Each summer, prominent Catholics gather in Napa, California for The Napa Institute, a conference bringing together Catholic business leaders, thinkers and theologians. Joining the Napa Institute this July will be a small group from the Jubilate Deo Choir. This will be the first stop in a California tour by the Choir, as they wend their way back to their home base of San Diego.  

The Choir consists of 60 young Catholics, aged 8 to 18. The Choir is able to offer a polyphonic mass setting and full Gregorian propers, Vespers or Compline, plus worship aids for the congregation. They will sing as a full choir, or in smaller groups for more intimate events.

The Jubilate Deo Choir is the premier choir of Canticle, Inc., an organization founded in 2018 at the request of Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, to teach Gregorian Chant and polyphony to young people. Canticle’s mission is “helping people unlock the beauty of timeless music in a way that brings joy and peace”.

Canticle Director Mary Ann Carr Wilson says: “Through the use of patterns found in Gregorian chant, and the integration of our bodily strength, we have an opportunity to amplify and extend our prayers to God through this meditative singing. This fosters recollection and opens the senses more fully. In 2019, Pope Francis himself [promoted] the presence of the Schola Cantorum in every parish community.”

While Canticle undertakes artistic and liturgical preparation to priests, seminarians, choir directors and other adults, it also focuses on teaching this glorious tradition of the Church to young people through its Chant Camps. These camps are week-long courses in which students are guided in preparing Gregorian chants and all the sacred music needed for a Sung Mass, Adoration service, or Holy Hour. The courses have both technical musical instruction and integrated exercises in catechesis.

Twelve members of the full Jubilate Deo choir will participate in the tour and all are alumni of Chant Camp.

In addition to the Napa Institute, the Jubilate Deo tour includes stops at St. Dominic’s in Benecia, Star of the Sea in San Francisco, St. Ann’s Chapel in Palo Alto, and St. Andrew’s in Pasadena.

Story by Gibbons Cooney