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St Andrew's Mass

The St Andrew's Mass is a macaronic setting of the ordinary mass for two choirs: a full choir which sings in Latin and a semi chorus or quartet which sings in Scottish Gaelic. The piece uses these two vastly different languages to explore a variety of sonic worlds and takes influence from Scottish and American sacred and folk music.

The piece was premiered at the Gaelic Eucharist at St Andrew's Cathedral, Aberdeen, 24 June 2017 by the Cathedral Choir and their director Prof Andrew Morrisson, alongside soloists Kathleen Cronie, Sarah LeBrocq, Sam Paul, and Ross Cumming. The performance was featured in the Press and Journal and on VisitAbdn, and Sarah was interviewed about it on the Scottish Episcopal Church's online magazine

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‘‘I was fascinated by the way in which Sarah Rimkus used her soloists. She interwove them with the chorus creating a wonderfully rich tapestry of vocal colour with the solo voices suddenly surfacing like brightly coloured threads shining out from the overall tapestry. The voices in the Kyrie often sounded like chiming bells while the flowing male chorus, here and in the Gloria suggested plainsong underlined by Sarah’s intelligent use of rhythm.The Sanctus had a kind of undulating or wavering texture, something I have never heard before.

‘‘...in my student days and beyond, the commonly held view was that tonal composition was a busted flush. Everything had been done already and probably better. Now composers like Morten Lauridsen, Eric Whitacre and... in Aberdeen, Paul Mealor and Phillip Cooke are proving that there are still so many new ways of composing tonally. I think we should add the name of Sarah Rimkus to that list. Her Mass had a wonderful polyphonic complexity throughout, challenging yet attractive."  -Alan Cooper