This year, St Peter’s Parish celebrates the 100th anniversary of the dedication of its church with a series of special events.
To mark the occasion, in a grand celebratory Mass at 4 pm on Saturday 30 June, the parish choir together with an orchestra and soloists comprised of friends of the parish will present Haydn’s Missa Sancti Nicolai written for the name day of his patron, Count Nikolaus Esterhazy.
This is not the first time that a Mass in the Viennese tradition will be presented at the parish.
The presentation of grand orchestral Mass settings in the Sacred Liturgy were semi-regular events in the parish as early as 1882 when the faithful attended the pioneering school house and functioning Church building, established in 1880.
In the years that followed, the choir is recorded as one of the largest in number and most capable being comprised of fine soloists, often augmented by guests from the Theatre Royal Opera company and the Alhambra theatre in George Street.
The newness of the original functioning Church and school house of 1880 makes these claims even more startling in a city which had only few major parishes, but perhaps this can be attributed to the fast-growing school and an overwhelming demographic of faithful (then, mostly Irish) Catholics.
St Peter’s endeavours to keep this tradition alive, with its dedicated choir of committed and hardworking young people who work tirelessly to deliver a high standard of sacred music for the Sunday liturgy.
In anticipation of the installation of a new organ in the parish later this year (God willing!) these young people have diligently fundraised, whilst acquiring an artillery of robust, sacred repertoire for a regular season of concerts to punctuate the year.
It doesn’t seem a spurious suggestion that such endeavours glimpse at the pioneering days of the parish, where youthful enthusiasm and zealous commitment led to Liturgical celebrations that were a feature in the Archdiocese.
In addition, on 1 July the choir of St Peter’s with soloists and orchestra will present a thanksgiving concert with a selection of Petrine works in partnership with the Artes Christi Australia choir.
These are: an early minor oratorio by Charpentier on the denial of St Peter; the Propers for the feast of Sts Peter & Paul by William Byrd; and the Te Deum of Charpentier, arguably his most famous work.
Charpentier and Byrd have been a feature of the parish choir’s repertoire to date.
This combined concert will be the first officially collaborative effort with Artes Christi’s choir in residence, who have regularly presented Händel’s Messiah, Fauré’s Requiem and an annual Christmas concert in the parish for many years.
Following the thanksgiving Mass on 30 June, the parish will be host a dinner to which all are welcome.
More details are available on the parish’s own Facebook page.
For bookings of all the centenary events go to: www.trybooking.com/WBRV