Band Directors Frank Amato and Ed Webber initially contacted me for a commission to celebrate the 50th year anniversary of Immaculata High School in Somerville, New Jersey. However, Frank and Ed also wanted to honor Sister Dolores Margaret IHM for her 25 years of leadership as the music supervisor at Immaculata High and asked if I would consider writing a celebration work based in part on one of the Sister’s favorite hymns. Of those hymns submitted I chose one entitled “Immaculate Mary,” which is one the most popular and favorite hymns dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes. The words to the hymn are of an anonymous nature, but the tune is that of a traditional Pyrenean melody, particularly from that geographic area where the shepherd girl, St Bernadette (Saint Marie-Bernarde Soubrious) was born.
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