The Music Ministry at Saint Catherine of Siena Church is a vibrant, volunteer-centered program that serves the parish community in all aspects of liturgical life. The choirs maintain an active rehearsal and liturgy schedule, which seeks to provide music of the highest possible quality for our parish liturgies.
Out of an abundance of caution for our choir members, and in keeping with the Phase II Diocesan guidelines, the choirs will not be rehearsing and singing this fall. Once these restrictions have been lifted, and the threat of Coronavirus subsides, opportunities for the choirs to return will be announced as they become available.
In place the choirs, the Diocese of Bridgeport has given special permission for a quartet of (4) singers to provide music at the 11am Mass each Sunday beginning in mid-September. The quartet will be socially distanced across the church choir loft, while also maintaining a significant distance away from the main seating area of the church. The quartet is a responsible alternative to the full choir that can safely and vigilantly provide liturgical music that adds beauty to our parish Masses.
Dr. Bill Atwood, Director of Music and Coordinator of Liturgical Ministries
Office Phone: (203) 377-3133 X 24
The Parish Choir is open to adult members of the parish (high school age and up) and sings for the 10:30am Mass each Sunday and for special Masses throughout the year. Rehearsals are Wednesday evenings from 7:30-9pm, September to June. The Choir’s repertoire covers the entire range of traditional Catholic liturgical music. At this time, we have openings in all voice parts. No prior musical experience is necessary!
The Children’s Choir is open to young members of the parish in grades 2-8. The choir sings at the 9am Family Mass on the first Sunday of each month, and rehearses on Wednesday afternoons from 4:30-5:30pm starting from September to May.
Parish cantors are selected through a process of audition and interview with the Director of Music. Because this is a specialized ministry, music reading and voice training are required. For further information or to schedule an audition, please contact the Director of Music.
The Revised Liturgical Norms for the Diocese of Bridgeport will be promulgated on the first Sunday of Advent, December 2, 2018. We offer the following resource for you so that there is a more complete understanding of the changes, and also to raise awareness of and commitment to a celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass that is both faithful and universal.
The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy reminds us that “The musical tradition of the universal Church is a treasure of inestimable value, greater even than that of any other art. The main reason for this pre-eminence is that, as sacred song united to the words, it forms a necessary or integral part of the solemn liturgy” (CSL, 112). The liturgy is, in turn, at the heart of our Catholic Faith. The members of our music ministry participate in the program in service to the parish through the spirit of Christian Stewardship: Time, Talent and Treasure.
The Second Vatican Council stated emphatically that “choirs must be diligently promoted while ensuring that the whole body of the faithful may be able to contribute that active participation which is rightly theirs.” The choir must not minimize the musical participation of the faithful. The congregation commonly sings unison melodies, which are more suitable for generally unrehearsed community singing. This is the primary song of the Liturgy. Choirs and ensembles, on the other hand, comprise persons drawn from the community who possess the requisite musical skills and a commitment to the established schedule of rehearsals and Liturgies. Thus, they are able to enrich the celebration by adding musical elements beyond the capabilities of the congregation alone.
The choir may draw on the treasury of sacred music, singing compositions by composers of various periods and in various musical styles, as well as music that expresses the faith of the various cultures that enrich the Church. The music of the choir must always be appropriate to the Liturgy, either by being a proper liturgical text or by expressing themes appropriate to the Liturgy. (Sing to the Lord: Music in Divine Worship, §28-30, Issued by USCCB, November 14, 2007)
For further information about our parish music program or to register for one of our choirs, please contact:
Dr. Bill Atwood, Director of Music and Organist
Office Phone: (203) 377-3133 X 24.