For many years, my husband, David and I have played Christmas Eve services for St. Mary's Church in Amarillo, TX. We are not Catholic but we find the service to be very beautiful and so meaningful. I don't know if this is true of all Catholic churches but St. Mary's Church does not use Christmas carols for their services during the month of December until Christmas Eve so when the midnight mass starts, it is a real treat to hear the music. I find it amazing too that so many people attend the midnight mass on Christmas Eve.
These services helped to create Shepherd's Trio because we started trying out some of the trio arrangements I had written since 1995 for English horn, French horn, and Piano. We enjoyed working together on the arrangements so much and we had so many pieces, we all agreed to try to make a CD. Two CDs later, we're still playing Christmas Eve services for St. Mary's and feeling the joy of the season.
Jim and Vanessa Rauscher are the Music Ministers for St. Mary's Church. We have enjoyed their friendship and musicianship over the years and we have marveled at their two children John and Ann as they grew up before our eyes from being young violinists in the orchestra to becoming high achieving musicians in college. John is now studying violin at Texas Tech University and Ann is studying voice at Amarillo College.