Our schedule of music for 2017 Lent and Easter through Corpus Christi is posted under Downloads below.
ABOUT SACRED MUSIC AT THE BASILICA
At all our sung Masses at the Basilica, we have the common objective of offering sacred music that fulfills the vision and standards of the Catholic Church, especially as handed down by the Second Vatican Council.
- 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, Propers, and congregational hymns. 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." in this choir. Other liturgically appropriate musical instruments are also invited to support the singing and enhance the music.
- 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. 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). 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.
- At the Saturday Vigil Mass in the Ordinary Form, the singing of the Ordinary, various settings of the Propers, and hymns is led by a rotation of skilled cantors who sing regularly in our choirs. The pipe organ is played, and occasionally an instrumental or vocal solo is offered, appropriate to the liturgical season.
- Our 1:30 pm Sunday Spanish language Mass has a choir of enthusiastic singers and instrumentalists of all ages and chants the Ordinary and Propers of the Mass as well as a selection of Spanish language hymns and the Ordinary of the Mass. This choir is now leading our Hispanic congregation as they learn the traditional music of the Church, including Missa Jubilate Deo, Pater Noster, and Missa de Angelis.
- Our Jubilate Deo Youth Schola has class most Fridays at 4:00 p.m and participates in our parish life by singing regularly in the Sacred Liturgy and at other celebrations and devotions. All youth from grades 1 – 12 who can read words are welcome to participate in opportunity for learning, worship, and fellowship.
- Combined Choirs - On certain days, our choirs join together to bring our fullest offering of sacred music to the celebration. These celebrations include the Sacrament of Confirmation, First Holy Communion, parish anniversaries, the Corpus Christ Eucharistic procession, anniversary Masses, and some holy days.
- Music Education - Our Jubilate Deo Youth Schola classes incorporate music lessons. The Basilica has begun to offer occasional adult music classes in sight singing. Private piano and organ lessons can also be arranged through our staff organist and professional music teacher, Andrea Tierney, at 423-243-6350. If you are interested in music lessons, please contact Maria Rist or Andrea Tierney.
- Concerts - As a recently designated minor basilica, we open our doors to the community to share the gifts of our beautiful architecture, acoustic space, and pipe organ as we present concerts of inspirational choral and instrumental music. Our goal is to eventually offer a full series of concerts each year that feature our own talented musicians and special guests.
Here is a clip of guest organist, Jim Fry, practicing before our 125th Anniversary organ recital: Trumpet Tune in D Major by David Johnson.
The Basilica presented the Voci Virili Men’s Consort in a sacred music concert, A Capella Traditions,on Sunday, February 12, 2017 at 6:30 pm. This concert featured religious songs from different musical eras and cultural traditions, arranged for men’s voices.
LISTEN HERE to the Feb. 12 2017 VOCI VIRILI concert
LISTEN to the conclusion of the concert
- Workshops and Community - In response to the Church's call to educate the faithful on sacred music, the Basilica participates in - and plans to eventually host - workshops in collaboration with the Church Music Association of America (CMAA). For the past couple of years, our Sacred Music Coordinator has attended the CMAA's Annual Sacred Music Colloquium. Not only can we all gain knowledge, skills, and experience by attending these gatherings, but we make valuable connections with other parishes, clergy, musicians across our region, the U. S., and beyond.
On August 15, 2015, we participated in such a workshop at Our Lady of the Mountains Roman Catholic Church in Jasper, Georgia, less than 100 miles from the Basilica. Several parishioners from the Basilica and other parishes around the Diocese of Knoxville attended, along with 130 people from six states. Our own pastor, Fr. David Carter, gave a rousing keynote lecture.
Click here for the written edition of Fr. Carter's keynote address: Re-discovery of the Church's Sacred Tradition: II Kings 22.Here is a report on the 8/15/15 sacred music workshop that was published on Corpus Christi Watershed.
Here are some more photos photos from the Summer Sacred Music Workshop in Jasper, GA on August 15, 2015.Our Basilica hosted the Southeast Summer Sacred Music Workshop II on July 22-23! Click here for more information and to connect with Southeastern Sacred Music.
To learn more about the music we sing at the Basilica and why we sing it, please visit our Joy of Tradition page. There you will find articles about the Church's current teachings on sacred music and our rich Catholic heritage of Gregorian chant and polyphony. Terms like the Sung Ordinary and Propers are explained here. And you can watch, listen, and learn the various settings of the Ordinary parts of the Mass that we sing as a a congregation.
Please contact our Sacred Music Coordinator, Maria Rist, at 865-335-0588, or through the Contact button below, to learn more about sacred music at the Basilica or to discuss opportunities to contribute to the ministry.
Photos of combined choirs and Jim Fry's organ recital for our 125th Anniversary: courtesy of Stephen Golder
Photos of Corpus Christi procession 2015, choir and pipe organ at Midnight Mass 2015, and parish organist, Andrea Tierney: courtesy of Robin Rudd
Photos of Basilica Choir: courtesy of Stephen Golder and Fr. David Carter
- Music Schedule and News: Lent and Easter 2017 (revised 4/8/17)
- Lent and Holy Week 2017 - Liturgies and Devotions at the Basilica
- Music Schedule and News: Advent, Christmas, and Winter 2016-17 (issued 11/19/16)
- Basilica Sacred Music Annual Report - 2016
- Flyer for Summer Sacred Music Worskhop II on July 22-23
- Flyer about New St. Cecilia Classroom for Music Lessons!
- What We Have Done in Sacred Music during the Summer of 2015
- Sacred Music Newsletter: Summer 2015
- Vision for Sacred Music - from our Pastor
- Structure of our Sacred Music Program - from our Pastor
- Resources for Learning Gregorian Chant
- The Basilica's Pipe Organ: History and Commentary
- The Pivotal Players Series: 7-8:30pm Wednesdays, April 26-July 12