September 13, 2017

Twelve members of the Sistine Chapel Choir and their director will offer a rare glimpse into the performance of sacred music on Wednesday, Sept. 20, from 10 a.m. to noon, when they discuss and sing selections by several renowned Renaissance composers during a workshop at The Catholic University of America.

The workshop — “Selecting and Teaching Music for the Pope’s Choir” — will take place almost two years to the day that Pope Francis celebrated Mass on campus as part of his historic visit to the United States. The event is open to the public.

The workshop is a rare opportunity to learn from the  musicians who sing for the Holy Father at significant papal celebrations and liturgies, including Christmas Eve Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica. The choir members and their director, Monsignor Massimo Palombella, will talk about Gregorian chant as well as the works of composers Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, Tomás Luis de Victoria, and Orlando di Lasso.

The workshop is especially significant for Catholic University and its Benjamin T. Rome School of Music, which have close ties to the Vatican. The School of Music — one of the schools in the United States with a dedicated program for composing new liturgical music and preserving the Catholic canon — has performed for the Holy Father at the Vatican several times in the past and for both Pope Francis and Pope Benedict XVI during their visits to Catholic University.

The workshop precedes a free performance by the Sistine Chapel Choir at 6 p.m. Sept. 20 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Great Upper Church. The Basilica performance is part of a three-city tour by the choir that also includes performances at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City on Sept. 16 and the Detroit Opera House on Sept. 23.

The workshop will take place from 10 a.m. to noon in the University’s Caldwell Hall Auditorium. Catholic University is located at 620 Michigan Ave., N.E., Washington, D.C.

MEDIA: To schedule an interview or attend the workshop, reporters must contact the Office of Marketing and Communications at or 202-319-5600.