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MUSIC MINISTRY

The St. Mary music ministry offers multiple ensembles for singers and instrumentalists. We provide a musical "home" for both the professional/serious musician as well as for someone looking to learn and experience ministering in a more casual environment. 

All of our ensembles are built around flexible schedules. We know that personal schedules can often play a role in someone's ability to commit to weekly rehearsals/Masses. Therefore, each ensemble has a structure that allows even someone with the busiest of work/life schedules to participate. 

All of our ensembles sing in parts, strive for excellent execution, and utilize a variety of repertoire including chant, hymns, contemporary praise & worship, and instrumental pieces. ​

Contact the Director of Sacred Music for any and all inquiries. We are a busy ministry and would love to welcome you! 

Contact

Justin Umbarger

Director of Sacred Music

248.547.1818 ext. 246

jumbarger@st-mary.org

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Schola Cantorum

The Schola Cantorum is a choir designed for singers/instrumentalists who wish to sing/play choral literature of high quality, both in compositional merit and ensemble execution. Participants are given all the necessary resources (i.e. sheet music, markings, and practice recordings) to learn their part of each piece on their own. This ensemble is ideal for singers/instrumentalists who have prior musical experience such as music educators/professionals, past or present college chorus members, or those with similar experiences.

We assemble for one rehearsal to polish the music and then sing for a liturgy. This ensemble sings a wide variety of literature, ranging from the early music of Gregorian chant, Palestrina, and Tallis to Mozart and Hadyn, and including 20th century/contemporary composers such as Vaughan Williams, Rutter, Gjeilo, Biery, Chilcott, Lauridsen and more.

The flexible schedule comes into play in that singers participate for the liturgies they can, and step out when unavailable. Some sing weekly and others are more sporadic.

All rehearsals take place on Thursday evenings between 7-9pm. The Schola Cantorum sings on Sundays for either the 9am or 11am Mass.

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Small Ensembles

Small ensembles are perfect for someone looking for the benefits of small group collaboration instead of a larger choir format. Each ensemble is built "new" for every liturgy, composed of 3-6 people who sing and/or play an instrument. Typically each ensemble will have at minimum 2 vocalists (of different voice parts) and 1-2 instrumentalists. Small groups rehearse immediately before their scheduled liturgy and do not meet during the week. Just like the Schola Cantorum, the frequency of participation is flexible and can be as often or infrequent as your schedule allows.

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Seasonal Choir & Handbells 

The seasonal parish choir & handbells are perfect for anyone who loves to sing/ring or is looking to gain musical experience. This is also a great way to “test the waters” and see if you would like to participate in our music ministry more regularly. The seasonal choir rehearses in preparation for the major liturgical celebrations of the year, such as Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost. We rehearse for 5-6 weeks leading into the celebration and then break until the next session convenes.

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Instrumentalists

All instruments are welcome and utilized frequently within all of our ensembles. Currently we have brass, strings, woodwind, and guitarists among us and are always looking for more. Instrumentalists participate in various choral pieces, hymns, and also have the opportunity to play solos from their instrument’s repertoire. Scheduling is flexible.

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Youth Choir

The St. Mary Youth Choir Program currently runs for kids in grades 4-8 and rehearses on Thursdays from 6:30-7:30pm. Based in the “choir school” tradition, our young musicians learn how to read music, find their singing voice, and grow in faith all in a fun, relaxed, and yet focused atmosphere. Each rehearsal is filled with learning opportunities both musical and social, with older and/or more experienced students receiving leadership opportunities to help new students grow.

 

The ensemble sings for various liturgies throughout the year that is communicated well in advance. Parents/guardians are welcome to stay for rehearsal and/or encouraged to help with checking in singers, help with drop off/pick up, and to just be on hand if needed. 

 

This is a great place to gain authentic singing experiences! See you in the loft!