April beauty and music coincided last Palm Sunday, April 9, 2006 at St. Stanislaus Parish in Lansdale, PA. The program was entitled "Music for a Palm Sunday Afternoon" featuring the St. Stanislaus Concert Choir and Brass Quintet, and Sr. Cecilia Hervas, RA, the featured soloist at the piano. Hundreds of parishioners, friends and lovers of music came out -- perhaps 500!
Some outstanding pieces were the choir's rendition of Gounod's Seven Last Words, the Quintet's inspiring arrangement of "Amazing Grace," and Sr. Cecilia's opening number of Mozart's Piano Concerto in A minor. Of course, we are prejudiced in Sr. Cecilia's regard, but the brilliance and lyrical quality of her playing -- Chopin's Etude Opus 10 No. 3, Liszt-Schumann's "Widmung" and a moving Filipino folk song, Hibik ng Diwa were undeniable. The audience agreed, giving her a standing ovation! She obliged by playing Liszt's Sonnetto 104 for an encore.
Sr. Cecilia Hervas, RA graduated from St. Scholastica's College in Manila, Philippines and continued her music studies at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY where she was awarded the Performer's Certificate. Contrary to expectations, she entered the Religious of the Assumption and for many years served in different communities in her native Philippines as teacher, novice mistress, superior. Sr. Cecilia returned to the United States in 1985. She was a campus minister for a number of years at Assumption College in Worcester, MA. After a hiatus of many years, Sr. Cecilia began performing again in the early 1990s. Since then she has delighted and moved audiences in Worcester, Philadelphia, Lansdale, New York, Beverly Hills, Paris and Manila.
Sr. Cecilia now lives in the community of Assumption Sisters in Lansdale, PA. At St. Stanislaus parish she is responsible for the RCIA program, leads a Bible sharing group and offers spiritual direction. At special moments like the Palm Sunday concert, she lifts our spirits as well with her gift of music!