Ensemble Choir: New Name, New Director

St. Vincent’s ensemble choir (formerly known as the “contemporary choir” or sometimes just “Valerie’s choir”) is delighted to welcome Liam Maher as our new Director.  A doctoral candidate in art history at Temple University, Liam comes to us with over a decade of professional musical experience, primarily in liturgical settings.  Skilled in both piano and violin—and with a soaring tenor voice—he developed his talents with Notre Dame University’s Basilica Schola, Folk Choir, and Festival Baroque Orchestra, as well as the St. John Henry Newman Center in Eugene, OR.  
Having attended St. Vincent’s from time to time since moving to Philadelphia, Liam says that he’s been struck by “the intensity of devotion parishioners have to each other, and the effervescent enthusiasm each parishioner brings” to their participation in the life of the parish. He deeply values our commitment to causes of justice: “racial solidarity, environmental activism, LGBTQ+ liberation, decolonization, and more.”  In other words, he is a wonderful fit and we’re blessed that he’s found us!
Why the new name?  “Contemporary” has never felt like quite the right word, so the choir has been searching for an alternative.  Definitions of “ensemble” include “all the parts of a thing taken together, so that each part is considered only in relation to the whole” and “emphasizing the roles of all performers as a whole rather than a star performance.” That is very much our aim, as we strive to support congregational singing in the worshipping body.
We look forward to all that we can learn from Liam, and are delighted to welcome him starting the weekend of June 1, 2024.