The various musical ensembles of The Cathedral of St. Thomas More provide opportunities for talented professional and volunteer musicians to apply their talents to the glory and praise of God. These talents are enhanced by the acoustical wonder of the Cathedral Church, which is renowned far and wide in the musical community for its resonance and clarity. A brief description of each of the ensembles follows:
- The Cathedral Choir
- Handbell Ensemble
- Cathedral Brass Ensemble
- Cathedral String Ensemble
- The Youth Choir
- Hispanic Choir
- The Arlington Diocesan Choir
- The Arlington Festival Choir
The Cathedral Choir consists of about 20 professional and volunteer singers and sings at the 11 am Mass on Sundays, as well as for major feast days and diocesan liturgies, such as Ordinations, the Chrism Mass, Diocesan Confirmation, and RCIA Commitment Sunday.
In addition, the Choir sings for special services and concerts such as the annual Service of Lessons and Carols, and has sung for the diocesan pilgrimage to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Its repertoire pulls from the best of the Catholic Church’s sacred music tradition going all the way back to Gregorian Chant.
In 2002, the Cathedral Choir sang for a Papal High Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica, at Santa Maria Majore Basilica, and at the Papal audience, and gave a concert for the City of Rome at San Ignatio Church, as well as at the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi.
Membership in the Cathedral Choir requires a significant ongoing commitment of talent and time throughout the year. Rehearsals take place Thursday evenings, 7:30 – 9:30 pm.
The St. Thomas More Cathedral Parish has 3 octaves of handbells and 3 octaves of choir chimes. The Handbell Choir provides music throughout the year and for special concerts and diocesan liturgies.
The Handbell Choir rehearses on Tuesday evenings from 7:00 – 8:30 PM. Being a ringer entails the serious commitment of each member to the ensemble’s rehearsal and liturgical schedule.
Cathedral Brass Ensemble
The Cathedral Brass Ensemble’s stirring sound inspires the congregation from the choir loft during our special Masses throughout the liturgical year. The Cathedral Brass Ensemble is a feature of the triumphant Easter Vigil Liturgy and Easter 11:00 AM High Mass, as well as to celebrate the ordinations of Deacons and Priests for the Diocese.
The professional musicians of the Brass Ensemble are drawn from some of the Washington Area’s most prestigious groups, including military service bands and symphonic orchestras.
Cathedral String Ensemble
The Cathedral String Ensemble’s beautiful sound streams down over the congregation from the choir loft during our special Masses throughout the liturgical year, to both nourish the soul and stimulate the senses. The Cathedral String Ensemble is a feature of the Christmas Eve Liturgy and Christmas Day 11:00 AM High Mass at St. Thomas More.
The outstanding artists who make up the Cathedral String Ensemble boast a long list of accomplishments among them, including performances at the White House and for heads of state from around the world, prizes at international competitions, prestigious positions in symphony orchestras, and dedicated service to our nation in the armed forces.
The Youth Choir
The St. Thomas More Youth Choir is open to any student in the Third through Eighth grades currently enrolled at St. Thomas More Cathedral School or registered as a member of the parish. Click here to learn more.
The Hispanic Choir is the newest ensemble in the STM Music Ministries. It was formed in 2012 to lead and inspire the congregation at the Sunday 12:45 Mass. Drawn from the Cathedral Parish’s large and vibrant Hispanic community, the choir’s mission is to enrich the congregation’s knowledge and participation in the ever expanding wealth of psalms and hymns especially composed to enhance Hispanic liturgies.
On the Sundays when it is scheduled to sing, the Hispanic Choir rehearses at 12:15 PM immediately preceding the 12:45 PM Mass.
The Arlington Diocesan Choir
To learn more about the Diocesan Choir, please click here.
The Arlington Festival Choir
On special occasions in the Diocese of Arlington, the Cathedral Choir joins with the Arlington Diocesan Choir and other invited singers from the diocese to form the Arlington Festival Choir.
The Festival Choir most recently joined in the celebration of Bishop Michael Burbidge’s Installation on December 6, 2016.