Choir of St. Jean Baptiste
The Choir of St. Jean Baptiste is the principal liturgical choir of the parish. An ensemble of 18 professional and volunteer musicians, the Choir sings for the Solemn Mass every other Sunday at 12 noon from September through the Feast of Corpus Christi (the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ) in June and for various Holy Days throughout the year. The repertoire ranges from Gregorian chant to music by contemporary composers. (The professional octet sings the 12 noon Mass on intermediate Sundays.) Find out how to become involved in the choir.
The Assembly As One Voice
Every time the Parish of St. Jean’s gathers to celebrate the liturgy, we sing as one voice and function as the primary choir. The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (2002) emphasizes the importance of congregational singing:
“The Christian faithful who gather together as one to await the Lord’s coming are instructed by the Apostle Paul to sing together psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs (cf. Col 3:16). Singing is the sign of the heart’s joy (cf. Acts 2:46). Thus St. Augustine says rightly, “Singing is for one who loves.” There is also the ancient proverb: “One who sings well prays twice.”
The U. S. Bishops approved a document on music and liturgy, Sing to the Lord, in November 2007. For more information on this document and the Church’s instruction relating to congregational singing, click here.
The Virgin Consort
The nucleus of the Choir at St. Jean Baptiste is The Virgin Consort, founded in 1989, as an a cappella singing group comprised of an eight-member ensemble of professional musicians led by Kyler Brown. A cappella is defined as vocal music performed without instrumental accompaniment, literally “ in chapel style.” From Gregorian chant in the 6th century through the polyphony of the Renaissance, a cappella music flourished throughout Europe and was a staple of the worship service of all kinds.
In a cappella music, the voice becomes – literally – the instrument, capable of infinite shifts in color, tone, volume, pitch and shading. This flexibility allows The Virgin Consort to perform a broad repertoire of sacred and secular works from the sixteenth century to the present day. Listen to The Virgin Consort and request information about upcoming concerts.
The volunteer section of the choir rehearses the first and third Sundays of each month from 10:30-11:45 AM in the Choir Room followed by Mass at 12 noon. The Choir Room is located below the Rectory and can be reached by coming to 184 E. 76 Street (between Lexington and Third Avenues).
To become a member of the choir, you should schedule an audition with the director, Kyler Brown. You should be prepared to sing a solo piece of repertoire suitable for your voice and a hymn of your choosing. It is necessary to be able to match pitch, sing rhythmically and have the ability to participate in a group, following the director.
Please contact the music director by phone at 646-456-3002 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.