“The Christ Church Schola Cantorum… sings beautifully.” Fanfare, Jan/Feb 2010. Founded in 1997 by Stephen Kennedy, the Schola performs the Office of Compline at Christ Church Rochester NY, Sunday evenings, October through April. First-Sunday Candlelight Concerts and Compline was named “The coolest, most unusual music experience in the city…” in Rochester Magazine’s “Our Top Picks of 2014.”
This acclaimed vocal and instrumental ensemble is also an early music laboratory through engagement of historic rehearsal and performance practices. The Schola specializes in Gregorian chant, Renaissance and Baroque choral music, and choral improvisation. It has collaborated with Manfred Cordes and Weser-Renaissance Bremen, Boston Early Music Festival Chamber Players, and organists Edoardo Bellotti, Hans Davidsson, David Higgs, Olivier Latry, William Porter, Joris Verdin, and Harald Vogel. The Schola has been a favorite of festivals and concert series, notably at the annual international Eastman-Rochester Organ Initiative. APM’s Pipe Dreams, Minnesota Public Radio, and WXXI’s With Heart and Voice regularly broadcast tracks, via NPR, from the Schola’s CDs. With organists Edoardo Bellotti and Stephen Kennedy, the Schola and dual organs performed a “guided improvisation” accompaniment to Carl Dryer’s 1928 silent classic La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc for Eastman’s 2014 EROI Festival and the University of Rochester’s interdisciplinary UCIS Cluster on Music and Film. The Schola’s latest CD is of 19th century French choral music with Belgian keyboardist Joris Verdin on Eastman’s vintage Mustel harmonium. The Schola is comprised of Rochester-area musicians, Eastman School of Music faculty and students, and RIT faculty. Participation in the Schola is offered for course credit at the Eastman School of Music.
Rehearsals are Sundays 7:30 – 8:45 P.M., with Compline following at 9:00 – 9:30 P.M. Schola Cantorum may be taken as a one-credit course.