the grand Choral Concert will take place, also in the Paul VI Audience Hall Photo: Vatican Media

Choirs from around the world arrive at the Vatican to meet with the Pope

Global Choirs to Gather in Vatican for 40th Anniversary Celebration of Rome Diocese Choir

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(ZENIT News / Rome, 06.04.2024).- Choirs from around the world are set to converge in the Vatican from June 7 to 9 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Choir of the Diocese of Rome. This event, promoted by the Diocese Choir and organized by Nova Opera, is sponsored by the Dicastery for Culture and Education and the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music. The gathering will be held in the Paul VI Audience Hall and the Papal Basilica of St. Peter.

The International Conference, moderated by Monsignor Marco Frisina—renowned composer and founder of the Diocese Choir—will kick off on Friday, June 7. Esteemed experts in sacred and liturgical music from across the globe will participate in the conference.

Professor Robert Mehlhart, Dean of PIMS, will discuss musical education. Monsignor Marco Pavan, Director of the Sistine Chapel Choir, will delve into the application of sacred music in papal liturgies. Professor Franz Karl Praßl, former President of the Austrian Commission for Sacred Music, will explore Gregorian chant from historical and liturgical perspectives. Composers and liturgists Don Fabio Massimillo and H.J. Botor will provide insights into liturgical-musical animation. Additionally, workshops led by Maestro Fabrizio Barchi, Professor and Choir Director, and Maestro Emanuele Faiola, Deputy Director of the Diocese Choir, will engage musicians and choristers directly.

A highlight of the event will be a private audience with Pope Francis in the Paul VI Audience Hall on the morning of Saturday, June 8.

Later that afternoon, the grand Choral Concert will take place, also in the Paul VI Audience Hall. All participating singers will join the 300-member Choir of the Diocese of Rome to form an immense polyphonic choir. The choristers will be accompanied by over 80 musicians from the Nova Opera Orchestra, under the direction of Monsignor Marco Frisina. The program will feature iconic pieces from both classical and contemporary sacred music traditions, including a newly composed piece, «Christ is My Hope,» and a medley of significant works from the choir’s 40-year history.

The three-day event will culminate on Sunday, June 9, with a solemn Mass at 10:30 a.m. in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Altar of the Confession, presided over by Cardinal Mauro Gambetti. The Mass will be animated by the combined voices of all participating choirs. Following the celebration, the choristers will gather in St. Peter’s Square to join the Holy Father in praying the Angelus.

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