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CHURCH MUSICIAN COMES FULL CIRCLE

.The article was first reported by The Catholic Free Presss.

BY SUSAN BAILEY  | CFP CORRESPONDENT

Patrice Metcalf came full circle in her journey to becoming the music director of St. Anne and St. Patrick Parish in Sturbridge: She grew up in the parish. After majoring in music at Westfield State University, Ms. Metcalf applied for the position, but not without some hesitation.

“After graduating from Westfield, I actually took on a job as a music director at another church in western Massachusetts,” Ms. Metcalf said. “I didn’t really feel like I fit in with the church so I did have my eyes open for other job opportunities.

“Then I found out that St. Anne’s was hiring. I put off applying because I thought it might be kind of silly for me to apply to the church that I had grown up at; I felt uncomfortable. After a while they weren’t hiring anyone, so I went ahead and applied, and it worked out.”

She has been serving as music director there since October 2019, but began singing at the parish when she was a sophomore in high school.

“I became a cantor when I was 16,” she said. “I also joined the adult choir. I continued to sing on a volunteer basis at the parish for weekends and holidays until I went to college. During college I would occasionally sing during my winter and summer breaks.”

Ms. Metcalf discovered, as a student at Tantasqua Regional High School, she enjoyed singing and creating music in many different ways. A soprano, she was a member of the regular chorus plus the Choraleers, an a capella group. She was also a member of the Treblemakers Jazz Ensemble.

She wanted to major in music in college but also felt a desire for something else.

“I had this yearning of wanting to be in charge of music ministry in some way,” she said. “So even going into college, I remember being interviewed for something on campus and they asked me what I wanted to be and I said, ‘I want to be a social worker and a church music director.’ I gave up on the social worker path.”

Faith has always been important to Ms. Metcalf, fueling her desire to become involved with sacred music. It was during confirmation formation that she realized how she could combine sharing her love of God with her passion for music.

Last Updated on Thursday, 24 September 2020 09:03
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