choirBeginning this Fall, a minor in liturgical music will be established at Christendom College. Ever since the founding of Christendom College there has been choral music.  However, it was with the coming of Fr. Dr. Robert Skeris—formerly of the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music—that the full liturgical music program as currently known was established.

Under the current director, Dr. Kurt Poterack, the Christendom College choirs cultivate the “treasury of sacred music whose integral parts include Gregorian chant and the sacred vocal polyphony of masters such as Palestrina, Victoria, and Josquin des Prez” . . . [and] . . . “strive to render present, in resonant beauty, the sonic vesture of divine worship.”

This is a part of the College’s proud heritage of maintaining a “high liturgical culture” primarily at the Sunday Mass, but at other liturgical events as well.  The College has three choral ensembles: the Christendom Choir, the Palestrina Chamber Choir, and the Schola Gregoriana for men.

Four annual choral scholarships and the new minor in liturgical music also enhance and support this program.  This new minor coincides very well with the College’s motto, “to restore all things in Christ,” with the current Supreme Pontiff’s well known interest in liturgical music, but also with the very nature of a liberal arts college.

According to Aristotle music is an important subject “not because it is necessary, or because it is useful, but simply because it is liberal and something good in itself.”

And this is precisely the definition of the liberal arts:  it is the study of things that make us free, more human—truer to our nature; not simply the acquiring of particular vocational skills that help in getting a job.

Students can acquire this minor in liturgical music by taking seven classes worth a total of 19 credits: Music History, Music Theory, Theology of Worship and Its Music, a course in Gregorian chant, a Choir Apprenticeship Practicum, Organ or Voice Lessons, and an approved Theology course such as Sacraments.  Anyone who wishes to learn more may contact Dr. Kurt Poterack at 800.877.5456 x1274 or at kpoterack@hotmail.com.

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