St. Joseph Church has a vibrant music program including cantors, the St. Joseph Choir and the Schola Sancti Joseph. On occasion we also welcome other ensembles such as the Ward Centre of Richmond, Crafton Brass and James River Trombones who enhance Solemnities and Feast Days. Our choir sings for monthly liturgies and holy days, animating the Mass with sacred music, seeking to fulfill its role of ‘glorifying God and sanctifying the faithful.’ [Musicam Sacram] In addition, the choir sings for events such as our annual ‘Caroling with the Choir’ in Olde Towne Petersburg and other special invitations. The schola focuses on Gregorian chant and sacred polyphony, singing for Latin Mass and other occasions. Both ensembles rehearse once a week, the choir on Wednesday evenings and the schola on Sunday mornings. Our volunteer ensembles bring beauty to the world via sacred music in the Sacred Liturgy. “Indeed, beauty is one of mankind’s greatest needs; it is the root from which the branches of our peace and the fruits of our hope come forth. Beauty also reveals God because, like Him, a work of beauty is pure gratuity; it calls us to freedom and draws us away from selfishness….” [Pope Benedict XVI]
Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
Q.) I don’t know how to read music. Can I sing in the choir?
A.) Please come and join us. We will provide you with tools to assist in your musical growth.
Q.) I heard you have a choir that sings for Mass in the Extraordinary Form. Can I join?
A.) If you are interested in singing for the Schola Sancti Joseph, please contact Anne Marie Donlon: [email protected] for audition information.
Q.) I have never sung in harmony. Is that a problem?
A.) Many of our members began with similar skills. Rehearsals will present, practice and prepare you for everything you need to be successful. Please come and join us.
Q.) Antiphons are new to me. What are they? Where can I find them? Are they difficult?
A.) The antiphons are new for many of us. They are the psalm verses and sentences that form part of the liturgy and have been present in the liturgy for centuries. They are first of the “options” for music in the Roman liturgy. You can find them in your missal. They are recited in “said” Masses and sung in place of hymns, or with hymns in sung Masses. Often, we sing versions which are very easy to learn. As we improve, we’ll begin singing more difficult ones.
Q.) My child and I really want to sing. Can we both join?
A.) Yes! The choir is accepting new members: adults and young people (grades 3 and older).
Anne Marie Donlon, Choirmaster & Organist
Email: [email protected]
Telephone: 804.733.3115, ext. 15