I first shared this gem way back in 2005 and thought the time had come to give it another go around.
What we have is an extraordinary recording from 1971 of the High Spirits Choir of Holy Spirit School in Columbus, Ohio. The director, Sister Carol Ann Krell, expertly manages to coax out some truly beautiful performances out of a group of approximately 160 children aged eight to fourteen years old, without it becoming cutesy, pretentious, or boring. The children build up musically rich arrangements from simple guitar and percussion elements, sing in well, but not over rehearsed voices that blend wonderfully, and display an enthusiasm and sincerity that just drips off of the vinyl.
The school is still in existence, but there is no mention of the group on their webpage. A few years ago I found what I believe was the Dominican convent where Sr. Krell was stationed, but emails inquiring about the recording went unanswered.
If you are looking for more from the High Spirits, they released a Christmas album in 1973 that is available to download at the always interesting Music You (Possibly) Won’t Hear Anyplace Else blog. The liner notes to this album mention that this is the second recording, so it looks like there yet one more waiting to be found. Have fun listening and as always, Enjoy!
Download individual tracks:
Or download all tracks and album art in one 47MB zip file.