Sacred Music

Sacred Music at the Cathedral of Saint Paul calls people of all ages to be “servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.” (1 Cor 4:1) The Cathedral Choirs exist and flourish through the mandate of the Roman Catholic liturgical documents to lead and illuminate prayer through profound excellence in musical expression, through the understanding and proclamation of sacred texts, and through a loving desire to respect and enhance the rich liturgical heritage of our faith. The range of musical expression heard throughout the year at the Cathedral at both her liturgies and concerts is varied and engaging: chant, children, polyphony, choirs, organ, brass, bells, orchestras, and more, singing and playing in varied styles that serve the liturgy and the community, and that uplift and ennoble the spirit.

We invite you and your family to consider ways in which to become involved in this enriching ministry of service.

Lawrence W. Lawyer, Director of Sacred Music


The Cathedral Choir

The Cathedral Choir is the principal liturgical choir for both parish and archdiocesan celebrations at the Cathedral.  An ensemble of 35 to 40 auditioned professional and volunteer musicians, the Choir sings for liturgies as well as concerts. Between September and May, they may be heard most Sundays at the 10:00 a.m. Sunday Mass, which is broadcast at 11:00 am on Relevant Radio 1330 AM, Singing music ranging from Gregorian chant and Renaissance polyphony to that of contemporary composers, the Cathedral Choir rehearses on Wednesdays from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.

The Schola Cantorum

The Schola Cantorum is comprised of both professional and volunteer singers through audition, and sings throughout the year, often alternating Sundays with the Cathedral Choir.

The Cathedral Choir School

Registration for the 2016-2017 Cathedral Choir School is now closed, but we are maintaining a waiting list. Interested families can be added to the waitlist by emailing the Choir School.

Choir Schools, having historically-proven ability for quality musical training remain important for the renewed Roman Catholic liturgy.  The Church’s rich legacy of musical education of children/youth extends back to medieval times, and the treasury of Sacred Music, from the early ages of the Church to the present, is the foundation of the musical, liturgical, and theological curriculum of the Cathedral Choir School. Our curriculum strives to foster a love for the Most Holy Trinity whilst deepening the understanding of the Catholic Faith.  The Cathedral Choir School, under the direction of Ms. Jayne Windnagel, and is organized into two levels:

Saint Thomas Choristers: Our preparatory choir for 1st–3rd Grades, ages 6-8.  Rehearse Wednesdays 4:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.  Sing Mass monthly, immediately following rehearsal.

Saint Cecilia (girls) and Saint Gregory (boys) Choristers: 4th Grade–High School, ages 9-17.  Rehearse Wednesdays 4:00 p.m.-5:10 p.m.  Sing Mass immediately following rehearsal from 5:15 p.m.–6:00 p.m.  Sing other Masses and Archdiocesan events monthly throughout the school year.

Registration for the 2016-2017 Cathedral Choir School is now closed, but we are maintaining a waiting list. Interested families can be added to the waitlist by emailing the Choir School.

Parents with questions are encouraged to send inquiries via email.


Youth Choir Camp for the Year of Mercy 2016

The Cathedral Choristers’ Choir Camp (day camp) is a high-quality, safe, choral arts experience for returning and new choristers, boys and girls ages 9 (entering 4th grade) and up.

Campers receive intensive musical instruction from the most Ancient bodies of music (Gregorian Chant) to modern.  Daily, the instruction becomes a living body of prayer as the choristers sing Evening Prayer (Vespers) and prepare for future liturgies. Directed by Ms. Jayne Windnagel, the Director of the Cathedral Choir School, the Cathedral sacred music and arts staff will teach music theory, vocal pedagogy, and establish an esprit de corps with a high level of learning, spiritual formation, and musical satisfaction.  Activities throughout the week include art and games.

The cost of the day camp is $100 (application for partial scholarships available at registration) and includes snacks, lunch and a Choir School shirt. The “Camp of Mercy” runs from 9:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., Monday, August 1 through Friday, August 5, 2016.

2016 Choir Camp
Dates: Monday, August 1 - Friday, August 5, 2016
Times: 9:00 am - 4:30 pm
Cost:   $100

Restoring the Cathedral Organs

Read about the Cathedral of Saint Paul's historic organs. Watch videos of their inner workings and demonstrations of the beautiful music with which they fill the Cathedral. Learn more about the Cathedral Heritage Foundation's efforts to raise money to maintain these grand instruments.


Music and the Arts

View the season's schedule of musical performances.


About the Sacred Music Staff

Lawrence W. Lawyer, Director of Sacred Music, has been a member of the Cathedral sacred music staff since 2004. A Pi Kappa Lambda graduate of Millikin University and Scarritt Graduate School, he holds degrees in sacred music from both institutions. His principal teachers have been Richard Hoffland and Sandra Willets (choral) and Wilma Jensen and Janette Fishell (organ). A church organist from the age of 11, he began his ministry playing for daily Masses celebrated with his schoolmates. A principal facet of his vocation is offering service to religious communities and orders of the metropolitan area. Beginning with his appointment as Director of Sacred Music at the Cathedral of Saint Joseph the Workman in La Crosse, he has since remained in the upper Midwest, leading a number of well-regarded programs for the Church, serving as a member of two diocesan liturgical commissions, and teaching, adjudicating, and presenting workshops in Roman Catholic liturgy and music. As a concert organist, he has presented recitals at churches and cathedrals throughout the United States, including the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. A member of the Conference of Roman Catholic Cathedral Musicians (CRCCM) since 1986, his professional memberships include the American Guild of Organists and National Association of Pastoral Musicians.

Dr. Sean Vogt, Choirmaster, directs the Cathedral Choir and the Schola Cantorum. He serves as the Minnesota Repertoire & Standards Chair: Music and Worship, for the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) and as Artistic Director & Conductor of the Apollo Male Chorus (The Apollo Club). Holding degrees in choral conducting from Southern Methodist University and Michigan State University, he has served as the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Steiner Chorale, Assistant Conductor of the MSU Chorale and sabbatical professor for the MSU Men’s Glee Club. He is a frequent adjudicator, clinician, and guest conductor at choral festivals. As an enthusiastic proponent of choral conducting pedagogy, Dr. Vogt has led conducting masterclasses at several institutions, including California State University San Bernardino, South Dakota State University, and Yale University.
Having conducted major works for chorus and orchestra, he has also been one of the featured conductors at the Oregon Bach Festival, and the International Bach Academy in Stuttgart, Germany. He has also prepared choirs for early music specialist, Paul McCreesh, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Xian Zhang. In addition to degrees in choral conducting, Vogt holds a diploma in organ from the Haarlem Internationale Zomeracademie voor Organisten (The Netherlands), and a graduate degree in organ from Southern Methodist University. He has performed at several national and international venues, as well as conventions for the NCCO and ACDA, and as a collaborative artist with vocalists, instrumentalists, and choirs.
Jayne Windnagel, Director, Cathedral Choir School of Minnesota, studied vocal performance, conducting, and philosophy at the University of St Thomas. She also studied conducting under  Dr. John Baboukis of the University of Cairo, Egypt and Rick Bjella of Texas Tech University. Jayne has directed choirs for over 30 years and has served the Church as a musician since her youth.  For the past 15 years, Jayne has been the Director of Liturgy and Music at the churches of Saint Mary and Saint Michael, both in Stillwater, MN.  She studied Dogmatic Theology with a concentration on the Most HolyTrinity, for her M.A. at Holy Apostles College and Seminary. Jayne is a writer, visual artist, and lyricist.