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“I vividly remember going to church with him in Bournemouth. He was a devout Roman Catholic and it was soon after the Church had changed the liturgy (from Latin to English). My grandfather obviously didn't agree with this and made all the responses very loudly in Latin while the rest of the congregation answered in English. I found the whole experience quite excruciating, but my grandfather was oblivious. He simply had to do what he believed to be right.”
— Simon Tolkien (2003)

Christopher Mueller
published 3 January 2013 by Corpus Christi Watershed

337 Chris Mueller Family HRISTOPHER MUELLER is a church musician, conductor, and composer. His most well-known composition, the Missa pro editione tertia—a congregational setting of the 2011 ICEL translation of the Ordinary of the Mass—has been purchased by parishes in Australia, Canada, the UK, and throughout the USA. Most of his compositions are choral works written to be sung at Mass, including 40 Gregorian Introits (in Latin), a nearly-complete set of Responsorial Psalms for the 3-yr. cycle, 35 Offertory settings (in English), and numerous Masses, motets, sequences, and other works. He aims to write music befitting the liturgy out of gratitude to God, the Author of beauty.

His sixteen years of work as a church musician—in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite—have focused on Renaissance polyphony and Gregorian chant (as well as his own compositions), first with a volunteer choir at the Church of Notre Dame in New York, NY, and later with the professional SCHOLA POLYPHONICA at the Basilica of St. John the Evangelist in Stamford, CT. His volunteer choir sang tirelessly, not just weekly Masses at the parish but also a monthly Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, numerous First Masses for newly ordained priests across the Archdiocese of New York, presentations for seminarians of St. Joseph Seminary in Yonkers, NY, Masses of Profession for the Sisters of Life, a pro-life Mass with Cardinal Rigali in DC, weddings in VA and MD, and numerous other liturgical events. In addition to motets and proper chants, his professional schola sang a full Mass Ordinary each week, drawn from the repertory of Renaissance polyphony, organ Masses, and more contemporary settings. His choirs rarely repeated music during the course of the choral year, singing 100 or more different motets each season, and he has created editions of at least 200 motets himself. Similarly, his choirs seldom repeated music from one year to the next (with notable exceptions), so that the always-changing musical experience of Mass was a reflection of the ever-new experience of Christ in the Eucharist. The texts of the motets were drawn from sacred Scripture: sometimes a setting of the day’s Offertory or Communion proper, sometimes a passage from the day’s readings, and occasionally an Office hymn or other related text. He estimates that his choirs have sung at least 1300 different Renaissance motets over the years.

In addition to his musical work, he also spent seven and a-half years coordinating the marriage preparation program for the Archdiocese of New York, over the course of which he and his wife taught pre-Cana classes to thousands of engaged couples. He has an undergraduate degree in piano performance (classical) and theory/composition (jazz) and has done graduate work in theology. And he loves the novels of Tom Clancy and Michael Crichton.

Please visit his website for more information, to listen to excerpts of his compositions, or to purchase scores.

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