“There is the Music of Heaven in all things and we have forgotten how to hear it until we sing”
–St. Hildegard of Bingen
In Catholic Ministry at Georgetown, music is strongly integrated into the prayer life of the university. As musicians in the service of the Church, the primary mission of Georgetown’s Catholic Music Ministers is to inspire the sung prayer of the university community when it gathers for worship and to enhance the Catholic identity of Georgetown by giving voice to the beauty of the liturgy.
Catholic Music Ministry at Georgetown draws on the rich diversity of the Church’s musical tradition and celebrates a variety of musical styles and genres. Our choirs and ensembles include students, faculty, staff, and alumni of all ages, majors, musical experience, and religious backgrounds. There is a place for everyone in Catholic Music Ministry at Georgetown.
Georgetown Catholic Music Ministry offers a number of opportunities. Using the links below, we invite you to learn more about our Catholic Music Ministry. Should you have any questions, or to express your interest in becoming a music minister, please email Dr. Russell Weismann, Director of Liturgical Music and Organist.
“Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises.” Psalm 98: 4
University Chapel Choir
The Georgetown University Chapel Choir is a skilled liturgical ensemble specializing in the study, rehearsal, and singing of choral literature from all periods, styles, and cultures in the context of the Roman Catholic liturgy. Because of Georgetown’s Jesuit identity, the values of the University Chapel Choir reflect the mission of the university in respect to the sharing of faith, cultivation of leadership, the pursuit of excellence, and service to others.
The Choir is a diverse social community of students reflective of a multitude of academic majors, ages, backgrounds, and choral experience. Although the ability to read music is helpful, it is not required. The qualifications for membership in the group are a pleasant voice and a cooperative attitude. Previous choral experience is helpful, but not necessary. Rehearsals are mandatory.
Occasionally we enjoy masterclasses from guest artists and clinicians, ministerial opportunities off-campus at Washington’s Cathedral of Saint Matthew the Apostle and the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America, and occasionally prepares choral pilgrimages to Italy and Europe.
The Choir meets during the academic term with rehearsals on Thursdays from 7-8: 30 pm and Mass on Sundays at 9 pm (8:15 pm warmup). For more information or to schedule an audition, fill out this form.
7 pm Mass Contemporary Choir
The 7 pm Mass Contemporary Choir sings every Sunday during the academic term at the 7 pm Mass and rehearses immediately before the Mass at 5:30 pm. The group is student coordinated and incorporates voices and instruments with a repertoire focused on energetic contemporary, folk, and praise and worship music. Student members of the 7 pm Mass Contemporary Choir comprise a variety of academic disciplines but are brought together by a communal love of faith and music. Through participation in this choir, members engage themselves in service to one another and to the congregation.
There are no requirements for membership to sing, but interested instrumentalists must audition for membership. For more information, please fill out this form.
Coro en Español
Once per month, Catholic Ministry at Georgetown hosts a Mass in Spanish on Sundays at 3:30 pm. The Coro en Español provides music and facilitates active sung prayer for the Spanish Mass on campus. The ensemble is made up of both volunteer singers and instrumentalists. The musical selections are taken from both the rich tradition of Hispanic liturgical music, as well as new and contemporary compositions.
Rehearsals are held once per month before the scheduled Mass at 2:30 pm. For more information, please fill out this form.
Throughout the semester, the Christian communities at Georgetown come together for Taize prayer, an ecumenical form of worship created by the brothers of the Taize Community in France. These services incorporate simple, repeated songs, multi-lingual prayers, candlelight, and intentional silence. Students with experience as singers or instrumentalists are encouraged to help plan and lead these services. For more information, please contact Laura Henderson.
Catholic Music Ministry Internships
Catholic Music Ministry at Georgetown employs a number of musically gifted students in a variety of internship roles. Assignments vary depending on the skills of each applicant, but generally, there are Internships available for the following positions:
- University Chapel Choir Assistant Director
- 7pm Mass Contemporary Choir Director
- 7pm Mass Contemporary Choir Pianist/Instrumentalists
- Organ Scholars (student organists)
Catholic Music Ministry Interns perform a multitude of tasks, including, but not limited to, accompanying rehearsals, providing musical leadership for liturgical celebrations and special events, promoting Catholic Music Ministry, recruiting new members, and assisting with administrative tasks as needed.
Catholic Music Ministry Interns are expected to be able to read music. Additionally, piano proficiency is required of most positions. A limited number of Music Ministry Internships are available each year by audition only. Interns should be eligible for payment through the federal work-study program, but exceptions can be made in exceptional circumstances. Specific job descriptions are discussed with the Director of Liturgical Music and Organist, Dr. Russell Weismann. Please write to Dr. Weismann for more information or to express your interest.
Majoring in Math but love counting measures?
The University Chapel Choir includes a group of exceptional Choral Scholars who exhibit advanced musical ability and training in vocal performance. Choral Scholars come from various academic disciplines and commit to providing musical leadership and assistance within the University Chapel Choir.
Eligible candidates must be able to commit to the schedule of the University Chapel Choir (Thursday rehearsal 7pm-8:30pm, and Sunday 9pm Mass, 8:15pm call). In addition, various occasional special events are also included (i.e. Candlelight Carols, Senior Parents Weekend Mass, Mass of the Holy Spirit, Baccalaureate Mass).
A limited number of Choral Scholarships are available each year by audition only. Choral Scholars should be eligible for payment through the federal work-study program, but exceptions can be made in exceptional circumstances.
Choral Scholars are offered unrivaled musical opportunities at Georgetown. Dr. Russell Weismann, Director of Liturgical Music and Organist, meets with perspective Choral Scholars throughout the year. Interested persons are encouraged to write to Dr. Weismann
Cantor Ministry is included at all Sunday liturgies at Georgetown. While cantors at the 11am, 7pm, and 9pm Masses are assigned from members of the Music Ministry groups that respectively minister at those Masses, music at the Sunday 5pm Mass is regularly led by separate members of the Cantor Ministry.
The primary role of the Cantor is to proclaim the Responsive Psalm and to lead musical portions of the Mass not sung by the congregation (i.e. Gospel Acclamation verse). While the cantor additionally leads the congregation in their participation in hymns, songs, and service music, their role is not to sing on the congregation’s behalf, but rather to sing with the congregation as a unified body of gathered worshippers.
Because of the specialized nature of the Cantor Ministry, members are carefully auditioned and are required to have the ability to read music and to rehearse independently of an accompanist. Due to these require skills, qualified members of the Cantor Ministry are provided a stipend for their time preparing their ministry. Cantors should be eligible for payment through the federal work-study program, but exceptions can be made in exceptional circumstances. For more information, please fill out this form.
Pipedreams is a program of late night musical programs held three times per semester in Dahlgren Chapel of the Sacred Heart. Dubbed, “nighttime music for the soul,” pipedreams seeks to promote musical art on campus by providing performance opportunities to qualified student singers and instrumentalists. Within a darkened chapel, members of the Georgetown University community enjoy contemplative and enriching musical performances, each lasting about 30 minutes in duration. Each program takes place at 11pm. Fall 2019 schedule will be posted at the start of the semester.