Thank you for considering inviting the Notre Dame Folk Choir to your parish! Our choir makes frequent domestic and international tours designed to share our tradition of music and prayer with faith communities across the globe. Below, you’ll find descriptions of the services we can offer your parish, as well as a timeline that may be helpful for you as your plan to host the choir. Please know that we are very open to new ideas and requests. While the majority of our visits occur within parish communities, we also offer workshops and performances for schools. For more information, please contact our director, J.J. Wright, at email@example.com.
Many of the songs the choir performs on tour are written by Director Emeritus Steven Warner, Director J.J. Wright, and Assistant Director Karen Schneider-Kirner. In addition to our own collection of music, we also drawn upon the larger body of sacred music, incorporating traditional hymnody and contemporary liturgical settings. These pieces are bound to the choir’s mission of unifying hearts and minds through song. Many are recent publications which have not yet entered the familiar canon of liturgical music. Repertoire workshops allow for enriching discussions of performance techniques, principles which guide the selection of liturgical music, and cantor and psalmist techniques. All are welcome to join in this hands-on event, and local parish musicians and music directors are especially encouraged to attend. Bring your voices and your instruments!
The music of our Eucharistic Liturgy embraces all ethnic styles and varied instrumentation. We are happy to work with a local cantor, or provide a cantor and/or psalmist for services which we are asked to accompany. Many of our psalm settings, originally composed especially for the choir, are written for guitar, organ, and/or Celtic harp.
For Vespers and evening prayer services, the voices of the choir, together with guitar, organ, and harp, offer a synthesis of English plainchant and contemporary musical forms. The parish may decide to utilize a candlelit service, known as Lucenarium, to begin the Vespers service. At the request of the parish, the Folk Choir can offer a short concert following Vespers.
The concerts of the Notre Dame Folk Choir take a variety of musical forms. Our most popular performances embrace themes which span the entirety of the liturgical year, beginning with Advent season and ending with the Feast of Christ the King. Using the liturgical calendar as our starting point, we weave together various styles of liturgical music—psalmody, chant, spirituals, early American hymnody, contemporary compositions, and mantras. We celebrate the many cultural components of the Catholic experience through our international song. Musical offerings inspired by the cultural traditions of Ireland, Mexico, and the African continent all find their way into our concerts.
Because we are a “folk” choir, we stress the involvement of the congregation in all of our performances. Those who attend our liturgies, prayer services, and concerts are given a program which includes many of the refrains and hymns used throughout the evening. Assembly participation is an integral part of a concert with the Folk Choir, and this participation fosters a sense of unity and collaboration between choristers and congregants.
Hosting the Folk Choir
The following timeline is a sketch of suggested preparations for the group's visit to your community.
6 months prior
- Contact the president of your local Notre Dame Alumni Club to discuss publicity and housing for the choir's visit.
- Contact diocesan offices, area youth ministry programs, and liturgical committees about publicity; be in touch with other local church communities to publicize visit.
- Enlist housing planners at your parish to coordinate host families.
3 months prior
- Receive publicity posters for your parish directly from the choir.
- Discuss specific musical services with the choir's director.
- Finalize itinerary and arrange meals hosted by families, parishioners, and/or alumni. Please be sure to make note of and plan for those who may have dietary restrictions.
6 weeks prior
- Begin appeal in your parish bulletin for host families.
- Explore the possibility of coverage by local television and/or radio stations.
4 weeks prior
- Receive a finalized housing list from the choir.
- Finalize your local host families.
- Finalize the repertoire between the choir's director and your parish's music director.
2 weeks prior
- Check for last-minute changes.
- Confirm details on meals and scheduled events.
1 week prior
- Check weather reports for potential problems.
Thank you again for your interest in our parish outreach ministry!