13 December 2020

Dear Friends of St. Colman Music,

I recently saw a news-clip of a music teacher who had ‘composed’ a song expressing herself about the COVID-19 pandemic. After a brief and un-noteworthy intro on a ukelele, she launched into a series of really well-done shrieking screams. I’m sure she’s not the only who could easily join that chorus!

But there is light at the end of this particular tunnel – and just as Advent is the season of anticipated light, the preparation for Christmas is a process of anticipating Joy! At St. Colman, we have presented a festival of Lessons and Carols for Advent every year since 2005; it was the first ‘special’ event we did after my start there in July of that year. (To be technically accurate, the event for 2010 was actually moved to Epiphany 2011, due the last details of the church’s interior renovation, which were still being completed.)

This has always been a major project for us, but there is no way we could do it justice this year. We decided to something we very rarely do – we are making available to you the recording of the music for the 2019 Lessons and Carols service. I had thought at the time that it was one of our better efforts.

Make no mistake about it – this service is a major undertaking for the choir, consisting as it does of nine ‘Lessons’ or readings from scripture concerning the coming of the Messiah and His coming again, surrounded by hymns, carols and anthems based on the various meanings of those readings. That’s seventeen different pieces of music! That’s easily as much singing as our concerts require!

And some of this music is quite challenging; it is certainly not ‘run-of-the-mill-quasi-pop-shopping-center’ aural pablum.

One of our choir singers, Dan Stahl, who has been in charge of live-streaming services for us, has kindly undertaken the task of placing the music on-line for you to hear. You can go to the parish website: www.stcolmanwch.org and click on the ‘click here’ line in the third box from the left OR you can do that directly by clicking on this link: https://youtu.be/Zm__19v3xQc.

I know this is not the same as being there. It isn’t for us either, but it’s our small effort to say ‘Thank you’ to all of you have been so supportive and encouraging over the years and to provide an additional boost to ‘hope’, which is, after all, what the season is really about anyway!

22 June 2020

St. Colman Catholic Church
219 South North Street, Washington Court House, OH 43160

This is a very difficult notice to have to write, but I’m afraid that cautious thoughtfulness requires no less.

We have cancelled the 2020-2021 Concerts in a Country Church series for this coming season. At this point, we are not attempting to re-schedule anything. Having done that once, with optimism since shattered, we are going to have to wait this out like everyone else. For the most selfish of reasons (I REALLY wanted to play the concerto program!), I am saddened almost beyond words but – I have faith that we will be doing at least that program sometime during the upcoming season, but just don’t know when. Believe me, you will be among the first to know!

I have been particularly encouraged by the prompt and generous response to the original announcement of the new season, making this an even harder pill to swallow.

Your continued support in this endeavor has been an important factor in the creation and development of the series. I am satisfied that we have been able to fulfill the goal of bringing quality, serious music to the Fayette county region and have been particularly gratified by the enormous musical growth shown by the hard-working and dedicated members of the St. Colman Choir which culminated in their performances of the Mozart ‘Requiem’, the Beethoven ‘Mass in C’, John Rutter’s ‘Requiem’ and the Vivaldi ‘Gloria’. They deserve a special nod of recognition and thanks for the results their efforts have produced. I might add that, until mid-March of this year, they were doing likewise for St. Colman Church most Sundays and Holy Days!

That alone is certainly reason enough to celebrate, even during a depressing period which is, of course, but a mere blip in the history of the human drama. In mid-July, we will celebrate the arrival of a new, full-time Pastor at St. Colman, the Reverend Father Cyrus Haddad. That will coincide with the beginning of my 16th year at St. Colman and I am looking forward to working with him to continue and build our musical traditions there. Your continued support will, no doubt, be called upon in the future.

With sincerest thanks and appreciation, I remain,

Craig Jaynes, Music Director


PH: 937-675-7055