“Sing to the Lord a new song: sing to the Lord all the earth. Sing to the Lord, and bless his Name: proclaim the good news for his salvation from day to day.” (Psalm 96:1-2)
“The treasury of sacred music is to be preserved and fostered with great care. Choirs must be diligently developed, especially in cathedral churches.” (Constitution of the Sacred Liturgy, Article 114)
“. . .And so, in company with the choirs of Angels, we praise you, and with joy we proclaim” Every time we assemble for the Eucharistic Liturgy, the texts of the Roman Rite urge us to join our voices to the divine choral music of the celestial city. In an attempt to manifest on earth hints of the heavenly choirs to come, musical resources at St. Joseph Cathedral are focused to a high degree on the choral program. At more than 70 services a year, choirs support the assembly, provide musical commentary on the texts of the Mass, and reveal something of the eternal liturgy in heaven.
The cantor’s function is to lead and encourage the assembly in singing. Often the cantor has the special task of drawing all present into the proclamation of the word of God through the psalm. When acting in this capacity, the cantor functions as the psalmist. The cantor may also teach new music the assembly. Cantors also serve as leaders of the musical prayers at funerals, weddings and other sacramental rituals. Cantors need to be able to sing the text well with a pleasant voice. Cathedral Cantors are appointed by the Diocesan and Cathedral Director of Music.
Contact person: Mr. Eric J. Bermani 603.622.6404 ext. 31
Cathedral Choral Ensembles:
Comprised of the Cathedral Cantors, this select chorus of 8 – 12 singers performs complex polyphonic and choral masterpieces. Along with other noted choirs from the New England area, Ensemble Ex-Cathedra was engaged to record examples of Catholic devotional music. The project is still underway but material recorded by Ensemble Ex-Cathedra may be heard at
Cathedral Parish Choir
The Cathedral Parish Choir leads, supports and enhances the sung prayers of the assembly at the 10:30 a.m. Sunday Pontifical Mass from mid-September through Corpus Christi Sunday. The mixed choir is comprised of 26 voices, all Volunteers who love to glorify God through song. Featured in sacred music concerts throughout the year, the Cathedral Parish Choir also sings at Diocesan liturgies and events and is assisted by the Diocesan Festival Chorus (DFC). Repertoire is drawn from the great treasury of sacred music, from the medieval period up through today’s great living composers. Rehearsals are held on Thursday evenings (6:30 – 8:30 p.m.) in the choir gallery and on Sunday mornings, prior to the 10:30 a.m. Mass. Anyone interested in joining the Cathedral Parish Choir should contact the Diocesan and Cathedral Director of Music to schedule an interview.
Diocesan Festival Chorus (DFC)
Open to music ministers from all parishes, colleges and religious communities across the Diocese of Manchester, the Diocesan Festival Chorus is in its 30th year since its founding. Numbering approximately 60 singers at any given time, the DFC joins and augments the Cathedral Parish Choir in singing at major Diocesan liturgies such as the Rites of Election, Chrism Mass, Ordinations, Solemnity of St. Joseph (19 March) funerals for priests held at the Cathedral, various holy days and solemnities throughout the course of the year. Members of the DFC frequently join the Cathedral Parish Choir in sacred music concerts throughout the year, most notably the annual performance of Handel’s Messiah in December. In collaboration with the Cathedral Parish Choir, the DFC plans to record a professional grade CD featuring much beloved Christmas music in late spring, 2014. Rehearsals are held on Monday nights from 7:00-9:00 p.m. in the choir gallery of the Cathedral. Interested choristers should contact the Diocesan and Cathedral Director of Music to schedule an interview.
Diocesan Children's Choral Program: Saint Nicholas Schola Cantorum
Saint Nicholas Schola Cantorum (Diocesan Children's Choral Program) - The Schola Cantorum’s (“school of singers”) aim is to teach, prepare and form children and young adults in grades 3-12 to participate in music ministry and life long praise of God through sacred song. By focusing on singing hymns, part-singing, Gregorian chant, polyphonic and choral works, the goal of this choir is the cultivation and further development of: musicianship, sight-singing, music history, religious education, liturgical formation and the spirituality of sacred music. Rehearsals are on Thursday afternoons from 4:00 - 5:00 p.m. in the Cathedral's Bishop Bradley Hall (Lower Hall) and scheduled for selected 8:30 a.m. Sunday liturgies each month. The Saint Nicholas Schola Cantorum is a member of the American Federation of Pueri Cantores, the official student choral organization of the Roman Catholic Church (www.pcchoirs.org). Membership is open to choristers in grades 3 - 12 throughout the Diocese.
Sacred, Liturgical and Ritual Music at the Cathedral
"Music for the liturgy must be carefully chosen and prepared." (Sing to the Lord: Music in Divine Worship, Article 122)
CATHEDRAL CONCERT SERIES
Our Concerts at the Cathedral series exists as a community outreach of St. Joseph Cathedral’s music ministry. It strives to provide the opportunity to hear inspiring music in the magnificent beauty, architecture and acoustics of the Cathedral; to provide sacred programs by performers whose talents and gifts will give all attending an experience of God’s love through music; and to provide these concerts free for all; requesting only a free-will offering. We strive to present a varied series of concerts each season to supplement our three main programs that are held annually: our Advent Festival of Lessons and Carols, performance of the Christmas portion of Handel’s Messiah with chamber orchestra and the Office of Tenebrae celebrated on Wednesday of Holy Week.
The Cathedral concert series is not funded by the general budget of the Cathedral. The series has been made possible through the generosity of many donors, including our concert program advertisers, our patrons and through free-will offerings. As always, we thank you for your constant support, generosity and, most importantly, prayers! If you want to help support the Cathedral Concert Series by promoting quality concerts in Manchester become a FRIEND OF CATHEDRAL MUSIC TODAY!