In August 2008 the choir recorded a CD at the Christian Science Center in Batesville. This location was chosen for the quality of the organ and the acoustics in the building.
The choir is under the direction of 16-year old Emily Byrne, a Nursing student at the University of Arkansas Community College in Batesville. Miss Byrne has directed the choir for two years. In October 2007 she directed a combined choir at the Saint John Center in Little Rock at a Latin Mass at the diocesan priests meeting in which Pope Benedict’s document Summorum Pontificum was addressed and discussed.
The Chaplain of the Cherokee Village Latin Mass Community is Fr. Laurent Demets, FSSP, who has an intense interest in liturgical music. Fr. Demets, who participated in the recordings, sees the effort to preserve traditional Catholic music as a duty:
The Latin Mass community of Arkansas is a humble link of a great chain that goes back to the apostolic times. It is what we call Tradition. We have received from our elders a precious treasure, which is the Gregorian chant and the polyphonic music, as an authentic way of worshiping Almighty God. We have no other desire but to continue this ancient work of Divine praise and to hand it over the next generation that will come after us. The ultimate goal is simply the Glory of God and the edification of souls.
The organist is Mr. Robert W. Clayton, a native Catholic of Northeast Arkansas. Mr. Clayton is a 1982 graduate of The University of Dallas. He has worked professionally in various parishes of the dioceses of Dallas, Charleston, Owensboro and Little Rock.
The title of the CD is “Cantemus Domino” (We Sing to The Lord). It is a fascinating assortment of Catholic music: Gregorian Chant, polyphonic, and pilgrimage hymns. It includes selections of music from throughout the liturgical year, beginning with Christmas, then through Lent, Easter, and concluding with the beautiful Carolingian Acclamations (Christus Vincit) and two hymns of Pilgrimage. Michael Prince of All the Angels is traditionally sung during the Pilgrimage of the Feast of St. Michael, and Stella Splendens is a pilgrimage song from the famous Libre Vermeill de Monserrat.
Pope Benedict XVI declared in an address on Sacred Music, June 24, 2006, that
…sacred polyphony, particularly that of the so-called "Roman School," is a legacy to preserve with care, to keep alive and to make known, not only for the benefit of experts and lovers of it but also for the entire ecclesial community, for which it constitutes a priceless spiritual, musical and cultural heritage.
In the words of Bishop Taylor, Diocese of Little Rock, “The traditional music on this CD…has been sung by many generations of Catholic believers and borne the test of time.”
To order a copy of the CD ($15 that includes shipping), you can send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax to (870) 793-5279, Or write to:
109 Leonard Drive
Bono, AR 72416