Interview questions for Mason Cancilla, organist in Corpus Christi Church, Buffalo, celebrating St. Cecilia – November 22 (Patron Saint of Church Musicians)
Do you know who St. Cecilia is? Has she influenced you?
St. Cecilia is one of the Patron Saints of music. Another being St. Gregory the Great. It is said that despite her vow of virginity, St. Cecilia was forced into marriage by her parents. While the wedding musicians played for the guests, Cecilia sat alone singing to God in her heart. For this she was later declared the patroness of musicians. Among my prayer cards I have a medallion with St. Cecilia on one side and “Sing in your heart to the Lord” stamped on the other.
Who has influenced you? How?
The person with perhaps the greatest influence on me would be the conductor of our Buffalo Philharmonic – JoAnn Falletta. I have consulted her on every major career and collegiate decision since 2015. As I study and grow as a conductor myself, she is the perfect model to observe. It was watching Maestra Falletta conduct a concert in 2015 that strengthened my love for music and confirmed in my heart that I would be a conductor.
What does it feel like to play the organ at Corpus Christi?
What I feel at Corpus Christi is unmatched to anywhere else I’ve played. It’s strikingly wholesome and I leave feeling as though I’ve not only been to mass, but I have experienced it.
The Radewicz is one of the best organs in Buffalo. It easily ranks among the instruments of St. Joseph’s Cathedral and of St. Louis. We are certainly lucky to have it. From the softest flutes to the brightest trumpets, this organ can display the widest range of emotions and musical style.
Artwork surrounds you on the ceilings and windows of the church. [Read more…]