Our parish is blessed with a vibrant musical program, coordinated by our accomplished choirmaster and organist Patrick Williams.
Our music program currently offers three choirs, described below.
The men’s schola cantorum (Lat. “school of singers”) is open to men and boys whose voices have changed. The schola is responsible for preparing a considerable amount of music for each High Mass; therefore, proficiency in reading traditional Gregorian notation is indispensable. The schola sings every Sunday for the 10:30 AM High Mass, plus occasional weekday evening High Masses (first Fridays, holy days, etc.). Rehearsals are held every Wednesday 7:15 PM – 8:30 PM. in the choir loft. Prospective members are invited to attend a rehearsal before making any commitment. Warm-up is usually 20 minutes before Mass.
The mixed choir is open to adults and adolescents/teenagers. Admission depends upon balance among voice parts (sections) and individual vocal quality and ability to match pitch as determined by a brief placement audition. This choir sings approximately twice a month for the 10:30 AM High Sunday Mass plus additional holy days and special occasions throughout the year. Rehearsals are held every Tuesday 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM in the choir loft.
The children’s choir is open to all children from third grade until adolescence. Younger children may participate if they can already read well. There is no audition and no requirement of prior musical experience. Girls are welcome to continue singing with the children’s choir into their teenage years, especially if they have younger siblings in the choir. Boys whose voices have already changed may not sing in the children’s choir. They are encouraged to audition for the mixed choir, sing with the men’s schola, or both. The children’s choir sings approximately once a month, alternating between the 8:00 and 10:30 AM Sunday Masses. Rehearsals are held every Friday 5:30 PM – 6:15 PM in the hall.
A note on congregational singing
At all High Masses, the congregation is invited and encouraged to join in the chanted responses such as “Et cum spiritu tuo” and “Amen,” as well as hymns and other parts of the Mass as announced on the hymn board and in the bulletin. Some chants are normally sung in alternation between the schola and congregation; please do not join in the a cappella parts, which should be sung by the schola alone. The congregation also sings the seasonal Marian antiphon after the 8:00 AM Sunday Mass.
The Phoenix Gregorian Chant Group meets on the second Sunday of the month from 3:30-5:00 PM in the hall. Singers of all ages and backgrounds are welcome! The chant group provides an informal opportunity to improve sight reading and familiarize oneself with the chants of the Mass. It is not a performing ensemble, there is no audience, and everyone participates in the singing. Extra books are available to borrow.
Want to register for one of the choirs? Please contact our Music Director, Patrick Williams.