Friday, December 5, 2008


Vespers for the Immaculate Conception on Sunday evening, Dec. 8, will be at 7:00pm, not 7:30pm as previously advertised.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Parish Book of Chant Now Available Right Here!

You can view the Parish Book of Chant, a resource every church should have, right here, thanks to the CMAA. To expand the size, use the "down" arrow on the menu at the right to increase the size and then use the scroll bar to move between sides.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Website for Our Sisters in Chant

The St. Augustine Schola Cantorae has a website. Stop by and see what the ladies are up to. Florida is slowly finding its way to real Church music!

Web address:

Vespers for Immaculate Conception

The Schola cantorum of the Palm Beaches will sponsor a solemn First Vespers for the Feast of The Immaculate Conception of Our Lady on December 7th at 7:30pm at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. The celebrant will be Father Kevin Nelson and the organist will be Alan Bowman. A printed program with English translations will be provided. Everyone in attendance is encouraged to sing the psalms with the schola.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Time to Chant!

Just a reminder to all that the Schola cantorum of the Palm Beaches resumes rehearsals this coming Sunday at 7:30 at Holy Name Church in West Palm Beach. This is an open rehearsal and everyone is invited. See you there!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Chinese Love Their Chant!

Hat tip to Daniel Page for putting this up. Not sure where this is, but it's in Chinese. The actual translation is "When prayers are being recited/chanted, please do not make noise" (thanks to a CMAA poster for this. I have to agree with the sentiment! No confused noises, please!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Jensen Beach TLM Seminar

I ran across an article in the Florida Catholic today about a seminar on the Extraordinary Form of the Mass given by Father Marco de Leon. Apparently he has been celebrating the Mass in Jensen this summer. For those of you who thought I knew everything, feel free to be surprised! I had no idea that there was another priest doing this Mass at St. Martin's. Trust that I will be in touch with him very soon! In any event, the article is OK. At least it does not repeat any mistaken ideas about the Mass. The only nit that I would pick is that the bishop's permission is not required for any priest to say a private Mass in the ancient Rite since last summer when Pope Benedict freed up the Mass. Most likely they meant that permission was needed to celebrate the Mass with an invitation to the public. In any case, this is good news for traditional Catholics in our diocese. Let's hope a TLM is started a little closer to West Palm soon.

Here's the link:.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

New Schola Season!

Greetings everyone!

The Schola cantorum of the Palm Beaches will start its fall rehearsals on September 14 at 7:30pm. The good folks at Holy Name Catholic Church at 345 S. Military Trail in West Palm Beach will again be our hosts. I'm eagerly looking forward to seeing all returning members, but I'd like to invite anyone interested in learning about chant and how to sing it. If you've never sung chant before, that's OK. We spend a great deal of time on basics and the fall is a great time to check out what we are doing.

We have been blessed with the support of Palm Beach diocese and I'm looking forward to our first chant workshop this spring. Stay tuned for details as they become available. We will be included in the activities for the 25th Anniversary of the Diocese of Palm Beach. It's going to be an exciting year! This fall we have Vespers at St Patrick's for the Immaculate Conception and then in the spring, we are singing another Extraordinary Form Mass at St. Martin de Porres in Jensen Beach.

Yours in Christ,

Monday, July 28, 2008

Interview with Chant CD Monk

Hat tip to Jeffrey Tucker for posting this excerpt from an interview with a spokesman from Stift Heiligenkreuz, a 12th-century Cistercian monastery near Vienna. The monks there have recorded a chant CD that has hit the top of the charts worldwide. This happened once before with the monks of Santo Domingo de Silos and likely will fade as quickly, but the best part of this go around is that the monks are taking the opportunity to teach about Gregorian chant while they have the limelight. Check out the interview at the SF Chronicle.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Novena for Church Musicians

A little late in getting this posted, but I hope someone catches it in time to start the prayers. Download the Novena to St. Cecilia and start today. It is for the health and well-being of all Church musicians. God Bless.

Novena to St. Cecilia (pdf)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Francisco Guerrero (1528-1599)

Someone recently posted a sound file of Francisco Guerrero's Ave Maria a 4 from the CMAA Colloquium in Chicago. I have performed this numerous times on Renaissance brass but had never sung it until that Mass in Chicago. It is truly a wondrous piece and not all that hard to sing (well, there is the melisma in the altos!).

Guerrero was the most famous composer in Spain during the second half of the 16th century because he served the kingdom's most influential cathedral in Seville. Sure Toledo was the primatial seat, but Seville had the finest musical establishment and whoever was in charge was really important. Guerrero spent his whole career in Spain, unlike Morales and Victoria who made their fames in Rome. Guerrero did travel during the 1580s to the Holy Land and wrote an account of the voyage that includes stories of pirate attacks. His music, more so than Victoria's was the model for later Spanish composers like Alonso Lobo, Juan de Esquivel, and Sebastian de Vivanco. He was particularly gifted at created individual polyphonic lines that often run well into extended ranges for effect. Harmonically modern listeners hear the coming of tonal music, but never introduces chromaticism for cheap effects. He is more known today as a result of recordings made during the anniversary of his death (and Philip II's) in 1999. In particular, his Marian works are exquisite. He was not known as el cantor de Maria for nothing.

Click Here is the sound file of the motet.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Parish Book of Chant

I'm indulging in a little bit of blogging before the real work of preparing classes starts. One of the best things to happen to church music in a long time occurred when the CMAA published The Parish Book of Chant. This is a wonderful little book with lots of chants in it. The book collects just about all the chants a congregation would need for use in either the Ordinary Form (modern Mass in Latin) or the Extraordinary Form (so-called Tridentine Rite). There is a set of Ordinaries (Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus, Agnus Dei) and chant hymns. The great thing is that all the Latin comes with English translations. This is so important since the restoration of Latin to the Latin Rite must be done so that folks know what they are singing and hearing. Also there are basic missals for the older and newer Rites (Latin/English) included. Thanks to the CMAA and Richard Rice for compiling and publishing this. I highly recommend this to everyone interested in chant and its restoration to parish life. Keep in mind that this book is a PEW book. The choir/schola still needs music from the Graduale (or Liber Usualis) to sing the Propers of the Mass or Vespers.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

CMAA Colloquium

Just returned from summer travels so I now have time to put up a particularly nice image from the CMAA Chant and Polyphony Colloquium that was held in Chicago in June. There were about 250 participants this year with abilities ranging from novice to expert chanters. The participants were sorted into 4 polyphonic choirs that sang Masses and motets by principally Spanish composers this year. Naturally I was in heaven! In addition to preparing Masses and one Vespers, there were classes on chant conducting, singing techniques, and sessions for priests. If that was not enough, the people were fabulous. I met lots of new friends and connected with folks I met last year. Even the most highly accomplished musicians were friendly willing to help those just starting. Good people. The image you see here is the entire group with chant masters William Mahrt and Scott Turkington preparing for Mass in the Loyola chapel.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Sunday OT Chant Mass at Holy Name

A couple of pictures of the men's and women's scholas from Saturday's Mass. Great job everyone!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Fabulous Chanting

Hat tip to Michael Lawrence for pointing this video out. This is great example of wonderful chant style.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

English Chant Mass in West Palm Beach

The Schola Cantorum of the Palm Beaches will be providing the musical leadership for the 4:00 anticipatory Mass (some call it the vigil Mass still) for the Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church in West Palm Beach on May 31, 2008. The Mass will be completely chanted and completely in English. It is our hope that by chanting the propers, ordinary, and the readings of the novus ordo Mass in English that a wider audience may experience Pope Benedict XVI's vision for sacred music. It doesn't have to be in Latin. It just has to be sacred (defined as "set apart"). If you are interested in hearing what English chant can be like, we hope you will join us for this event.

Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church
345 S. Military Trail
West Palm Beach, FL

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Remaining Schedule for SCPB

All rehearsals at Holy Name Catholic Church
345 S. Military Trail
West Palm Beach, FL

Sunday, May 11 at 7:30 pm

Friday, May 23 at 7:00 pm (note different time, please)

Friday, May 30 at 7:00 pm

Next appearance: English chant Mass

Saturday, May 31st, Holy Name Catholic Church

Rehearse at 3:00 pm

Mass at 4:00 pm


Greetings and welcome to the homepage and blog of the Schola cantorum of the Palm Beaches. The group brings together dedicated singers from Southeast Florida who want to explore the beauty and spirituality of Gregorian and vernacular chant. The group is not affiliated with an individual parish but rather seeks to serve the entire region.

The schola consists of men's and women's ensembles that occasionally come together to sing in alternatim. Future plans will have the groups combining to sing polyphony as well. This page will have rehearsal schedules and appearances but also news about other scholas, workshops, and the growing movement of reintroducing chant and traditional church music into the modern Catholic Church.

Please stop by from time to time and see what we are doing and saying. All views are welcome here but civility and Christian charity are the rule here.

Pax vobiscum
Michael O'Connor