Carolyn Smith: Seeking Refuge

Question: What is your favorite piece that the Choir sings:

Answer: Easy: My favorite anthem is Faure’s “Cantique de Jean Racine.” I’m also partial to “Salvation is Created.”

Question: How would you describe the St. Philip’s Choir?

Answer: Less easy: Describing the choir. “Magnificent” hardly does it justice. “Beautiful,” yes. But it’s more than that. One day we were standing around before practice, talking about what the choir means to us, and we agreed that we’re more than a friendship group; we’re a family.

As for my own feelings about St. Philip’s, including the choir, here’s a sonnet that attempts to describe how I came to St. Phil during a time of crisis, 10 years ago:

I wandered, heartsore, shrouded in sadness,

Seeking refuge from a treacherous world

Where tragedy can strike like lightning, hurled

By fickle Fate, malignant, pitiless --

A place where my world-weary soul could rest:

A quiet shelter that might grant surcease

From pain and heartache, where I might find peace

And all-embracing comfort, heaven-blessed.


I came upon a temple filled with song,

And in that sacred place a minister,

A man whose calling urged him ever on

To counsel, guide, console (for faith alone

Was not enough to satisfy), and here

At last my weary soul found peace: a benison.