Featured Event

Fall Term Workshops

Join us on Zoom as we present a series of Monday evening workshops on helpful topics:

  • Gregorian Psalm Tones
  • Techniques for Teaching Gregorian Chant to Your Parish Choir
  • Solfège 101: Solfège Basics & How to Use It to Learn and Teach Basic Chants

Workshops begin Monday, September 25th.



Starting Sept. 25, 2023








Upcoming Events



Gregorian Psalm Tones

Mondays, September 25 & October 2, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m., PDT

Join us for two Monday evenings as Dr. Donelson-Nowicka explains how to chant the Psalms according to the Gregorian psalm tones.

You’ll study the anatomy of a psalm tone, the relationship between the tone and the mode, as well as the relationship between the tone and the antiphon. The workshop will focus on how to point the text (put the correct notes on the correct syllables) according to the required accentuation patterns and preparatory syllables. Dynamics and tempo considerations for the phrasing will also be addressed. Sessions will present the texts sung in Latin.


5:30 p.m. PDT



Techniques for Teaching Gregorian Chant to Your Parish Choir

Mondays, October 16 and 23, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m., PDT

Are you looking to refresh your pedagogical techniques so that your parish choir feels confident and enthusiastic about singing Gregorian chant? Join Dr. Donelson-Nowicka as she covers different teaching techniques to start a new chant with your choir, help them feel more confident on the melodic intervals in the melody, and have a strong sense of the phrasing in the piece.


5:30 p.m. PDT



Sacred Music Retreat

October 21 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm PDT $10
“Cantare Amantis Est” – Singing is for the One Who Loves.

Open to SotS choir members, parishioners, and the public
10:00am to 4:00pm

Join us for a day-long retreat, learning to sing Gregorian chant and to understand how the music shapes our worship of God. The event is open to choir members,
music directors, and clergy. The $10 registration fee includes lunch.



10 a.m.



A Treasure of Inestimable Value: Discovering Our Catholic Heritage and Learning to Pray through Gregorian Chant

Mater Dolorosa Church, South San Francisco, CA

Join us for a day-long workshop with Dr. Donelson-Nowicka!

10:00 – Intro, Talk – A Treasure of Inestimable Value: What the Church Says about Gregorian Chant
10:45 – Rehearsal – Introduction to reading neumatic notation, singing the seasonal Marian antiphons
12:00 – Lunch
1:15 – Talk – Thinking with the Church about Sacred Music, and Learning to Pray with Sacred Music
2:00 – Rehearsal – Singing the Mass Ordinary
3:00 – Break
3:30 – Talk – The Musical Shape of the Liturgy
4:00 – Rehearsal – Singing the Mass Proper
4:45 – End of workshop



10 a.m.



Solfège 101: Solfège Basics & How to Use It to Learn and Teach Basic Chants

Mondays, October 30, November 6, and 13, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m., PDT/PST

Designed and paced for absolute beginners to solfège, and presenting teaching models for those music directors who teach chant novices, this series will cover the basics of solfège, focusing on major-mode patterns familiar to the modern ear. Attendees will learn drills for improving their ability to use the solfège syllables to sight-sing and audiate (hear the music in their minds). Exercises will be applied in easy chants within the repertoire that are accessible to new singers of chant.


5:30 p.m. PDT



Low Style and High Style in Catholic England – Lecture by Kerry McCarthy

Tuesday, November 7, 2023
5:45 p.m.-6:45 p.m.
A reception follows the in-person event
Location: St. Patrick’s Seminary, 320 Middlefield Rd, Menlo Park, CA – Sancta Maria Hall & online via livestream

Pre-Reformation England is known for having produced some incredibly complex choral music, as epitomized in the big motets and Magnificats of the Eton Choirbook. The English church around 1500 also had room for many other kinds of music, including much simpler ways of composing, various improvisatory techniques, and what we might call “low style” in all its varieties. It was a complex and healthy musical ecosystem that contained a great diversity of singing styles. We can explore this continuum with help from the testimonies of early Tudor singers, the resources they used, and the reports of contemporary listeners (including the traveling scholar Erasmus, who was notoriously unimpressed with both English high style and English low style.) A brief musical tour of pre-Reformation England may also offer some insights to liturgical musicians five centuries later.
This lecture is part of the Ron Alexander Memorial Lectures in Musicology of the Stanford University Department of Music, part of the “Musical Shape of the Liturgy” Conference, and part of the Catholic Institute of Sacred Music’s Public Lecture and Concert Series.


5:45 p.m. PDT



The Musical Shape of the Liturgy: Celebrating the Life & Work of William P. Mahrt

Tuesday, November 7, 2023–Thursday, November 9, 2023

Having devoted his life and scholarly activity to the study and praxis of the Roman rite and its music, the work of Dr. William Mahrt has become a touchstone for countless scholars and active church musicians. Professor Mahrt’s insights into the characteristics of the various forms of Gregorian chant have elucidated the nature of the chant as integral to the sacred liturgy, and even explicated the nature of the sacred liturgy itself. Too, his exposition of the nature of beauty and its embodiment in Catholic sacred music, liturgical gestures and symbols, and architecture has served as an important guide in the Church’s understanding of the purpose of artistic beauty in Divine worship. His work with the polyphonic masters of the Renaissance has illuminated the performances and scholarship of many choirs and students, and his devoted direction of the St. Ann Choir and Stanford Early Music Singers remains a pillar in the practice of sacred music in the United States.

On the occasion of the 150th volume of Sacred Music, which Dr. Mahrt has edited since 2006, upon the establishment of a new chair in sacred music at St. Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo Park in his name, and on the occasion of the 125th anniversary of the founding of St. Patrick’s Seminary, the organizing committee announces a conference entitled “The Musical Shape of the Liturgy: Celebrating the Life and Work of William P. Mahrt.”

This two-and-a-half-day conference will feature:

  • Keynote addresses (William Mahrt, Joseph Dyer, Kerry McCarthy, Sr. Maria Kiely, O.S.B.)
  • Over 30 papers, lecture recitals, and panel discussions on topics related to the conference theme
  • Masses and the sung Divine Office led by the St. Ann Choir + Singer Friends and the Schola Cantorum of St. Patrick’s Seminary
  • Opportunities for informal discussions over included receptions and lunches on November 7, 8, and 9
  • Banquet on the evening of November 8

Pre-Conference – Sing with the St. Ann Choir!

Singers are invited to join Dr. Mahrt and friends as they prepare music for Vespers on Tuesday, Nov. 7th and Mass on Wednesday, Nov. 8th. Rehearsals will be held in the morning and afternoon on Tuesday, Nov. 7th. Singers must be available for the rehearsals and liturgies in order to participate. To sign up, select the “Full Conference + Sing with St. Ann Choir” registration option on the registration page.


All Day



Advent & Christmas Concert – St. Patrick’s Seminary Schola Cantorum, Directed by Dr. Jennifer Donelson-Nowicka

Join us for a festive concert of Advent and Christmas music, featuring music from the Cancioneros of Upsala and Belém, Fauré, Rachmaninoff, California Mission Choirbooks, Gregorian Chant, and Christmas favorites from the U.S., Philippines, and Ukraine. 

A grand reception follows the concert.