Sacred Music at St. Mary Magdalene

“The musical tradition of the universal Church is a treasure of inestimable value, greater even than that of any other art. The main reason for this pre-eminence is that, as sacred song united to the words, it forms a necessary or integral part of the solemn liturgy.”

Sacred music is integral to the liturgical life of the Church, in which the members of Her Mystical Body unite with Christ, the Head, in His eternal sacrifice on the cross. Sacred music is characterized by beauty and sincerity of form. It flows from and is united to the Liturgical texts and actions. It is holy, set apart, and expressive of the spirit of communal prayer. It engages the mind, body, and soul to enter into the mysteries of our faith. Whether an ancient chant or a modern sacred composition, it conveys the truth of the eternal.

Interested in becoming part of the sacred music at Saint Mary Magdalene?
Please review all the opportunities below and contact Claire to discuss your role!

Choral Program

At Saint Mary Magdalene, our music program is focused on liturgical choirs for adults and children, contributing to the beauty and dignity of the sacred liturgy according to the rich tradition of sacred music as understood and shown forth by the mind of the Church.

Each choir at Saint Mary Magdalene is named in honor of Our Lady under a different Latin title from her litany. For many centuries, liturgical choirs were known as Schola Cantorum (literally, “Singing School”).

The choir season runs from September (after Labor Day) through Corpus Christi Sunday. From Corpus Christi through the months July and August, the choirs are on break and Liturgical Music is led by cantors (pairs or individuals).

Schola Fidelis

(sk-oh-lah fee-del-ees)
Adult choir
in honor of Mary, Virgin Most Faithful
Community choir for adults, focusing on the treasury of sacred hymnody, Taize music, 2-to-4-part choral anthems, and proper antiphons in English. No audition required for audition (a simple voice check may be requested to place you within the choir). Rehearsals are Thursdays from 7:00-8:30pm, followed by snacks and fellowship. Schola Fidelis typically sings three Sundays per month at the 9:30 Mass.

Schola Gratiae

(sk-oh-lah graht-see-eh)
Women’s choir
in honor of Mary, Mother of Divine Grace
All-female ensemble that regularly sings the Saturday night Vigil (4:30pm) Mass. Usually rehearses with and learns the same or similar repertoire as the Schola Fidelis. 

Schola Rosa

(sk-oh-lah roh-sah)
Adult choir
in honor of Mary, Mystical Rose
Small ensemble of advanced vocalists who are strong music readers and comfortable with unaccompanied choral music, including polyphonic motets, Gregorian chant, and sacred contemporary compositions. Admission by audition. Rehearsals are Thursdays from 6:00-7:00pm. Schola Rosa typically sings a rotation of Masses, appearing about once per month at each Sunday Mass (7:30, 9:30, 11:30, 4:30).

Schola Angelorum

(sk-oh-lah an-jeh-loh-room)
Latin Mass
choir in honor of Mary, Queen of the Angels
The Latin Mass choir is for adults and mature youth who wish to sing at the Latin Mass (First Sunday of each month at 7pm). The group focuses on Gregorian chant, Latin hymns and motets. Rehearsals are two Saturdays per month from 9:00-10:00am.

Schola Stella

(sk-oh-lah steh-lah)
Grades K-1
youth choir in honor of Mary, Morning Star
Preparatory choir where our youngest singers explore their musical voices with freedom and joy while beginning immersion into the chants of the Mass, classic hymns, and seasonal anthems.
Rehearsals Tuesdays from 5:00–6:00pm, beginning November 8

Schola Pacis

(sk-oh-lah pah-chees)
Grades 2-3
youth choir in honor of Mary, Queen of Peace
Elementary choir for students who are settled into reading. Choristers advance in musicality, teamwork, skills for note-reading, and awareness of their liturgical role.
Rehearsals Tuesdays from 6:30–7:45pm, beginning November 8

Schola Purissima

(sk-oh-lah poo-rees-ee-mah)
Grades 4-7
youth choir in honor of Mary, Most Pure
Middle-school choristers develop increased vocal maturity, musical literacy, leadership, and choral appreciation.
Rehearsals Fridays from 4:00–5:45pm, beginning November 11.

Schola Justiciae

(sk-oh-lah you-steet-see-eh)
Advanced (grades 8-12)
youth choir in honor of Mary, Mirror of Justice
Teenagers are welcomed into the joy and art of sacred choral music according to the great tradition of the Church. Training includes 3-and-4-part music, interactive music theory, vocal technique, and sight-singing.
Rehearsals Saturdays from 10:00–11:45am, beginning January 14 (register now to reserve your spot!)

Cantor Ministry

Music at Masses without choirs is led by prayerful, vocally mature individuals who are comfortable reading music. Cantors are welcome and encouraged to attend weekly Thursday night choir rehearsals (7:00-8:30pm) to practice the music in a group setting. If preferred, they may also prepare on their own. Shadowing and coaching is provided for new cantors. Cantors are also able to sing in and be scheduled as pairs.

Cantors adept at singing a cappella (unaccompanied) are also invited to become part of the music ministry for daily Mass, providing music on Feast Days and notable Memorials.

Accompanists

Individuals who are trained in organ and/or piano, have accompanying experience, and desire to support the voices of cantors, choirs, and congregation in sacred music.

Instrumental Ensembles

Two instrumental ensembles contribute to the most solemn and festive liturgical celebrations throughout the liturgical year, such as Christ the King, Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost. Admittance by audition for experience musicians (grade 8-adult).

Ensemble Ecclesiae

(an-sahm-bul ek-keh-zee-eh)
Wind/brass ensemble in honor of Mary, Mother of the Church

Rehearsals two Saturdays a month from 8:45-10:00am.

Ensemble Immaculata

(an-sahm-bul em-ah-koo-lah-tah)
String ensemble in honor of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Rehearsals arranged at special times as needed.

Instrumental Soloists

Adults or (advanced high school students) who have private training and strong experience in solo playing of string or woodwind instruments are welcome to play for Mass on a regular basis. Violinists and flutists are especially sought.

Sound Board

Individuals who are technologically saavy and desire to assist by monitoring the sound board during liturgies.