The Schola Cantorum (Latin for “school of singers”) is a choir composed of seminarians from St. Joseph’s Seminary. Our primary mission is to sing praise to the glory of God and for the sanctification and edification of all who hear us in the context of the sacred liturgy (cf. Sacrosanctum Concilium, ¶112). As part of the formation program at St. Joseph’s Seminary, the work of the schola cantorum directs the talents and energy of its members into prayer and worship, offering to God the best that we can give. Through our work we learn to appreciate the Church’s rich treasury of sacred music. The discipline required in our work also aids in the human formation of the Schola’s members, shaping them into men who will work well with others to serve with pastoral sensitivity and compassionate hearts as priests of Jesus Christ.
Upon completing a successful audition, seminarians are assigned to sing in the Schola Cantorum. We rehearse twice weekly for a total of about two and a half hours. We sing for Masses at the seminary, especially on solemnities and Sundays. On occasion, we also sing for Masses and concerts elsewhere. From our ranks are drawn the student organists and cantors who serve in the liturgies that compose the daily liturgical schedule of the seminary.
Having been served by a distinguished line of conductors, the Schola Cantorum is currently directed by Dr. Jennifer Donelson, associate professor and director of sacred music at Dunwoodie. In our work under the guidance of Fr. Matthew Ernest, director of sacred liturgy, we are honored to endeavor to continue the long tradition of excellence in sacred music at Dunwoodie.