On Saturday I got to sing in the choir loft at St. Joseph’s Cathedral, as part of the choral group at Father David Baker’s ordination mass.
The cathedral is an amazing piece of architecture. Stained glass windows like the ones in the sacristy can not be made today, not without a limitless budget. The view from the loft, looking down on the altar, is different than we normally get to see, and compelling. And getting almost knocked off my feet by the power of the organ, 2 feet behind me, was a trip. At full volume I doubt that the choir could even be heard, but we did do some a cappella music as well, with only voices filling the cavernous space. That was nice.
I snuck back behind the organ loft to get a look inside. Lots of cables and amplifiers, and two bellows the size of Volkswagons powered the pipes. There was even some PVC piping back there, indicating that the organ – which dates back to the late 1800’s, has been extensively renovated over the years. It’s gotta be great fun to play (provided you know how to play well enough to take advantage of it).
60 priests attended David’s ordination, along with around 300 other people. He had a good turnout.
Many more photos of the church, as well as its history, can be found here. They give tours, too.