Schola Cantorum welcomes all to summer classes
New things are happening with the St. Cecilia Schola Cantorum, the music ministry of St. Cecilia Cathedral and the Archdiocese of Omaha.
Not only has the liturgical music program moved to a new location - into the old Cathedral High School building - but it also is offering a new selection of classes for all members of the archdiocese.
The classes, which run through July 31, include lessons in music, vocal and instrumental performance, and language. All classes are held on the campus of St. Cecilia Cathedral, 3900 Webster St., in Omaha.
For years, the Schola Cantorum, Latin for "school of singing," has dedicated itself to forming Catholics in the tradition and practice of sacred music. They've done so by offering children and adult choirs, summer camps and various continuing education classes.
However, the Schola never had the capacity to provide classes on a regular basis until now, said Kevin Vogt, director of the Schola.
"We have offered continuing education classes and sacred music over the course of time, but only as we were able to put it into the schedule and have the space to do it," he said.
"We've wanted to provide courses of study for someone who perhaps hasn't been to school for music, but finds himself serving in parish music ministry or even teaching in schools without an endorsement in music," he said.
With more space, Vogt said the Schola now has the ability to help those in music ministry build the skills, the confidence and the understanding they need to more effectively engage in ministry.
The Schola is developing a larger facility plan in collaboration with St. Cecilia Parish, the Cathedral Arts Project and the Cathedral Cultural Center, he said. Until that plan rolls out, the Schola will make use of the space as it is.
"As soon as we got into the building we were able to imagine the kind of ministry and programming that had always been part of our charter," Vogt said.
The Schola was created for three purposes: to be a music ministry for the cathedral; to be a children's choir school; and to form adult music ministers. Vogt said the Schola has been able to meet the first two, but not the last - that is until now.
"The Schola Cantorum, even at the beginning, was conceived as a vocational school, a place to nurture the response to a call that would have this holistic approach to formation," he said. "Being in the new building has really allowed us to reflect on that more deeply and the summer session that we are enjoying now is the first fruit of that initial reflection."
With the summer class series, "Aestiva," the Schola will offer music classes for young children and their parents, children, adults and senior adults.
So far, 152 people are enrolled in the 20 courses offered, including Father John Broheimer, who takes violin and voice lessons, and Father Michael Gutgsell, who takes voice, said Joan Koneck-Wilcox, program administrator. Students of all ages sign up for four weeks of class.
One such student is 82-year-old Sue Vypond, who is taking the Schola's Latin class. Vypond attends class every day from 11 a.m. to noon.
She said she wanted to take a refresher course in the language she studied in high school.
"I had just forgotten so much of it I thought maybe this would be a good chance to review my Latin. I don't remember much," she said. "I also did it to exercise my brain because I think the older you get the more you need to keep your brain active."
Vypond said the class teaches her how important the Latin language is in everyday living.
"I wish more people took advantage of the classes," she said.
Vogt said that's his goal - to get more people interested in the Schola and interested in taking classes.
"As of right now, the goal is to have people know that this is for everybody, for them, and our hope is that as many people will come through the doors in the next few months as possible - yes to register for a class or something, but most important just for a visit."
"We all sing every moment of our lives, so what a better place to go than to the school for singers - Schola Cantorum - to come and sing," she said. "Everybody is part of the Schola. Come on in. There's something here for you."
FOR MORE INFORMATION
To find out more about the Schola Cantorum and its summer session contact Joan Koneck-Wilcox at 553-5524, ext. 1, or firstname.lastname@example.org.