Music Essay: Why You Should Join Our Choirs
As the warm days of summer turn to fall and we begin to plan for our upcoming activities, I hope you will consider joining one of the volunteer choirs in our comprehensive liturgical music program at St. Ignatius. We have an array of opportunities to serve your musical tastes and experience. In my years as a choral director, I have found that participation in a choir can bring community, joy, and spiritual nourishment to its members.
Of all the musical arts, singing is perhaps the most accessible to us all. Each of us carries a voice, and our minds and ears help guide how to best harness and use that voice in the pursuit of musical growth and excellence. When a chorus rehearses, the sole goal of everyone in the room is to better listen to one other and blend together in pursuit of a composer’s vision. By listening intently to each other, the whole of the group becomes greater than the sum of its individual parts. I have experienced time and time again at this church the magical moments when a choir’s rehearsal efforts come together to “click” as a unified whole during a Mass or concert. It is a highly energizing and satisfying experience, and one that can connect us to something larger than ourselves.
The St. Ignatius Music Staff believes in musical diversity as a strength that allows church volunteers to pursue a style of sacred music that best speaks to them. Do you enjoy Renaissance polyphony? Come join Canticum Sacrum, the choir for the 7:30 PM Mass. Do you prefer contemporary and gospel music? The Wallace Hall Choir and Orchestra which ministers at the 11:00 AM Family Mass would be the best fit for you. Do you prefer to be at a weeknight rehearsal devoted to a broad array of sacred music, chosen from the rich Catholic and non-denominational traditions going back centuries? Consider the Parish Community Choir, which meets Tuesday evenings and visits different Masses throughout the season. Young members of the parish can participate in the St. Ignatius Children’s Choirs, providing musical opportunities and exploration within our music program. Regardless of the musical style and worship venue, our mission is to foster a culture of singing with integrity and excellence for the greater glory of God.
Musical fellowship in all of these ensembles provides one of the best benefits in choral participation. Lifelong friendships are forged through facing shared challenges and experiences with beautiful music. The ritual of coming together as a community on a weekly basis can provide a structured moment of reflection and engagement during one’s week. For what it is worth, I met my wife through the St. Ignatius choral community, was married in the church, and now we’ve welcomed our first child into the world. I count some of closest friends among those I work with at St. Ignatius. You never know what might happen!
The celebration of our faith through increased musical exposure and literacy will serve to enrich your experience of the Catholic Church. We welcome singers of all backgrounds. It is a journey which I have come to embrace over the 13 years I’ve served here as Music Associate. We invite you to join us for an experience that can lift the spirit and give back to the liturgical life of the parish.
— Michael Sheetz, Music Associate