Ave Maria: May, the month of Mary

Another in a series of occasional Ave's in this month of May...

This video features Bobby McFerrin and a huge audience, the composition of which I've not been able to discover. The video includes a fairly lengthy intro by McFerrin but please be patient and wait for the music to begin. As McFerrin instructs, the Bach-Gounod setting of the Ave is the combination of two musical pieces. A Bach prelude is the foundation and the Gounod setting of the Marian prayer sits atop it - tenderly and delicately so.

Besides the beauty of the composition, I find this performance particularly moving for the way McFerrin pulls together the voice of a large audience with his simple and amazing vocalizing of the prelude. What sends shivers up my spine each time I hear this is less McFerrin's vocal prowess and more the song the people make and his ability to draw that from them and to support it with a simple melody that bubbles from throat and mouth.

What comes of this unrehearsed collaboration is a thing of beauty.



  1. Amazing. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Fr Austin,

    You always manage to find some of the greatest musical selections out there. Thanks.

    Take care. Thanks for all you do through this blog.

    Shawn McEnany

  3. Wow, I'm impressed. McFarren's Bach was a feat in itself, accurate and almost impossible to breathe! But, there must have been a choir somewhere to have kept it "all together"? Great find and thanks.

  4. I've been at his concert at the Boston Pops where he's done this with the audience, and it was really amazing and transforming to be part of the process.

  5. I would like to know who the audience was too! They really seemed to know what they were doing.


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