to great lengths to attract and accommodate this musical experience (including an intermission in the lower chapel with pastries and coffee served). 

As a local resident, I am so grateful for their effort.  I recognized a few of my neighbors in the audience, but for the most part--the concert was attended by far-flung visitors.  The pastor graciously (and mercifully!) allowed women and men to visit the school restrooms during the intermission--and based on conversations overheard (visitors from Medina, Brecksville, Bedford)--they immensely enjoyed the concert and the experience. 

The Old Brooklyn and Brooklyn Centre neighborhoods benefit from this exposure. 

Thank you to all who made this world class CLE event possible!


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