The University of Notre Dame Liturgical Choir, founded in 1973 as the Chapel Choir, is composed of approximately 70 male and female singers drawn from all areas of the undergraduate and graduate student body. The choir sings at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, a French Gothic structure built in 1871 by University founder Fr. Edward Sorin.
Led by director Dr. Andrew McShane and assistant director Jonathan Hehn, the Liturgical Choir performs a repertoire drawn on the diverse traditions of a cappella and accompanied sacred music from the Renaissance through the twentieth century. In recognition of the Liturgical Choir's special ministry to the Notre Dame community, Pope John Paul II extended his apostolic blessing upon the Choir in 1989.
General auditions for all University choral ensembles are held at the beginning of each academic year, during Welcome Weekend.
However, at any point during the academic year, students can request an audition by appointment by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Membership in the Liturgical Choir is open to undergraduate and graduate students of all majors enrolled at Notre Dame, St. Mary's, or Holy Cross.
At your audition, you will be asked to sing a prepared piece or a hymn that you know (Amazing Grace, My Country 'Tis of Thee, Praise to the Lord are popular choices!). We will test your range and your ear, and conclude the audition with a sight-reading exercise. The choral audition takes less than 10 minutes.
The Choir's main purpose is to provide musical leadership at the 10 AM (Eastern time) Solemn Mass, which is televised weekly on CatholicTV. This channel can be found on Comcast, Verizon, Full Channel and RCN cable providers in the New England area and is available nationally on Sky Angel IPTV and online at www.CatholicTV.com.
The Liturgical Choir is also responsible for providing liturgical music for services such as: Sunday Vespers, weddings in the Basilica, dedications, ordinations, Advent Lessons & Carols, special university liturgies such as the Junior Parents' Weekend Baccalaureate Mass. Holy Week is of special importance to the Choir, including Palm Sunday, Tenebrae, Good Friday, Easter Vigil, Easter Sunday, and Easter Vespers liturgies.