Sunday, February 7, 2016

Her peaceful voice is a sacred gift

A multi-media presentation featuring Carmel Kropp

Her peaceful voice is a sacred gift

Carmel Kropp, cantor at the Cathedral Basilica of Ss. Peter and Paul, practices her liturgical music at her home in Exton.
Carmel Kropp, cantor at the Cathedral Basilica of Ss. Peter and Paul, practices her liturgical music at her home in Exton. ALEJANDRO A. ALVAREZ / Staff photographer
A cantors voice brings comfort Video: A cantors voice brings comfort

Two weeks ago, I wrote about Carmel Kropp, the cantor at the Cathedral Basilica of Ss. Peter and Paul on Logan Square.

Carmel has a strange claim to fame: She has sung at the funerals of the six area police officers killed in the line of duty these past 16 months, as well as for Jon Pryor, the Penn surgeon and U.S. Army reservist killed while manning a combat hospital in Iraq on Christmas Day.

Because parts, if not all, of these somber services have been televised, many of us have heard Carmel's comforting voice at least once.

Now, thanks to a terrific video put togehter by Daily News multi-media specilialist Sarah Glover, you can hear Carmel express what her calling as a sacred-music vocalist has meant to her.

Great job, Sarah! Thank you!

Daily News Columnist
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When my phone rings here at the Daily News, nine times out of ten the caller begins the conversation with, “Yeah, so what happened was…”.

Because this is Philly, the caller doesn’t say, “My name is Bob” – or Mary – “and I wonder if I could have a moment of your time?” Philadelphians are too direct for that. They just say, “Yeah, so what happened was…”, and then tumble into a tale they think oughta be shared with a wider audience. I love getting these calls (even the ones where it becomes clear, after 30 seconds, where the caller sowed the seeds of his own misery), because they give me chance to connect with fellow citizens in a way that no other job allows. Well, okay, no other job for which I’m remotely qualified.

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Ronnie Polaneczky has been an award-winning columnist for The Philadelphia Daily News since 1999, offering a front-steps perspective on every aspect of city life, from the sublime to the stupid. In her past life, she was the editor-in-chief of Atlantic City Magazine, associate editor at Philadelphia Magazine and a fulltime freelancer published in Ladies Home Journal, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, Reader's Digest, Men's Health, MarieClaire and others. She lives with her husband, daughter and various pets in the city's Fairmount section, where she dreams of one day singing The National Anthem at an Eagles game. In addition to her column and blog, you can enjoy Ronnie's musings in podcast form here.

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