THE ARABIC CHOIR
The year 1998 marked a significant milestone in the history of our parish. It was the year in which we celebrated, on October 11, the first liturgy in our newly built church complex in Lincoln, RI. The move created a renaissance in our parish which manifested itself in many areas. One of the areas was the establishment of a new Arabic choir by a small group of talented and dedicated parishioners. This small group has now grown to include 18 members and is still growing.
At the outset, weekly rehearsals were held in the evenings. It was necessary to prepare the musical notation and phonetic wording so that the choir would be able to master the melody and correct pronunciation of the words of the hymns. We also acquired an oriental keyboard with the capability of producing the Arabic scales. On the keyboard, there is a special section consisting of twelve buttons arranged in keyboard octave style. Each Arabic scale button lowers the corresponding note of the keyboard by ¼ of a tone in real time. Our goal is to preserve the authenticity of the Arabic melodies.
We are pleased with our accomplishments thus far and look forward to many more challenges in the future. And as we chant every Sunday,
“Save us who sing to you: Alleluia!”
“ Nahnoo L’mooraneemeen Laka Halleluia ”
THE ENGLISH CHOIR
The English Choir of St. Basil’s Church was formed in 1968 under the direction and guidance of Father Joseph Haggar. We practiced every week in the evening at the former Church on Broad Street and also got together many evenings at the rectory using the upright piano in the living room. After practice, we would treat ourselves to coffee and pastry provided by the members of the choir. Over the years, we were asked to accompany the Pastor at services held at Providence College, the Little Sisters of the Poor, and other religious events held by the clergy from our neighboring churches.
During the years, we witnessed many changes in our music and our Liturgy, but we always strived to keep our traditions and customs strong so that they could be passed on from generation to generation. The music of the Divine Liturgy reflects our faith and devotion to the Mother of God and the Undivided Trinity. We welcome new members to the English Choir and pray that we continue to do God’s work as we chant the prayers and responses at the Divine Liturgy every Sunday.