Internationally acclaimed liturgical composer David Haas delighted Filipino fans with his one-night-only concert, “Rejoice and Be Glad: Yours is the Kingdom of God”, last Saturday, November 9 at the Angelo King Multipurpose Hall of Xavier School-San Juan.
Making his return trip to the country three years after composing “My Only Desire” with vocal ensemble Hangad Music Ministry, Haas began the day hosting an interactive workshop for choirs and church chorales, organized by the Jesuit Music Ministry (JMM) and Jesuit Communications Foundation (JesCom).
From generously imparting his musical wisdom and passion for the liturgy to his participants that morning, the 1991 Grammy Award nominee took the stage once again in the evening, for a series of grand performances alongside beloved JMM artists and affiliate acts.
Renowned Jesuit composer Fr.Manoling Francisco SJ and Bukas Palad Music Ministry raised the curtain with “Children of Eastern Morn”- their hymn of offering lives of service to the Lord. Conducting energetically, Haas then chimed in and encouraged audiences to sing the refrain to Psalm 89’s “Throughout all Time”.
Led by Conductor Jonathan Velasco, the Ateneo Chamber Singers showcased their soulful rendition of “Without Seeing You” and debuted their exceptional arrangement of Haas’ classic hit “You Are Mine”, with Scholastic Dom Bulan SJ taking lead vocals.
Pansol Choir and conductor Mark Anthony Carpio, charmed audiences with “Pananagutan”, “Love Never Fails” and “We Are Called”.Meanwhile, Mary the Queen Parish Choir seamlessly harmonized to “Amare et Servire”, “How shall I sing to God” and “Deep Within”.
As Fr.Arnel Aquino SJ played the piano, Tinig Barangka and Himig Heswita blended in perfect unison to “Pagsibol”, “Now We Remain” and “Magnificat”.
After proudly describing Haas as a “kindred soul and dear friend”, Hangad celebrated their mentor as they sang “Here in this Place”, “My Only Desire” and “I Sing the Mighty Power of God.”
Before gathering all of the choirs for “I Will Live On”, “With You By My Side” and the beatitudes-inspired “Blest Are They”, Haas expressed his sincerest gratitude for those who made his memorable visit possible.
“I am so grateful to our choirs, especially to (JMM Director) Lester and JesCom. Thank you so much for all your hard work bringing this together. I can’t wait to be back again soon.”
“Young people are so passionate about their faith and about the Church. I’m so blown away by that over here. The youth come to us with all their vulnerabilities, with things on the edge of their hearts. We need to bless them and remind them, that God is thereby their side,” added the ardent youth minister, as he concluded a festive and glorious evening of prayer, community, and thanksgiving.