A Multi-Academy Trust (MAT) with 30 schools across the North East premiered its own Catholic Mass Setting in November. Gaudete, which means rejoice, was unveiled for the first time at the Catholic Leaders and Clergy Conference at St. Mary's Cathedral in Newcastle.
The Mass Setting is the culmination of more than a year’s work with acclaimed composer Will Todd, Bishop Chadwick Catholic Education Trust (BCCET) and its parishes and local communities.
BCCET Lead Chaplain Liz Boylan said: “Over the past year, we have been on a fantastic journey working with our schools and local communities writing a Mass Setting, inspired by them, that can be used by both our schools and our parishes.
“The Celebration of Mass is the summit and source of our faith. We wanted to create a Mass Setting that our pupils and our communities had the opportunity to contribute to so that it was both inclusive and familiar. We worked with acclaimed composer Will Todd and have the approval of the National Liturgy Office.
“All our schools and parishes will be given free access to the finished musical score to use any versions or parts they wish in their Mass Setting. Versions will also be available via our website.”
Composer Will Todd, who worked with pupils from across the Trust’s schools, and local parishioners, wrote the music. Will said: “It’s been an amazing project to be part of.
“I listened to lots of the children’s ideas, inspired by religious texts, artwork, poems, music, stained glass that they designed, which was incredibly inspiring.
“Then I delivered five workshops in the five secondary schools in the Trust, and we wrote music together. We also did some sessions in the parishes. Every school created completely different pieces of music which was another layer of inspiration for me. I was particularly pleased that one of the pieces of music that we created in a session was used in the final Mass Setting.
“I listened to a lot of songs that the children said made them rejoice, because Gaudete means rejoice. It was very upbeat and very positive music and that’s what I tried to do with the Gaudete. Hopefully, people will sing it for a long time.”
Excerpts of Gaudete were shared at the Trust’s event, JOY in my Heart, at Rainton Arena, Houghton-le-Spring in November.
For more information, visit www.bccet.org.uk