The Choirs of St. Mary’s Cathedral have a distinguished history of service to the Cathedral. Drawing from a wealth of sacred music ranging from early monophonic chant, 16th Century polyphony, Romantic to Modern, the Cathedral Choirs seeks to offer music characterized by fine tone, rhythmic precision and thoughtful interpretation.
The Cathedral Choir, established in 1842, serves as the principle choir of St. Mary’s Cathedral, singing for the 10:30 am Mass from September to June – and for all major cathedral Masses including the Midnight Mass of Christmas, the Triduum, Archdiocesan celebrations and for functions such as ordinations. A mixed ensemble of volunteers and paid professional singers, the Cathedral Choir sings a variety of music from the 12th century to the present day. The choir sings unaccompanied pieces, as well as pieces accompanied by the Cathedral Organ. The ability to sight read is an asset but not absolutely required. Practice materials are provided to all choir members.
The Sunday Evening Worship Team provides the music at the weekly 7:30 pm Sunday Mass during the university fall and winter terms. The members of the Team are selected from among young people who attend the 7:30 pm Mass, many of whom are students at Queen’s University or St. Lawrence College. Guitar and piano provide support for the vocally driven music sung at this Mass. The music at this Mass ranges from traditional chant and hymns to contemporary praise and worship music.
Cantors are chosen from the choir and lead the singing at the 5:00 pm Mass on Saturday and the 10:30 am Mass on Sundays. The cantors at the 7:30 pm Mass are chosen from the Worship Team. When the Worship Team is away, the Cathedral cantors sing at the 7:30 pm Mass with organ accompaniment.
Funerals are celebrated with St. Mary’s organist and cantor, the music being similar to that at a canted weekend Mass (except for those things particular to a funeral.)