The Marquette University Liturgical Choir is a fifty to sixty member choral ensemble through the Office of Campus Ministry and the Department of Performing Arts; this ensemble can be taken as a 1 credit or zero credit course. The choir’s mission is to serve the liturgy by promoting congregational participation and fostering prayer among the faithful. This is accomplished through “a high level of skill and a broad range of repertoire at campus Liturgies” as directed by the United States Catholic bishops. (Sing to the Lord: Music in Divine Worship 56, 30) The choir is devoted to the study, rehearsal, and singing of choral literature from all periods, styles, and cultures in the context of the Roman Catholic Liturgical tradition. The ensemble provides music for the Sunday 4 p.m. Liturgies at the Church of the Gesu as well as all-university Liturgies. The group also serves the larger community through performances, parish outreach, and optional service projects throughout the year. Because of Marquette’s Catholic, Jesuit identity, this choir embodies and exemplifies the four components of the university’s mission: that of faith, leadership, excellence, and service. In addition, the Liturgical Choir is a faith community: students support one another and grow in faith together. Membership is by audition and is open to undergraduate and graduate students of any faith tradition.
The choir has sung in concert with nationally-known liturgical composer Dan Schutte and for Archbishop Desmond Tutu upon his receipt of the Pere Marquette Award in 2003. The choir also performs two annual concerts: the December Lessons and Carols concert - a collaborative event including the Marquette Chorus, Chamber Choir, and the Naturals (a small men's ensemble) - and the spring concert in April. The Liturgical Choir also sings the national anthem at men's basketball games, collaborates with other choirs for Sunday liturgies on campus, participates in service projects throughout the year, and sings at area parishes twice a year. All members go on retreat in the beginning of the fall and spring semester in order to get to know one another, pray together, relax, sing and have fun.
Rehearsals are held each week on Wednesday evenings from 5:00-7:00 p.m. in the Chapel of the Holy Family. Rehearsals are mandatory for participation in the group. For more information, email the director Tom Koester or call (414) 288-3695.
Thomas Koester, the Director of the Liturgical Choir, holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in music from Carnegie-Mellon University and a Master of Church Music from Scarritt Graduate School, Nashville, TN.