Paul Mealor says he is ‘honoured, humbled and amazed’ after hearing the news this morning that massed American choirs are planning to perform his well-loved wedding motet at the Vatican in June 2015.
“It’s not often you hear your music performed at St Peter’s Basilica, in fact, it’s the first time it’s been performed there,” he told Classic FM. “I’m very humbled by it, it was written for royal family, performed in front of the Queen, and now this! I’m very, very moved.”
Despite the music’s original associations with the royal wedding, the composer says the piece has taken on a life of its own to become a firm favourite among choirs around the world.
“Although the piece gets done a lot now, its not an easy piece to sing,” he said. “It was performed as a wedding piece, and then it was performed at the 9/11 memorial with the three presidents in attendance, so then it became a song of hope. That’s what the words mean after all: ‘Where charity and love are, God is there.’
“Now it’s going back to its roots in the Vatican, from where the words originally came – it’s gone full circle really. I’m amazed.”
As yet, the details are unconfirmed, but American choirs are set to perform the work at the mass, with Pope Francis in attendance. Mealor himself plans to attend the service to hear the performance.