As the “language of the soul,” music communicates what mere words and pictures can’t. Everything the human heart feels—all the joy, sorrow, hope, fury, and passion—finds its most powerful expression in music. And when we make music, when we sing it and play it, we understand the heart better. We understand ourselves better. Above all, we understand God, who made our hearts, better.
At Franciscan University, we believe that no matter what a student’s major is, the chance to sing and play an instrument is a chance to grow in love, wisdom, and understanding. It’s also a chance to have some fun, meet new people, and confront new challenges.
That’s why Franciscan offers students a number of different ways to speak “the language of the soul.”
Franciscan University’s Sacred Music Program enables students to become classically trained professional musicians, either in voice or organ. The program opens doors to careers as church musicians and performers, and provides an excellent foundation for graduate studies. The Sacred Music Major explores a wide range of sacred and secular music. Along with the traditional courses of private study, theory, and history, your studies will focus intensively on the Catholic Church’s ancient musical tradition, including Gregorian chant, sacred polyphony and the great works of all ages. If you choose, you can compose and premiere music that, through beauty, communicates truth and goodness. Acceptance to the program is by audition only. A Sacred Music Minor is also available for students of any major who wish to become more immersed in the culture of sacred music.
If you want to use your talents in voice or with an instrument to give glory to God, music ministry is for you. Music ministry students provide the music for the 20 Masses held at Christ the King Chapel at Franciscan University each week, as well as for Sunday Vespers, monthly Festivals of Praise, and other occasions. Music ministry auditions are held at the start of each semester. If accepted, you’ll be assigned to a group according to your talent and availability. Each music ministry group is committed to the same Mass each week for the entire semester.
Interested in learning more about the Church’s rich tradition of sacred music? Consider auditioning for the Schola Cantorum Franciscana, the liturgical choir of Franciscan University. Students chosen for the choir are immersed in liturgical music through Gregorian chant and the English and Latin traditions of polyphony. The schola sings regularly for liturgies in the University’s Christ the King Chapel, while also giving concerts on campus and in the greater Pittsburgh area. Acceptance to the schola is by audition only.
“You are invited to use your creative intuition to enter into the heart of the mystery of the Incarnate God and at the same time into the mystery of man” (Bl. Pope John Paul II, Letter to Artists, 1999). The Franciscan Chamber Group welcomes instrumentalists, singers, and composers who seek to put their art at the service of the new evangelization. Open to all musicians at the University and in the Steubenville area, the chamber group specializes in the great orchestral music of the Western tradition as well as multimedia and multigenre performances. There are also opportunities to premiere new music. Acceptance to the chamber group is by audition only.
If you want to deepen your knowledge of vocal music, as well as have the opportunity to perform, the Franciscan University Chorale is what you’re looking for. The chorale is the University’s concert choir. Singers present a wide variety of music, from chant and polyphony to modern pieces and Gospel music. The chorale gives concerts each semester, sings for special University events, and collaborates with the Schola Cantorum to present the annual Advent Festival of Lessons and Carols. Acceptance to the chorale is by audition only.
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