For over a century, Saint Vincent de Paul Parish has had a proud tradition of fine music making. As generations of people raise their voices in song, our music itself serves as an offering of praise and thanksgiving to God.
The Music Ministry serves to inspire and uplift these voices, providing a program as diverse as our people. Drawing from the entire treasury of the Church’s repertoire, you’ll encounter everything from medieval chant and renaissance motets to the most contemporary literature.
Both trained professionals and amateurs alike make up our roster of musicians and we are continually seeking new members. If you play an instrument or have a pleasant singing voice, please consider one of our many music-making opportunities.
Saint Vincent Chamber Chorale
The Saint Vincent Chamber Chorale regularly sings the 10:00 a.m. Sunday liturgy. The chorale explores all types of traditional sacred choral music with an emphasis on developing artistic skills such as sight singing, ensemble singing and basic music theory.
Rehearsals are on Wednesday evenings from 7:00 to 9:00 in the Parish Center during the Chorale’s season which runs from Labor Day to the Feast of Corpus Christi in early June. Membership is by audition which can be arranged at any time through the Music Office.
Saint Vincent Ensemble
Music for the Sunday 5:00 p.m. Mass is led by the Saint Vincent Ensemble, a contemporary group which explores musical styles including folk, pop, jazz and Taizé. In addition to a full complement of singers rounding out part singing, all customary orchestral instruments are utilized.
The Ensemble is especially designed for musicians who cannot commit to weekly evening rehearsals by meeting early before each Sunday Mass to prepare. The group convenes year-round and membership is open at all times.
Cantors and Instrumentalists
Cantors provide musical leadership at all principle parish liturgies including weekends, holy days, and other major celebrations. Cantors are selected by audition through the Music Office.
In additional to the Saint Vincent Ensemble, instrumentalists are used in various liturgies for special occasions. The Music Office maintains a roster of available musicians for needs as they arise.
The Lyon & Healy Pipe Organ, Opus 80
The Lyon & Healy Company of Chicago built and installed the organ in November 1901. It is one of the first electro-pneumatic instruments of its kind and was the third largest instrument built by the firm. The organ sounds much as it did at the turn of the previous century and remains a classic example of a Romantic-American organ.
The organ has 50 ranks, numbering just under 3,000 pipes, that are distributed over swell, great, and choir divisions. Many unique orchestral stops such as the bell clarinet and nine ranks of strings contribute to the grand symphonic tonality of the instrument.
Since taking its first breath in November of 1901, the most prominent voice in liturgy at Saint Vincent has been the magnificent Lyon & Healy pipe organ. With 50 individual sets of pipes (ranks) played over three manuals (keyboards), the organ has over 3,000 individual pipes. The mechanics of the instrument have been updated, but the original pipework of this historic instrument has been restored to its original glory of over a century ago.
In keeping with the style of American organs at the end of the Nineteenth Century, our organ was built in a romantic, symphonic style with a full range of sounds capable of imitating the sound of an entire orchestra. Although few organs of Lyon & Healy remain today, this is the second largest still in existence and its voice can be heard praising God virtually every Sunday just as it did over a century ago.