N MY PREVIOUS POST regarding famous choir schools, I promised the next one would cover the Regensburger Domspatzen (the Regensburg Cathedral Sparrows), but first I would like to share some exciting news. Currently, there are only two Catholic choir schools in the United States, but beginning in the fall of 2015 they will be joined by a third in Topeka, KS.
If you have read my biography, you know that I work for an incredible parish in northeastern Kansas: Most Pure Heart of Mary Catholic Church. The parish is home to 1800 families, as well as a school with 400 children enrolled and a vibrant home schooling community. The parish is shepherded by two young, dynamic priests who are committed to living the Faith in its fullness and bringing that Faith into the world. We currently have three men from the parish studying for the priesthood, one of whom will be ordained in May.
Four years ago our former pastor gave me permission to spend six weeks at the Madeleine Choir School in Salt Lake City, UT, in order to gather information for my doctoral document (which is on the Madeleine Choir School). When I asked him for permission to go, I told him that I would like to begin such a choral program in the parish, and from that meeting was born the Most Pure Heart of Mary Schola Cantorum. Until now, the Schola Cantorum has always been an “after school” choir school. Our 45 choristers currently rehearse two to three hours every week and sing every Sunday, save one, from September through the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (our Patroness). The choir focuses on intense vocal training as well as sight-singing and ear-training. Two years ago we began a training program for organists and last year the choir recorded its first CD, A Service of Lessons and Carols. In January of 2016, the choir will travel to Rome to sing for the papal Mass on the Feast of the Epiphany, alongside the Sistine Chapel Choir as well as others from around the world.
With the blessing of our pastor and our principal, the Schola Cantorum will be integrated in the parish school in the fall of 2015, in effect becoming the third Catholic choir school in the United State of America.
I write this in order to share my genuine excitement with people who feel the same way, but also to ask for a favor. We are searching for a new music teacher to continue the 25 plus year legacy of our current music teacher who is retiring in the spring. If you or someone you know would like to help provide an incredible musical education to future generations of our youth, please contact me. This could be your chance of a life time! Finally, I ask for your prayers for our new choral foundation.