Sunday, 30 January 2011 15:22

Regional youth choirs to celebrate festival, Mass at Cathedral

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Young Catholic choristers from parishes and schools throughout Illinois and Missouri will gather at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield on Saturday, Feb. 26 for a choral festival and Mass sponsored by the American Federation Pueri Cantores. Nichol DelGiorno, liturgical music coordinator and liturgy director at Cathedral, will host the event.

Pueri Cantores, the official student choral organization of the Catholic Church, involves more than 60,000 singers in 35 countries. Each year, Pueri Cantores organizes choral festivals and Masses for Roman Catholic parish and school treble and mixed-voice choirs in cathedrals and churches around the United States.

The singers join together as one large combined choir to prepare and present liturgical music whose repertoire spans 1,500 years — from Gregorian chant to masterworks of the 20th and 21st centuries.

“Ours is one of 12 regional festivals (in the United States),” says DelGiorno. “This is the first time the festival has been held at Cathedral, so I’m excited. We (at Cathedral) have participated before, as have several other children’s choirs from the diocese.” Choirs from the dioceses of Springfield, St. Louis, Belleville, Jefferson City, Peoria, and Springfield-Cape Girardeau will be involved in the event.

Individual choirs who come to the festival are responsible for knowing the music when they arrive, DelGiorno says. “It is an all-day event, but the culmination of the whole day is the 4 o’clock Mass. Each choir is also invited to sing a piece on its own a half-hour before Mass.”

Father Peter Harman, pastor of Cathedral, will preside at the Mass and nationally recognized conductor Christine Jordanoff will conduct the singers. Jordanoff is director of Choral Organizations at Duquesne University and artistic director of the Children’s Festival Chorus Program in Pittsburgh.

Registration for the regional festival at Cathedral is open until Feb. 12. For more information, go to the Pueri Cantores website at  or contact Nichol DelGiorno at (217) 522-3342, ext. 135.