Gloria Dei Schola
About the Gloria Dei Schola*
At our 11:30 a.m. principal Sunday Mass in the Ordinary Form, our 5:00 p.m. Missa Cantata on the fourth Sunday of the month, and on holy days and designated basilica celebrations, our Gloria Dei Schola, directed by Maria Rist, leads the singing of the Ordinary, a selection of chant and choral Propers, and congregational hymns. They also offer a selection of polyphonic motets and other sacred choral music at each Mass. The pipe organ is played, and occasionally other instruments are played, as appropriate to the season.
Membership in the Gloria Dei Schola
This advanced ensemble accepts singers who can commit to regularly singing the principal Sunday 11:30 Mass, holy day Masses, and/or the fourth Sunday 5:00 pm ancient form Missa Cantata. Balance among the choral parts is important in this ensemble, and thus at certain times this group may invite new singers for certain voice parts (i.e., soprano, alto, tenor, and bass). Although it is primarily an adult ensemble, advanced youth singers may be invited. Attendance at an intense weekly Thursday rehearsal from 6:30 - 9:00 p.m. is required, as well as the commitment to learn one's own part between rehearsals. Ability to match pitch and blend in the choir is essential. Due to the challenging repertory of music, some ability to read music (in either chant or modern notation) is important. Sight singing skills and vocal technique will be developed and improved by participation in this ensemble. Also, audio samples are provided for most of the music to aid in learning.
* Gloria Dei means glory of God. As Psalm 115:1 proclaims, Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto Thy Name give the praise...We sing and serve for the glory of God!
Listen to Samples
Thou Knowest, Lord, by Henry Purcell.
O Bone Jesu, by Michael Grancini.
Gustate et videte, by Heinrich Isaac.
O Esca Viatorum by Heinrich Isaac, with oboe, flute, and organ
Victoria's O Magnum Mysterium (a short clip from Christmas).
Christmas Alleluia chant (a short clip of our ladies' schola practicing at Christmas).
Ave Maria, Perosi (2-part men)
Gloria from Mass of the Patriarchs, based on an ancient French tone
Check out the full Song Repertory of the Gloria Dei Schola, under Downloads below, for a list of the songs the schola has adopted, including the lyrics, translations, and audio samples of various ensembles singing them.
About the Basilica Choir
At the 9:00 a.m. Sunday Mass in the Ordinary Form, our Basilica Choir, directed by Debi Crabtree, leads the singing of the Ordinary, simple Psalm-tone Propers, and congregational hymns. The pipe organ is played, and the choir typically offers a choral piece during the Mass.
Membership in the Basilica Choir
For those wishing to share their musical talents in a less rigorous setting, the Basilica Choir may be perfect. Offering simple tone chant, familiar four-part harmonies, and practice on the same morning of the Mass, even those with the most demanding schedules can find time to "make a joyful noise until the Lord." Other liturgically appropriate musical instruments are also invited to support the singing and enhance the music. To sing in this choir, you are invited to come to the 8:00 am rehearsal before the 9:00 Mass on any Sunday. Singers of all skill levels are welcome.
Photos of schola from the left on Passion Sunday 2015, the Palm Sunday procession, and the combined choirs warming up: courtesy of Stephen Golder
Photo of schola from the right on Christmas Day 2014, and close-up photos in the choir loft: courtesy of Robin Rudd