Music Ministry

The Second Vatican Council stated that the Church’s rich tradition of Sacred Music as “a treasure of inestimable value, greater even than that of any other art.” As such, the Church states that music is not merely an ornament or nicety, but “a necessary or integral part of the solemn liturgy.” Because Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is intended to be a foretaste of the Heavenly Banquet, it is essential that the quality of our sacred music reflect the beauty of the Eternal. Hence, we are committed to excellence in both congregational singing, choral singing and spoken prayer.

Various opportunities exist for musical ministry including the following:

Adult choir

This choir of 25-35 skilled men and women sings twice monthly at the 10:30 a.m. Sunday Mass, in addition to most Feast Days and Triduum liturgies. This is our Mission. Leading congregational singing and providing fine motets and anthems whenever we sing. The choir rehearses Wednesday evenings from 7:00pm-8:30 pm in the St. Cecelia Choir Room, September-May. Its repertoire spans over eight centuries of the finest liturgical music, from Gregorian chant to brand new compositions. If you can do the following, come and check us out:

  1. Willingness to commit to scheduled rehearsals and masses.
  2. Ability to match pitch.
  3. Ability to carry a tune.

You are invited to come to the choir room in the Pastoral Center during rehearsal and check it out if you think you might be interested. We welcome high school students! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Jay Hunstiger, Director of Worship.

Selected Choral Highlights 2017/2018

  • Ad te, Domine, Kruetz
  • Ave Verum, Pavlechko
  • Beautiful Savior, arr., Christiansen
  • Bless This House
  • Chanticleer’s Carol, V. Hoyle
  • Come, Ye People, Rise And Sing, by Richard Shephard
  • Communio: “Alleluia, Alleluia” Hunstiger
  • Crux Fidelis, Lehman
  • Dextera Domini, Modlmayer
  • Gloria (Mass of Unity)
  • Greater Love Hath, Ireland
  • Introit: We Should Glory
  • Jerusalem, Jerusalem Tallis
  • Let The Same Mind Be in You, T. Pavlechko
  • Lord, Who Has Formed Me, Clarke
  • Mandatum Rite: Chant
  • Mandatum”, R. Lehman
  • Miserere Mei Deus, Clarke
  • Our Father, Gretchaninoff
  • Panis Angelicus, Pavlechko
  • Popule Meus, (Chant & Victoria) & Vs.
  • See What Goodness, Hunstiger (Sprinkling Rite)
  • Stay With Us, Hovland
  • The Roman Martyrology for the Feast of Christmas, chant arr. Hunstiger
  • The Seven Last Words, Brumby
  • The Shepherds Farewell, by Hector Berlioz
  • The Spacious Firmament On High, by Richard Shephard
  • Torches, Torches, by John Joubert
  • Truly The Light, Cooman
  • Victimae Paschali, (Chant) Virga Jesse, by Anton Bruckner
  • We Will Be Merry”, R. Lehman
  • With A Voice Of Singing, Shaw

Adult schola

The schola is a mixed-voice ensemble that sings a diverse repertoire of chant, Classical motets, British anthems and newly composed sacred works. The group offers an excellent opportunity to serve in a vitally important ministry to the community for special liturgies throughout the year. Rehearsals are on select Thursdays throughout the academic year. Singers must have choral experience, be able to read music and commit to various rehearsals.

Children’s Choristers

The primary purpose of the choir is to give glory to God and to catechize and edify the faithful. Musical formation is an integral part of the human person. Choristers enables our young parishioners to use their mind, body, spirit and voice in service to God. Those who participate in the chorister program learn the musical tradition of the universal Church as well as the leadership skills necessary to advance the future of sacred music in the Catholic Church. By singing in a choir, young people can develop a sense of professionalism and pride in what they do. This will have a positive impact on their religious education and understanding of the liturgy. St. John the Baptist Students and parishioners from grades 2-8 are welcome to join. Rehearsals are held in the choir room every Monday during the school year from 3:45-5:00pm. Students are encouraged to sign up even if they can only join the group for part of the year. Choristers sing one Mass every month during the school year as well as the 4:00pm Christmas Eve Mass. The experience of participating in Choristers not only benefits the congregation, but the choristers too! Sing together, pray together, learn together. Registration is open throughout the school year. To take advantage of this opportunity, please contact Carrie Kram at kramc@stjohnnyb.org

Cantors

Cantors are most often taken out of existing musical groups. They lead specialized music at Mass, such as the Introit, Psalm, Gospel Acclamation and Communion processional music. The role of the cantor is never to take the role of the congregation by singing its parts. The cantor assists the people in the singing of hymns only when necessary. Hymn singing, and other chants primarily belong to the congregation. Cantors must have choral experience and be able to read music. High school age or older are welcome in this ministry.

Contemporary ensemble

This ensemble sings twice a month at the 10:30am Sunday Mass during the academic year. The group consists of piano, various stringed instruments and singers. Rehearsals are twice monthly on Thursday evenings, 7:00-8:30pm in the choir chancel.

Our Hand Bell Choir, known as “Ding Dongs,” meets on Monday evenings from 6:30–8:00pm and plays regularly during the school year. The bells choir plays some solo pieces, but also enriches the congregational singing with ornamental bell parts. We have a three octave set of Schulmerich bells and a good core of ringers. If you are interested in joining, please contact Jay Hunstiger, Director of Music, or drop in on a rehearsal.

Musical Instruments

The king of Instruments is in the church. The Hendrickson/Rogers pipe/digital 5 manual organ is a wonderful classic versatile instrument. The pipe division is twelve ranks of large scale pipework, while the digital division equals 136 stops and 195 ranks.