Schola choir performs “Autumn and Advent” concert

By Anabel Stickney
Staff Writer

As a part of the Monday Arts & Culture Series, Franciscan University’s Schola Cantorum Franciscana performed their program titled “Autumn and Advent” at 6 p.m. on Nov. 27 in the Gentile Gallery. 

The performance drew a large audience of students and families. Once the chairs were filled, people lined the walls and sat on the balcony to enjoy the music.  

The Schola choir was conducted by Dr. Vincent E. Rone, professor of sacred music at Franciscan.  

Rone welcomed the choir to the stage and said, “I had put this program together in terms of recapping some of the engagements that we had throughout the fall semester.”  

The choir started with pieces from the Lord of the Rings in reference to the Tolkien conference that was held previously this semester. 

The choir next sang a collection of songs themed “Nostra Aetate and The Future of Catholic-Jewish Relations at a Time of Rising Anti-Semitism.” 

They also performed multiple sections of sacred music and finished with a preview of their Lessons and Carols performance. 

Most songs were sung a cappella, in the true style of a chapel choir, but a few were accompanied by piano. 

On the history of the Schola choir, Rone shared, “Our primary existence … at Franciscan is a liturgical choir and we used to sing for the traditional Latin Mass, before we no longer could. So, we’re trying to figure out exactly where we fit and how we can exist fruitfully and [contribute] to beauty on campus.” 

Jehanne Vogel, a junior majoring in sacred music, said, “I just love singing in the choir … because as someone who’s never done sports, it’s like a team sport.” 

Vogel said that she enjoyed performing in this concert, because it was “putting all of the semester’s music together in one place.”  

After the Schola choir’s performance ended to an enthusiastic round of applause, Dr. Rone introduced the new Women’s Schola, a section of the choir that only has female students. They performed five pieces to end the night. 

“This is the premiere of the Women’s Schola,” said Rone. “I had a number of really talented singers who wanted to join Schola … so I decided with their permission that I would form a weekly women’s choir.” 

“They worked really hard for their first semester,” Rone continued. “It’s been a great joy and pleasure to work with them … what they’ve achieved in one semester is quite lovely and very impressive.” 

Maria Madden, a freshman majoring in psychology and theology, said, “Music is something of great importance to me, and I love choir, especially because it takes such coordination and intentionality to do well. I loved getting to be able to experience this on campus—to see the talent and hard work of peers and friends, and to see how it all pointed to the glory of God in the process.”