CORALE DI ROGOREDO - PARROCCHIA DI SAN GAETANO
Via San Gaetano 60 - 23880 Rogoredo di Casatenovo (LC)
It was 1987 when...
Armando, sometimes, was used to call us "my boys" even if many of us were no longer as such, but this was his way to let us get outside, to put ourselves at disposal, to engage us and give our contribution to make life better in our small town, in our parish. Everything was born there. Armando, for those who didn't know him, was a special person, engaged in social, in politic and in parish life. He was a self taught man, he learned playing organ by himself, without attending any music school, but training thoroughly as soon as he was free from family and public obligations. With him, several generation of Rogoredo citizens had been singing and animating the Sunday masses for years: he was always playing organ, while Antonio Riva taught and led the choir. Slowly, for different reasons, people who were used to go and play during mass on Sundays and on solemn holidays were less and less and only Armando remained, playing and accompanying Sister Mariuccia and few girls in liturgical singing.
This was the situation in our parish in 1987 and Armando and father Luigi (our parson at that time) even if not always having the same mind, on one thing they did agree: it was not possible to come to another Christmas also at that time without having, beside the girls, also adult people joining the choir and engaging in preparing solemnly and joyfully the celebration. The invitation to "my boys" started from there, and they had to answer his and parson's wish. Thus around thirty of us "his boys" answered this invitation, both due to their insistence, gentle but still and strong in reaching the target, and also because what Armando and father Luigi were something beautiful, attractive and then to those two guys were not possible to say no. But who would have directed us? Between the so-called boys responding to this request it was also Dario who, with Armando, shared the engagement in the trade union and above all he also had a strong passion for music. He liked to sing and, between us, he was the one having some musical knowledge, furthermore, when he was younger, he had joined the choir animating the Sunday mass.
When he was proposed to be the choir director, he didn't step back and he accepted the appointment, even if he had some doubts about his skill to direct, but above all on the not easy task it was in front of him, proven that between those who answered the invitation not everybody had appreciable musical skill. But he didn't get discouraged: the motivation to stay together was so strong, difficulties could have been superseded with a bit engagement. Anyway he stressed the point that the solution was only a temporary one: he would have left his position to anybody whenever a more skilled person had been found. The human adventure started. To first reharsal around fourty people came, whose voices were evaluated moving them into different roles of tenors, basses, sopranos, contraltos. Nobody were discarded: all would have been able to praise God singing, everybody with their own skill, as they could do.
Dario not only liked music, but he also knew religious song authors recalling themselves to Spirit, to Gospel sharing message, to the Word and so it was him to propose and chose the first musical pieces to learn. He liked much texts with deep meaning, those by father Turoldo and Pierangelo Comi, who was born in Casatenovo but living in Spello (PG), in the community of small friars of Charles from Foucould. It was from there that the path started, leading us to nowadays. During that Christmas, beside classical pieces, we have learnt two new songs whose music was by Comi: Emmanuel and Il Signore della storia, passages having a strong emotional charge, who made all of us feeling involved and sympathetic and left to everybody the feeling that the right path had started. These songs, Christmas mood, friendship, complicity between who accepted to join the new choir increased enthusiasm and wish to go ahead. What Armando wanted was for sure an engagement, but a joyful one: together we were living a nice and above all enriching experience.
Armando and father Luigi had realized the atmosphere created between us, the motivation sustaining us, hence they were not in the position to lose the occasion to have in the parish a choir able to follow and animate celebrations in the proper way. Parish was worried that anthusiasm could get down and the good initiative could end after Christmas period, but he also had the solution in his mind and, as usual, without asking for any opinion, he just moved to action. He had the right person, having the right features to drive and consolidate the newly created experience. She was the daughter of his friend Amedeo Beretta, a young girl not leaving in Rogoredo, but attending our parish. She got gratuated as choir director at Istituto pontificio di musica sacra (in Milano); it was what the team needed. Hence, during an evening of January 1988 she was invited to the reharsal and, as the parish was used to do, he introduced her as the new choir director, even if earlier she told him she wanted to think about before accepting the new engagement, but father Luigi was like this and it was not possible to tell him no. Dario was glad to move aside and he left his place to Isabella (Isa), the just arrived one, moving to a role inside the choir, between basses. And Isa is still here. She has directed us and she directs us with engagement, with so much patience, accepting us as we are, without veto, without excluding anybody, opening choir to new arrivals, available to cooperation and comparison. Monday after Monday, the reharsal day, we improved in singing, thanks to the organists who came after Armando and we started to fly higher, to sing multivoices songs, broadening our repertory to challenging pieces from famous authors such Hendel, Mozart, Back, Rossini..., without being scared not to be able, since singing must be first of all a pleasure, a joy, mainly during liturgical celebrations. Our choir, since 30 years ago, is at disposal of parish liturgy, proposing pieces of sacred music which help to make celebrations more joyful and merry and to sing our praise to God the Father. Choir, as it happens in every team, was also an occasion for somebody to better know each other and find the twin soul.
But sad to say, during these 30 years, beside those who contribute to create the choir, father Luigi, Armando and Dario, other friends of us are no longer here, even if not absent: they are still part of us, with us even if not phisically, they are in the Heaven and they test, play and sing together with us. We want to remember them: Mario Viscardi, the dean, who liked to come to the choir to feel younger; Rosi, who couldn't stay away from her husband (Tiziano, singing between basses) and she came in and out very gently, always smiling even when her disease gave her strong pains; finally Guido, who would have been so proud looking to us dressed in uniform when celebrating our 30 years activity, since for him a choir without an uniform is not a choir.
Our path goes on and, mentioning Dario by a sentence posted on his Facebook page: "Blessed those who cultivate music and make people singing".
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