For those who have been in the know, Mater Dei has started a Men & Boys choral program which has sung at various of Masses in this current choral/academic year! If you were at the 9 AM Sung Mass last Sunday (Passion Sunday), you heard the ensemble and saw for the first time the Men & Boys choir in choir dress: cassock and surplice. For those who were there, they sure made an impression when coming down for Communion! Our final signing date of the term is on the Fifth Sunday After Easter (May 6th) at the 9 AM Sung Mass.
About the Men & Boys Choral Tradition
The history of Men & Boys choirs can be found in the long-standing tradition of major Catholic choral institutions, cathedrals, and churches, with examples as recent as the St. Paul’s Boys Choir of Harvard Square and Westminster Cathedral Choir (both Catholic boys choir schools – US & UK) and other institutions which stretch back to the early middle ages when boys were brought in from the local villages to sing the plainchants and polyphony with the lay clerks (laymen who assisted) and monks. The privilege of wearing choir dress for laymen & boys implies that while singing the proper chants of Holy Mass and furthermore the polyphonic devotional prayers meant to further edify the faithful, they are fulfilling a dutiful position normally set aside for clerics (priests, choir monks, brothers). Out of necessity and normally due to the lack of clerics, the demand of repertoire, etc., this is transferred to laymen & boys who have the training to do so for the greater glory of God and the edification of the faithful at Holy Mass.
For more information on the importance of preserving the tradition of men & boys choirs in the Catholic Church, I encourage you to read St. Pope Pius X’s motu proprio on the Instruction of Sacred Music, Tra Le Sollecitudini
If you have a son with an unchanged voice who is musically inclined and who likes to sing, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an appointment for a short vocal evaluation. Age limit: 7 – 13 years old.
If you are a man who has a natural singing voice and/or who is a classically trained countertenor (male alto), tenor, or bass, please prayerfully consider joining by contacting me at the previously mentioned email address. The Mater Dei Choral Program is always looking for new talent!
+ JMJ +
M. Chase Fowler, MM
Associate Music Director
Men & Boys Program, director