St. Cecilia Mass First Presbyterian Church of Vero Beach


St. Cecilia is the patron saint of Musicians.

On Sunday, April 14, 2019, the First Presbyterian Church of Vero Beach will present Messe solennelle en l’jonneur de Sainte Cecile (Solemn Mass in honor of St. Cecilia) by Charles Gounod. Two free performances will take place during the 9am and 11am services in the church sanctuary at 520 Royal Palm Boulevard, Vero Beach, FL, 32960. There is no ticket needed.

In honor of St. Cecilia, the patron Saint of music, the Messe solennelle is the product of years of spiritual and artistic reflection by Charles Gounod. This piece is considered a major work. The text of the Mass Ordinary is the go-to text for all major works. There is a strong emotional force to be had in the Messe solennelle, and much of it comes in the contrasting character of its successive movements. This piece is scored for full orchestra and choir and features three soloists: Dana Clearwater, soprano, Teddy Collins, tenor, and John Toohey, baritone. Camille Saint-Saëns, who was able to hear the premiere, said, “The appearance of the Messe Saint-Cécile caused a kind of shock. This simplicity, this grandeur, this serene light which rose before the musical world like breaking dawn, troubled people enormously. … at first, one was dazzled, then charmed, then conquered.”

This work will serve as the final project for Jacob Craig, Director of Music and Arts at First Presbyterian, as he completes his Doctoral Degree in Sacred Music Performance from the Graduate Theological Foundation partnered with Oxford University. Additionally, Craig will be giving a lecture about the piece on March 31, 2019, at 5pm in the church Sanctuary. It is free and all are welcome to attend.

For more information, please contact Ginger Lagemann, Music and Arts Information Coordinator, at (772) 562-9088 or

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