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Mardi Gras celebration benefits cathedral music

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placeholder February 6, 2012   •   VOL. 50, NO. 3   •   Oakland, CA
Mardi Gras celebration benefits cathedral music

Mardi Gras celebrations at St. Margaret Mary Parish — formal sit-down dinners followed by dancing, auctions and music — always include a little something extra.

Carnival Christi

La Cinquième (Fifth) Mardi Gras

When: Feb. 11, 6 p.m.

Where: Father Kozina Parish Hall, St. Margaret Mary Church, 1219 Excelsior Ave., Oakland

What: Formal dinner dance and auctions and music

Tickets: $75 general; $150 benefactor tickets. In advance only; no tickets will be sold at the door. Contact st.anneguild@yahoo.com

Benefits: St. Margaret Mary music and building funds and the Jubilate Deo Society of the Diocese of Oakland
“When we started this, we intended to raise money for other organizations,” said Sara Cumbelich, president of the parish’s St. Anne Guild, which sponsors the event. “Every year it will be different.”

Choosing different beneficiaries allows the parish to “spread the love.” Last year that love included a $12,000 check to the Malta Clinic.

This year, the beneficiary, in addition to the parish building and music funds, will be the Jubilate Deo Society, which supports the development of a cathedral music program at the Cathedral of Christ the Light.

“What’s nice is that so many Knights of Malta are coming back to support this event,” Cumbelich said.

Sacred music speaks volumes to St. Margaret Mary parishioners. “We have six different choral groups,” Cumbelich said. These include the St. Joseph’s Children’s Choir, Pacific Collegium, St. Margaret Mary’s Choir, Sacred Heart Women’s Choir, Mixed Schola of Men & Women and a Requiem Choir that sings only at parish funerals.

“Traditional sacred voice and organ are integral to the celebration of the Holy Mass,” Cumbelich said. “We decided to donate a portion to our choir, and to our building fund.”

“Inspired by the bishop’s talk about Jubilate Deo,” Cumbelich said, the decision was made to assist in the funding of the first phase of hiring section leaders and an assistant director.

A later phase of Jubilate Deo calls for the development of a children’s choir school. “Training children as a young age curtails the need to hire professional singers,” Cumbelich said, envisioning a generation of Catholics raised in sacred music choir.

Party-goers will get a taste of the Jubilate Deo vision. Before professional auctioneer Al Carrasco, who has volunteered his services, Cumbelich said, picks up his gavel, Rudy de Vos, Cathedral music director, will direct a quartet of singers in a couple of offerings.

Think “warming up the audience.”

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