May 20, 2002

Newfoundland Sisters of Mercy and Presentation Honored at Choral Concert

It was an evening of choral excellence. On the occasion of its tenth anniversary, The Newfoundland Symphony Youth Choir, under the direction of Susan Dyer Knight, paid special tribute to the Sisters of Mercy and the Presentation Sisters at the Arts and Culture Centre, in St. John's through a choral concert "Let Voices Ring." It was a tribute to the sisters, and their contribution to arts education in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador over the years was named a cultural legacy.

During the evening, four young choristers were awarded apprenticeships, named in honor of four Mercy and Presentation Sisters. Tribute was paid to Sister Kathrine Bellamy, rsm, for her outstanding work in music and she was given the honour of presenting a member of the choir with an apprenticeship; a second one was presented in honor of Sister Mary Baptist McDermott, rsm, who was one of the first Newfoundlanders to be awarded an Associate Diploma from Trinity College of Music. Ms. Knight sees the apprenticeships as being a way of carrying on a chain of mentoring that began with the Mercy and Presentation Sisters.

The sisters were presented with floral arrangements and the gift of a compact disc of "A Breath of Beauty", a recording of Our Lady of Mercy Glee Club of 1966, directed by Sister Kathrine Bellamy and accompanied by Sister Mary Celine Veitch.

Susan Knight noted that both the Presentation and Mercy Congregations have made "an incalculable contribution to the cultural development of this province for almost seventeen decades through continuous service to the youth of Newfoundland and Labrador."

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