St. Thomas Aquinas Sacred Music

Music ministry of St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church (Dallas, Texas)

STA Sacred Music is the music ministry of St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in the Lakewood area of Dallas, TX

Mission: Through music, we fulfill God’s instructions to sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs and to praise Him with musical instruments. By dedication and diligent rehearsal, we seek to offer the best music as an offering to God. Our music program provides leadership for worship and offers our parishioners the opportunity for Christian service, spiritual growth, and musical education through the various choirs. We receive many blessings from the various talents of our parish members as they generously donate their time and musical gifts. Each person offers a unique talent that God bestows upon him or her. Together, we rehearse and perfect beautiful moments that we pray will nourish the souls of the parish and provide glimpses into the beauty of the Divine. Find out more on the parish website.

François Couperin - Two mass parts

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Marvin Judy of the Schudi Organ Company- the company that built our beloved pipe organ. Marvin passed away at his home on Saturday evening after a bout with pancreatic cancer. In many ways, Schudi Opus 6 has lost its father.

Requiescat in Pace.

Michael Conrady plays the Schudi organ of St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Dallas, Texas. This is the magnum opus of organ builder Marvin Judy who passed away Fe...

“Alleluia! Alleluia! Praise with us the God of grace.” Today we celebrated the last Sunday in Ordinary Time, which provided the perfect occasion to let ring our glad alleluias before Lent.

We are excited to announce that the East Texas Pipe Organ Festival will be featuring our own Schudi organ in concert! Concert organist Peter Dubois will present a spectacular concert, free to the public, at 8pm on Tuesday, November 12. Bring a friend!

This year marks the 41st anniversary of the installation of the Schudi organ. Installed in the summer of 1978, the organ was immediately hailed as a masterpiece. The combination of the near-perfect acoustics of our church and the beauty of the organ’s tones quickly established the Schudi organ‘s reputation not only in this country, but around the world.

Within our parish, this remarkable instrument has provided musical accompaniment for countless liturgies. Its soaring music has lifted our souls at weddings, funerals, graduations, prayer services, and concerts. Additionally, our pipe organ has been featured on a number of recordings and the list of famous organists who have played concerts here reads like a veritable a “who’s who” of the organ world.

The concert is sure to be a fantastic musical event you won’t want to miss.

Introducing the St. Thomas Aquinas Choristers!

This fall, a new chorister program was ushered in at St. Thomas. This program finds its roots in the long-standing Anglican choral tradition. Drawn from grades 3-8 and 9-12, choristers attend their own rehearsals throughout the week. Every other Sunday, they join with the St. Francis adult choir to sing the 9:00 mass. The choristers sing the treble (soprano) role and the adult choir supplies the other SATB roles.

The advantages of this approach are many:

* Allows the choristers to sing sacred repertoire they ordinarily wouldn’t experience as part of a children’s choir
* Provides the choristers with the experience of singing in a choir with multiple parts
* Creates special opportunities for musical leadership as the choristers sing solo parts and lead selected portions of the liturgy
* Prepares choristers for lifelong musical ministry

The STA Chorister program is directed by Carol Anne Taylor. If your child is interested, please contact us to find out more and get them enrolled!

Bravissimo!!! John Tatarinoff, our former Organ Scholar, has just won First Prize at the 11th Taraverdiev International Organ Competition, held in Kalingrad, Russia!!

Our parish has been blessed by John’s immense talent during his 2-year tenure at St Thomas. We are thrilled at this recent achievement and we know that John will go on to great success as an organist and pastoral musician.

Congratulations, John!!

Results announced for 11th Mikael Tariverdiev International Organ Competition
Chords from Mikael Tariverdiev’s Cassandra organ concerto ushered in the closing ceremony of the eleventh competition bearing the composer’s name. A few hours prior, during the final press conference, Christophe Mantoux, the head of the jury, told journalists about the numerous awards and prizes that the young organists were to receive from jury members as well as honorary guests. Ivan Tatarinov from the United States was the recipient of the Dom Cathedral Special Prize as well as an invitation to play concerts in Hamburg and Lübeck. Christian Gross, from Germany, received several such invitations from various cities in Russia. For the first time in the competition’s history, the Moscow Conservatory Prize was awarded. It went to Vladimir Korolevsky, a Russian organist who also won the audience award. The American Andrew Morris’s artistic finesse was especially noted, and he is due to play a concert at the Shostakovich St Petersburg Philharmonic. The latter two musicians also received a special award For Best Performance of Works by Mikael Tariverdiev. Vera Tariverdieva, the competition’s artistic director, presented the Faith, Hope, Love award to Mahela Reichstatt from Germany, noting that the name of that award was also a wish to all competition participants.
Oliver Brett (UK) and Christian Gross (Germany) were awarded diplomas.
The third place was split among Vladimir Korolevsky (Russia) and Andrew Morris (USA).
The second place went to Lilia Pechenkina (Russia).
The winner of this organ marathon, the unique, charismatic Ivan Tatarinov (USA) was handed the amber angel, the competition’s mascot, by the head of the jury. His Fantasia concluded the winners’ concert. This powerful and unorthodox piece allowed the organist to showcase both his technique and his talent as a composer; it was a highlight of the concert and the beginning of a vivid musical relationship between the audience and the musicians whose concerts will now be eagerly awaited here.

Sing to the Lord! Our wonderful choirs are back for a new season. And what a season... it’s shaping up to be our best ever!

In fact, there’s never been a better time to join choir. If you love beautiful choral music and are interested in being a part of this vital ministry, drop us a line. We’d love to hear from you!

It is our distinct pleasure to announce the appointment of our new organ scholar, Michael Soto!

Michael Soto earned his Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied with Frank Speller and Gerre Hancock. He then spent two years studying privately with Vincent Warnier at the church of St-Etienne-du-Mont in Paris. He has served as organist and music director in churches across the U.S., as well as in France and Tunisia. Most recently, he was Director of Music at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Flossmoor, IL and was the accompanist of the Grande Prairie Choral Arts Society. He has performed frequently in the Chicago area in recitals and choral festivals. In 2016, Michael was a guest soloist with the Southwest Symphony Orchestra for a performance of the Saint-Saëns Organ Symphony, and in 2018, Michael performed on the organ recital series at Loyola University in Chicago. Currently, Michael is a student of Jesse Eschbach at the University of North Texas, where he is pursuing a Master of Music in organ performance and early music.

Ecce panis Angelorum! For the Feast of Corpus Christi, the church offers us a special and unusual opportunity to sing the sequence hymn ‘Lauda Sion Salvatorem’ immediately before the Alleluia. This magnificent Eucharistic hymn was written by St. Thomas Aquinas in 1264, at the same time that Pope Urban IV instituted the Feast of Corpus Christi. Our English version of this hymn is appropriately set to the well-known hymn tune ST THOMAS.

Although sequences were much more commonly sung in medieval times, by 1570, their number was reduced to four in the Tridentine Rite. ‘Stabat Mater’ was added in 1727 to bring this number to five. While few sequences are brief, ‘Lauda Sion Salvatorem’ contains 24(!) verses. This weekend, we will sing a shortened form containing only the first and the last portions of the hymn, undoubtedly to the relief of our congregation.

What’s in a name? This weekend’s postlude, “Wir Glauben all in einen Gott, (We all believe in one true God) is a mighty fugue by J. S. Bach based on the words of the creed which declare our faith in the Trinitarian God. Notice the pedal line- the bass line enters a number of times throughout the piece in an ascending pattern which many people believe represents ‘steps of faith!’

Our fearless leader Michael Conrady leads the choir through another beautiful Christmas mass.

Timeline Photos

[03/26/16]   A little Triduum Trivia (and musically themed, of course):

St. Thomas Aquinas's famous hymn, Pange Lingua Gloriosi Corporis Mysterium, was written for the Feast of Corpus Christi, but is also sung on Maundy Thursday, during the procession from the church to the place where the Blessed Sacrament is kept until Good Friday. (At our parish, the Blessed Sacrament resides where Saint Joseph normally stands.) The last two stanzas of Pange Lingua Gloriosi Corporis Mysterium, called separately Tantum Ergo, are sung at Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.

Perhaps lesser known is the piece that inspired St. Thomas's famous work: Pange Lingua Gloriosi Proelium Certaminis, written by Venantius Fortunatus, a Latin poet and hymnodist in the Merovingian Court, and a Bishop of the early Catholic Church. A portion of this piece, known as Crux Fidelis, has been performed by the St. Thomas Aquinas Choir on several occasions.

[03/17/16]   This Sunday, March 20th, at 3:00 p.m., hear a musical telling of the Passion of Christ according to St. John!

The St. Thomas Aquinas Choir and the combined 3rd-8th grade Children's Choirs of St. Thomas will be accompanied by strings, brass, percussion, and organs in the performance of Bob Chilcott's St. John Passion.

Admission is free.

Bob Chilcott is a contemporary British composer and one of the most prominent sacred choral composers of our time. In the British choral tradition, children sing along with adults in liturgy and performances of sacred music. For the first time in many years, Maestro Conrady and STA Children's Choir Director Carol Anne Taylor have arranged for the St. Thomas Aquinas Choir to be joined by our children's choirs for a performance in this tradition.

Chilcott's music is not only beautiful and expressive, but also accessible, making it a "family-friendly" passion experience. So, invite your friends and join us for a biblical, sorrowful, evocative, and ultimately optimistic one-hour journey as we celebrate Palm Sunday and move forward into Holy Week.

[03/02/16]   St. Thomas Aquinas Lenten Concert Series continues this Friday, March 4th, immediately following Stations of the Cross (approximately 8:00 p.m.). This week, the Gyros String Quartet reprises its popular rendition of The Seven Last Words of Christ by Franz Joseph Haydn.

Composed in 1785 for a Good Friday Service at the Cathedral in Cadiz, Spain, this work is comprised of a series of meditations on the stations of the cross. Haydn's deep religious conviction shows in this beautiful composition. It was acclaimed so much in its original version for full orchestra that the composer was moved to write this version for string quartet, along with one for solo piano, and even an adaptation for full oratorio forces.

Even though they are called a string "quartet," Gyros will be five players for this concert since Haydn calls for the addition of a string bass to the standard string quartet instrumentation: two violins, viola, and cello.

Pray the stations at 7:00 on Friday and then stay to hear how they inspired a great composer.

Gyros String Quartet - What’s New | BLOG: Lenten Music, part 1

Don't miss a fantastic concert to kick off your Lenten observances tonight following Stations of the Cross! Acclaimed soprano Camille King and the Gyros String Quartet present a short (40 mins) program of baroque devotional Marian pieces. Stations start at 7, program starts at 8. Free admittance, as always. For more info- check out this blog entry:

[12/25/15]   You sang like ANGELS. Merry Christmas, y'all!

The sanctuary was especially peaceful and still last night after wrapping final rehearsals for today. We are so excited to sing with you!

Remember: The last Mass tonight begins at 9pm, with lessons and carols preceding at 8pm! THERE IS NO MIDNIGHT MASS this year.

Join us tomorrow morning at 9am for our annual Thanksgiving Organ Concert held before the 9:30 Thanksgiving Day mass. Our very own Carol Anne Taylor will be playing a beautiful concert on the Schudi Pipe Organ featuring a number of unique pieces. Don't miss it!

Duruflé Requiem dress rehearsal this morning. We're all excited. See you Monday at 7pm!

Remember: the concert is FREE and open to the public. Invite (and bring) friends!

Concert: All Souls Day Vespers and Requiem

All Souls Day Vespers and Requiem will be on Monday, November 2. Vespers will begin at 7pm followed promptly by the Duruflé Requiem. Admittance is free and the public is invited to attend!

This is a much beloved tradition not only in our parish, but in churches around the world. We hope to see you there. All Souls Day Vespers and Requiem featuring Requiem by Maurice Duruflé, Op. 9 Performed by: The St Thomas Aquinas Choir Michael Conrady, director Jonathan Ryan, organist Janna Hinebaugh, mezzo-soprano Patrick Gnage, baritone

[07/23/15]   "I feel that our souls are moved to the ardor of piety by the sacred words more piously and powerfully when these words are sung than when they are not sung, and that all the affections of our soul in their variety have modes of their own in song and chant by which they are stirred up by an indescribable and secret sympathy."

- Saint Augustine, Confessions

[04/20/15]   Just a few hours to go! Soon we'll be enjoying works by Marchand, Bach, Franck, Gigout, Vierne, and Dupre, performed by Johann Vexo on our beloved pipe organ. The recital begins at 7:30pm and admission is free. See y'all soon!

[04/16/15]   Don't miss this organ recital!

St. Thomas Aquinas Music Department presents an organ recital by Johann Vexo on Monday, April 20, 7:30pm. Mr. Vexo is an internationally known performer and is a former organist at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France.

Don't miss this opportunity to hear our beloved pipe organ in what will surely be a recital to remember.

The concert includes works by Marchand, Bach, Franck, Gigout, Vierne, and Dupre. Free admission.

Alleluia! Christos anesti!

We brought Resucito back to the 9am Mass. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.

Here's wishing you a holy and happy day with family and friends. From all of us to you: Happy Easter!

Holy Thursday, 2015

If you're not here, you should be! Almost time!

Last concert in this series. Don't miss it! Stations begin at 7pm and the concert begins at 8pm. There is no charge and all are welcome.

There will also be a fish fry happening at the school, courtesy of the Knights of Columbus, so plan to make an evening of it! Dinner for you and yours, stations, a wonderful concert -- sounds like a pretty great evening to us!

THIS FRIDAY! Don't miss out. Spread the word and bring friends. We'll see you after Stations of the Cross!

[03/18/15]   Wasn't St. Rita's Schola Cantorum fantastic? We were so thrilled to host them in concert. Thank you, St. Rita Catholic Church - Dallas, for lending them to us for the evening!

Don't forget, it's this Friday! Invite your friends!

[03/03/15]   St. Thomas Aquinas Lenten Concert Series presents:

Penance and Promise: A Lenten Concert

sung by the Schola Cantorum of St. Rita Catholic Church under the direction of Dr. Al Calabrese

Featuring the music of Stanford, Purcell, Durufle, Latona, Perosi, and much more

Friday, March 13, 8:00pm
Following Stations of the Cross (7:00pm)
Free admittance

Promises to be a great concert. Don't miss it!

The Palestrina Singers just finished beautiful music for the 6pm Ash Wednesday Mass at the time of this post. The group is a semi-professional ensemble that specializes in performing sacred polyphony, particularly pieces composed in the 16th century.

If you haven't made it yet, you can enjoy the beautiful sounds of this talented group at 8pm, the last Mass of the evening.

Thanks to the individuals who provided this beauty tonight. Your efforts are greatly appreciated.

[01/19/15]   From the GIRM (General Instruction of the Roman Missal):

The Christian faithful who come together as one in expectation of the Lord’s coming are instructed by the Apostle Paul to sing together Psalms, hymns, and spiritual canticles (cf. Col 3:16). Singing is the sign of the heart’s joy (cf. Acts 2:46). Thus St. Augustine says rightly, “Singing is for one who loves,” and there is also an ancient proverb: “Whoever sings well prays twice over.”

The sign of the heart's JOY. How beautiful. Sing out, everyone!

[01/04/15]   Merry Christmas and happy Epiphany!

The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.”

And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying:

“Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

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