About

About

The members of the Saint Ambrose Schola Cantorum create beautiful music in the context of worship, through singing Gregorian Chant, motets, and both classic and contemporary masters. Our instrument is the human voice: it is the only living instrument, coming from a living, breathing being with a soul. The schola creates an organic continuity in worship as it sings throughout the Mass, expressing the unity of those who gather.

The schola’s mission to its members is to teach excellence in the arts and to prepare members for a career in professional music. We rely on a collaborative rehearsal environment where voices and opinions are heard equally. We learn from one another, we work in a positive environment, and we encourage openness in rehearsals. To be an individual artist and a joyful collaborator is a fine balance that is only achieved when an ensemble works together as colleagues and equals.

Members do not need to be Catholic, Christian, or of any faith background. A commitment to and desire for beautiful music is all the background you need.

Patronage of Saint Ambrose

Saint Ambrose was one of the Church’s earliest authors of hymns. Antiphonal chant, or Ambrosian chant, is named after him, as is the Ambrosian rite, which is still practiced in the archdiocese of Milan, Italy. Through his life, Saint Ambrose was a prolific and devoted contributor to the Church’s vast treasure of sacred music. The Schola singers model themselves after this industrious, artistic, and prolific saint of the Church.

Inspiration

The singing of the Church comes ultimately out of love. It is the utter depth of love that produces the singing. “Cantare amantis est”, says St. Augustine, singing is a lover’s thing. [Pope Benedict XVI, The Spirit of the Liturgy, (SF, CA: Ignatius, 2000), p. 142]

As a manifestation of the human spirit, music performs a function which is noble, unique, and irreplaceable. When it is truly beautiful and inspired, it speaks to us more than all the other arts of goodness, virtue, peace, of matters holy and divine. Not for nothing has it always been, and will it always be, an essential part of the liturgy. – Saint Pope John Paul II (1989)

The importance of music in biblical religion is shown very simply by the fact that the verb “to sing” (with related words such as “song”, and. so forth) is one of the most commonly used words in the Bible. It occurs 309 times in the Old Testament and thirty-six in the New. When man comes into contact with God, mere speech is not enough. Areas of his existence are awakened that spontaneously turn into song. Indeed, man’s own being is insufficient for what he has to express, and so he in­vites the whole of creation to become a song with him: “Awake, my soul! Awake, O harp and lyre! I will awake the dawn! I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations. For your steadfast love is great to the heavens, your faithful­ness to the clouds.” (Ps 57:8f.). [Pope Benedict XVI, The Spirit of the Liturgy, (SF, CA: Ignatius, 2000), p. 136]

Questions?

Contact Edward Atkinson, sing@edwardatkinson.com.

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