Music at Saint Ignatius
St Cecilia window in the former choir loft.
Click here for a high resolution image of the window.
In this time of Covid-19 and the reasonable limitations put in place on congregational and choral music for public health reasons, as well as our finances, our liturgical music is less elaborate than it has been in the past.
In this Covid-tide, therefore, on Sundays at 11 AM at Solemn Mass and feast day services, our Organist and Choirmaster Dr Richard Porterfield offers the music of liturgy, playing organ preludes and postludes and singing the ordinary and proper of the mass. We invariably sing the Gregorian chant minor propers (brief passages from scripture that are appropriate to the particular day and season set to music) according to the historic Catholic sources. In the summer and in Lent, and other occasions, we use the plainchant ordinary of the mass (Kyries, Gloria, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei) from the same sources. On Sundays from September through Trinity Sunday and on feast days we sing a variety of mass settings by composers from the middle ages through the present day performed by Dr Porterfield, accompanied on our Klop chamber organ. From time to time music of the mass will be offered by our new volunteer schola or one of our ensembles-in-residence.
You will find a list of our upcoming liturgical music here.
Our grand organ was built in 1966 by the Canadian firm Casavant Frères, and renovated in 1981 and 2009. It has electropneumatic action governing 44 ranks of pipes distributed over four divisions (three manuals plus pedal). Designed in the “American Classic” style with a strong French cast, it is suited particularly for repertoire from the Baroque, Romantic, and Modern periods, and for accompanying congregational singing.
Our single-manual chamber organ was built for us in 2015 by the Dutch firm Klop Early Keyboard Instruments. Its four ranks of pipes are governed by mechanical action, with wind supplied by an electric blower. A handsome oak casing contributes to the mellowness of its tone, which nevertheless resounds throughout the church. It is especially useful for accompanying soloists and small ensembles, and for early keyboard repertoires.
How you can help.
Tax-deductible contributions to the Saint Ignatius Music Fund, in any amount, are welcome and will be used for the music program if you make your check payable to “St. Ignatius’ Church” and indicate “Music Fund.” You may also underwrite the cost of the music on any Sunday or at a major festival by becoming a mass sponsor. At this time $500 will cover the full expenses, but donations from $150 up are welcome to support part of the cost of the music. Music sponsors may designate their gifts as memorials or in honor of some person or event. A notice of such designations will be printed in the service leaflet. To sponsor music, please email the Church office.