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Franciscan Alumni Association

  by Mike Niklas

"Ultima II" Glee Club CD Liner Notes
(that didn't fit on the CD liner)

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We thought there would be only one "Glee Club CD" project, and then... we stumbled on a few more tapes and an additional Glee Club LP. By the time alumni compositions/performances were added, there was over an hour of excellent music--and Ultima II was a reality. We hope that the notes that follow will give you a greater appreciation for the music and the effort that went into creating it.

Francis  Matt Jaramillo and Raul Martinez taught us this one in Albuquerque a few minutes before Mass at Laguna Pueblo during the 1999 alumni reunion. Matt's vocal was recorded in my hotel room on that Saturday night during the big party at Madonna Center. He did it in one take--impressive! Piano, 2 guitars, drums, bass, harmonica and backing vocals were added a couple of weeks later at my home studio. Matt said he was very pleased with how the song turned out.

Canticle of Brother Sun  This is from Fr. Murray Bodo's 1981 audio tape recording, The Song of St. Francis, which was produced by St. Anthony Messenger Press. Murray has made several tapes in this format, but this is one of the few on which he sings. It's a duet with Susan St. Sing. Murray is possibly the world's greatest authority on St. Francis--not just historically, but what St. Francis actually thought and felt. He conveys those thoughts clearly and beautifully.

Wayfaring Stranger  Gregg Martinez' vocal on this song is phenomenal, full of energy, emotion, and sincerity. It's an uplifting hymn about looking forward to going to heaven: "There's no sickness, toil, or danger in that bright world to which I go... I'm going there to see my mother... and meet my savior." Brenda Benoit, Gregg's associate/co-producer in music ministry, arranged it and played most of the instruments--including the awesome acoustic lead guitar.

Creation Song  Susan St. Sing partnered

tacular operatic symphony dedicated to aborted children. He directed the performances and called on his old friend Vince to sing the baritone lead.

Show Your Child  Brittany Martinez sings this duet with her dad, Gregg. It's not trite like many pop songs that deal with family/social issues. It's touching and reminds all of us about what's really important. And there's something very special about Brittany's voice--daddy's influence perhaps, but she stands on her own.

The Good Shepherd  I wrote this song one evening several years ago while strumming my guitar to amuse my infant daughter. I was playing a lot of bluegrass at the time, thinking about free will and the responsibility that goes along with it, and reflecting on the image of a shepherd who is attentive to his flock 24-7.

  Fr. Dan Anderson identified the voice on this song that was on a tape of the SFS talent show from Picnic Day '72. He said it was his classmate, Larry Burkhardt. I  sent a short audio clip to Larry and he replied, "Now you've done it! Yes, that's me." He said he was pretty sure that the bass player was Rick Palmer. Sure 'nuff.

Der Musikant  This is the classic German song about a music man and his many instruments. It's sung by a SFS Glee Club of the mid-60s in a lively fashion with more harmony than you're likely to hear in a biergarten.

Beer Barrel Polka  Richard Inge is another of the musically gifted wonders from the class of '74. A virtuoso of the accordion, he can play anything from polka to tango. During seminary days, Richard was often heard entertaining the sisters on their porch. We taped this song in Albuquerque after the Sunday Mass that ended the 1999 reunion. Richard still

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with Murray Bodo on a series of audio tapes. Murray wrote most of the lyrics and Susan composed and arranged most of the music. This Irish folk song features her vocal talents. The story of creation is presented in a playful lilt that appeals to both children and adults. 

Salve Sancte Pater  Many of you will recognize this organ accompaniment for the classic masterpiece from Falconari's Transitus. The Transitus celebrates St. Francis' passage from life to afterlife. Fr. Aubert used to spend the first month of each school year teaching it to the Glee Club. Then clerics, priests and brothers would join in to raise the roof on an evening in early October. We had hoped to locate a good vocal recording of the Transitus, but have been unsuccessful so far.

Dios Te Salve  Fr. Aubert brought this one to Cincinnati from his early assignment in the Southwest. It's the Hail Mary in Spanish with an authentic, flowing melody and parallel harmony. The recording was made in the early 60's by a glee club that probably included Ron Glass (of Barney Miller fame and a superb singer). It was pressed into vinyl on a 33 r.p.m. record that was the size of a 45. It only had six songs.

Requiem for the Innocents  Louis Canter and Vince McCoy were classmates at SFS from '70-'74. They're both musical prodigies, instrumentally and vocally. They also compose, teach, direct, etc. A few years ago, Louis composed this spec