In the tradition of her Mother’s voice
SongNotes: Ave Maria
Traditional Catholic Prayer; Music by Franz Schubert
Listen to Ave Maria, from the recording with The Rogues, 1988/89
Ave Maria was the hymn my sisters and I sang for and with our mother Winifred. She’d been accompanied on piano by her mother, Margaret, as a young singer at St. Cornelius Parish on Chicago’s Northside.
My mom received a voice scholarship to Immaculata Girls Academy for high school. While at Immaculata she began a lifelong friendship with Maureen (Kennedy) and Josephine Roche, also musicians. Jo became Sr. Jo, and Maureen a mother and grandmother .
We learned phrasing and vocal-purity from MOm, and followed her way of singing this beautiful hymn. My sister Dorothy sang it accompanied by husband Billy on piano, raising the key for the second verse, her voice soaring.
I was asked to sing Ave Maria for many weddings, and in the recroding here am accompanied by the members of my band Jamie O’Reilly & The Rogues, live at the Woodstock Opera House. Ballet dancer Judith Svalander is dancing as well. You can occassionally hear her skirts moving with the music.