“Extraordinary Mass Inspired By Holy Spirit Now Available on CD”
Walnut Creek, CA) -- November 27, 2006 -- A Mass for Peace in the Third Millennium has been described as “solemn, exalted, exhilarating, and prayerful”. How did a man with only two years of piano lessons as a child compose and arrange a work of such magnitude - a work for symphony orchestra and 94-voice chorus – a work which elicits resounding standing ovations in live performances – a work acclaimed by composers, musicians, and music educators as inspirational and gifted – a work that has received world-wide attention?
Dr. John W. Vitz has accomplished what seems like the impossible. He quickly makes it clear that he was merely the conduit for this music; the inspiration and capability coming from The Holy Spirit. He adds, “it’s not about the music, it’s all about The Mass”.
Composing this Mass was a labor of love spanning several years. Dr. Vitz’ love of the Church, and particularly the Mass, prompted his desire to write devotional music to the prayers of the Latin Mass, but utilizing contemporary harmonies. His goal was to capture the emotion that each prayer evokes, and to ultimately move hearts to Christ and His Church by helping people experience the beauty of the Mass.
In 1999, Dr. Vitz wrote a prayer to The Holy Spirit asking for inspiration. “The Holy Spirit”, Dr. Vitz says, “simply took over”. For 18 consecutive days Dr. Vitz wrote music – hearing it in his mind and filtering it through his soul as he read each prayer, it flowed onto paper – one prayer each day. “The Holy Spirit had responded in a powerful way”, says Dr. Vitz.
He showed his work in its early stage to Dr. Sharon Girard, a PhD in musicology and professor at San Francisco State. While he played the music on his synthesizer, she followed along in the score. And at its conclusion Dr. Girard said, “John, there is no way you wrote this by yourself.”
His initial composition was followed by several years of self-taught orchestration and arranging as well as relentless editing. A Mass for Peace in the Third Millennium was performed in concert for the first time in 2004 in Berkeley, California by the Oakland East Bay Symphony orchestra and grand chorus under the direction of Michael Morgan. A second performance last year at the Paramount Theater in Oakland, California was part of “The Concert for Peace and Humanity” celebrating The United Nations 60th Anniversary and benefiting Hurricane Katrina relief.
In a review published in The Catholic Voice, the music was described as comprised of “solemn and triumphant harmonies”, which “called the audience into rapt attention”. There was said to be “an awesome spiritual presence as hearts were touched with renewed spiritual meaning”.
A Mass for Peace in the Third Millennium is available on a recently-recorded CD, coincident with a document Pope Benedict XVI is said to be drafting which will endorse wider use of the Traditional Tridentine Latin Mass.
For more information, visit the Angelus Music website: www.angelusmusic.com
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