Concert "Soli Deo Gloria": an unforgettable experience of faith and art
The annual concert at our university sought to showcase sacred art as a contribution to the Church and culture through previously unpublished musical works. Soli Deo Gloria recalls a practice that motivated the creation of iconic pieces within the history of music that can touch people, regardless of their spirituality.
Since 2010, the Direction of Campus Ministry and Christian Culture (AKA Pastoral UC Chile), and the Institute of Music, have organized a musical event called Soli Deo Gloria.
This year, it occurred on October 13th in the Church of Campus Oriente, and the invitation was to "Worship God through music."
During the evening, the orchestra played unpublished musical works from three local songwriters inspired by the martyrdom of Santa Cecilia. She is a saint who sought to give glory to God through her music and is now the patron saint of musicians.
The works played by the UC Chile Academic Quartet and the Choir of UC Chile Students were:
- "Cor Meum Martyr" by Cristián Fernández (Master of arts, mention in music from the UC Chile Faculty of Arts). This piece represents the martyrdom of Saint Cecilia and the Hymn "Cantantibus organis Caecilia Domino."
- "Sancta Caecilia," by Cristián Pereira (bachelor's degree in music and coral direction from the University of Chile) This piece narrates the devotion to God that Saint Cecilia had during her life. It mixes prayers both in Latin and in Spanish.
- "De Rosas - Poetas y Músicos" by Felipe Santibáñez (composition student from UC Chile Institute of Music IMUC). This work seeks to be a tribute to Saint Cecilia before the events of her martyrdom. It represents her earthly life and shows the saint as an ordinary person with ups and downs.
With the Blessed Sacrament exposed, Soli Deo Gloria was a spiritual experience. It created an atmosphere of recollection, prayer, and encounter. Music played a vital role in each participant's knowledge of God through beauty.
Fr Javier Concha, the chaplain of Campus Oriente, explained:
"Music and faith have a 'friendship' that strengthens and contributes to elevating the souls of those who experience them simultaneously. Soli Deo Gloria seeks to create an atmosphere of adoration in which faith and art promote God's experience. It expresses the Catholic faith beautified through a musical culture that emerges from the Academy."
Nicolás García, director of Formation and Christian Culture of Pastoral UC, thanked the commitment of UC Chile's Institute of Music to support both this event and the talent of the musicians.
"What started 11 years ago as a student-led activity of the College of Arts is today a concert of sacred music with first-level composers and musicians. It seeks to be a meaningful contribution to sacred art in our local Church. Their professionalism and dedication have allowed us to enter into a time of recognition, prayer, and personal encounter with God present in the Eucharist. Just as Saint Cecilia did with her praise hymns, " said García.
Karina Fisher, director of UC Chile's Institute of Music, highlighted the importance of being able to make a connection between music and faith.
"It is essential for us to foster creativity within our university. With initiatives such as Soli Deo Gloria, we are contributing to the education of our students. At the same time, we are contributing to our society and culture today by supporting sacred music and the process of composing and performing contemporary religious musical pieces".
What is Soli Deo Gloria?
"Soli Deo Gloria is a unique invitation to contribute to religious expression through the composition and assembly of works to provide a space for recognition and prayer to the public that attends. It is an interesting exercise. Regardless of the creed of each person, it recalls a practice that motivated the composition of thousands of iconic works of our musical history", pointed out Catalina Vassiliou. She is the coordinator of the Extension of the Pastoral UC Chile.
The witness of the faith of Saint Cecile, martyr, patron of Music, and musicians inspired this version of Soli Deo Gloria. During her life, she showed a special love for music as a way to worship God.
Soli Deo Gloria means "Glory to God alone" in Latin and was the signature Johan Sebastian Bach used in his works.
Learn more about this project (in Spanish)