Music at St. Paul the Apostle Church — WHY DO WE SING AT ST. PAUL’S?
Music helps the heart get in touch with the liturgy. Our aim is to engage the assembly in prayerful praise through music. We believe that music, combined with the excellent preaching of our Paulist priests becomes a powerful tool for renewal and conversion. At St. Paul’s you can hear and be invited to participate in great music of every type and of all periods. Each mass has its own musical character; but we also have a common repertoire of service music and psalms to link our separate mass assemblies into one community.
MASSES WITH CANTOR:
5:00 pm SATURDAY VIGIL MASS: A mixture of traditional and contemporary music. Our cantor is Marie Hodgson, member of the Los Angeles Master Chorale, with accompaniment on the organ.
7:30 am SUNDAY MASS: Gentle organ music with cantor accompanies this mass on the middle two Sundays of each month. First and last Sundays of the month are said.
MASSES WITH CHOIRS:
9:30 am SUNDAY MASS: Something for everyone. Lively and engaging music involving the assembly. At the middle two Sundays of each month the CARITAS CHORUS leads the music in an eclectic repertoire from contemporary and traditional hymns, through gospel, children’s music to plainchant and a few world premières. Many of the songs in our “Breaking Bread” hymnbook were sung for the first time at this mass. John Sawoski (who has played for three American presidents!) accompanies us on the Steinway grand piano.
JOIN US: Do you love singing? Do you like music of all types? Can you hold a tune? Then the CARITAS CHORUS is for you. Rehearsals are on Wednesdays at 7:30 pm in the church.
At the first and last Sunday of each month contemporary music is provided by Phil Cordaro with guitar and soprano vocalist.
11:30 am SUNDAY MASS: Mainly classical music and traditional hymns. The NEW SCHOLA CANTORUM sings music of all choral periods to a high standard of performance. But this is not a concert mass – there is plenty of music for the assembly to sing, surrounded by motets and anthems that reflect a cathedral repertoire. This liturgy is further enhanced by our organist James Casey, who supports both the assembly and choir, and offers voluntaries drawn from great organ repertoire.
A sampling of the New Schola Cantorum
JOIN US: Would you like to sing the best choral music from plainchant, Palestrina, Byrd, Victoria, Mozart, to glorious music of the twentieth century? Can you read music a little? Then the NEW SCHOLA CANTORUM is for you. Rehearsals are on Thursdays at 7:30 pm in the church.
5:00 pm SUNDAY MASS: Contemporary music that adds a prayerful dimension to this celebration. Our quality Contemporary Group is led by the talented Peter Torsiello with guitars, bass, keyboards, oboe, violin, percussion and an ensemble of singers who manage to refresh familiar contemporary favorites, as well as introducing the best of the new.
JOIN US: If you would like to join this exciting ensemble contact Peter before or after mass. Rehearsals are before mass on Sundays at 3:30 pm.
HOLY WEEK & EASTER
Holy Week is the liturgical and musical highlight of the year. Great choral music, well-loved hymns, with the highlight of a sung Passion of St. John on Good Friday – culminating in our combined choirs singing at the Easter Vigil, make Holy Week at St Paul’s an experience never to be forgotten.
We have a well-established tradition of the Festival of Lessons and Carols on a Sunday just before Christmas. There is music at every Christmas celebration including a Children’s Christmas Chorus at the 4:00 pm Mass on Christmas Eve.
We sing on major feast days, on Ash Wednesday and at penance services. A highlight of the year is a choral sung requiem at the All Souls’ Day Mass – Fauré, Mozart, Rutter Requiems and recently the première of Andrew Wright’s “Requiem Mass”, written especially for the New Schola Cantorum.
All the major celebrations of the Rites of Christian Initiation are celebrated during Sunday masses with music to accompany the rites and involving the assembly.
Our ministry through music in times of grief is a priority. Our ministry extends from sympathetic planning of music to supplying musicians of top quality so that funerals and memorial services truly minister to the bereaved.
Our organist, Jim Casey, is in charge of music at weddings. He will help you plan suitable music to enhance your celebration as well as being liturgically appropriate. Our own cantors are available. If you want a trumpet or bagpipes – just ask. If you want to use guest soloists or musicians, they must be musically-qualified and be auditioned before the day. Guidelines for choosing wedding music are available from the parish office.
OTHER MUSIC AT ST. PAUL’S
THE NATIONAL CHILDREN’S CHORUS This celebrated children’s choir performs in concerts and is based in our school. They have given concert tours in the USA and in Europe. Their Christmas concert is a popular choice in December. For more information, contact their director, Luke McEndarfer through the school.
DIRECTOR OF MUSIC Christopher Walker has been director since 1990. His compositions are sung in churches throughout the world. Previously he was Director of Music at Clifton Cathedral, Bristol, England.
INSTRUMENTS AT ST. PAUL’S: Our three-manual Reuter pipe organ speaks beautifully into the splendid acoustics of St. Paul’s. There is a Steinway grand piano (kindly donated by the parents of John Wattenbarger) as well as a Yamaha keyboard (kindly donated by Dan Dumas).