At Saint James Catholic Church the music ministry is a vital part of the exaltation of God through Word and Sacrament. The music program consists of several choirs that participate in the liturgies of the church, as well as musical outreach and education, both within the parish and in the community of Elizabethtown and Hardin County.
The Parish Choir sings for the 10:00 AM mass on Sundays. The choir’s season runs from the week after Labor Day through June. The choir rehearses on Wednesday nights from 7 – 8:30 PM in the Loretto Center. The choir also sings for special concerts and liturgies throughout the season. Anyone who loves singing and is willing to commit to weekly evening rehearsals is most welcome to join! (You are not required to audition to join.)
The Parish Schola sings for the Saturday 5 PM mass as well as Vespers in Advent and Lent, and consists of musicians who have had some music training and wish to sing more specialized repertoire, from medieval chant to polyphony. The ensemble rehearses from 4:20 to 4:40 PM in the church, with occasional extra rehearsals. As the personnel changes from week to week, it is possible to sing in this select group and yet not be committed to sing for every Saturday mass. This ensemble’s season runs from the week after Labor Day through June. An audition is required to join this team of music ministers.
The Resurrection Choir is made up of dedicated volunteers who sing for all funeral liturgies at Saint James Church. In addition the choir sings for the 8:00 AM Easter Sunday mass and the 6:30 PM mass for the Solemnity of All Saints. The choir meets a half hour before funeral masses to briefly run through the chosen music for the liturgy. Anyone can participate in this special ministry that has provided comfort to many parishioners and guests.
The Children’s Music Ministry consists of a choir that sings for the Sunday 12:15 PM mass. Cantors for the 12:15 PM mass are drawn from this choir. Anyone from 3rd grade up can participate. We meet at 11:45 AM on Sunday mornings for rehearsal. Many children who participate in the 12:15 PM mass as young cantors or singers in the choir also sing in the Saint James School mass choir, which sings for all the school masses throughout the academic year. The school mass choir currently rehearses at Saint James School on Wednesdays from 3:00 to 4:00 PM.
The Cantor Program consists of a team of volunteer cantors who sing for weekend and holy day masses as well as occasional weddings and funerals in the parish. An audition is required to join this team of musicians.
For more information on any of these groups please contact Dr. Stephen Black, Director of Music Ministry, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Stephen Black organist | conductor
Dr. Stephen Black, Director of Music Ministry, joined the staff of Saint James Church in July 2016. He was previously the Director of Music at St. Gregory the Great Church in Harrison, NY. For eleven years Dr. Black was the Director of Music at St. Joseph’s Church Yorkville, New York City’s German national parish on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. In April 2008 he led the church’s choral ensembles on the occasion of Pope Benedict XVI’s internationally televised visit to the historic parish.
Dr. Black enjoys an active career as a choral conductor and organist, and has conducted numerous choirs in over fifty concerts in New York City and Los Angeles. He has served as Artistic Director of the Amuse women’s chamber choir, the Central City Chorus, and the Brearley Singers, all in New York City. Dr. Black has conducted large choral/orchestral works from the standard canon such as the Requiems of Brahms, Fauré and Duruflé, the Christmas Oratorio of J. S. Bach, and the Solemn Vespers of Mozart. He has prepared choruses for performances of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 at Riverside Church with the Park Avenue Chamber Symphony, Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the Astoria Symphony, and William Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast with the Empire State Youth Orchestra. Dr. Black has been a guest conductor for the Empire City Men’s Chorus, St. George’s Choral Society, the West Village Chorale, the Association of Connecticut Choruses, the American Opera Project, the National Association of Composers East Coast Chapter, Lincoln Center Theater and HarlemStage. He has played recitals on the great organs of Washington National Cathedral; St. Patrick’s Cathedral and St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue in New York City, and Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania.
Dr. Black holds degrees from the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music, the Yale School of Music and the University of Louisville. He is a native of Kentucky.