Sacred Music at the Cathedral of Saint Paul is united in worship around our Archbishop and focused on our house of prayer, which represents and realizes a Roman Catholic presence in our parish, Archdiocese, and community. Through the celebration of the sacraments, the preaching of God's Word, worship, and shared mission, we offer sacred music to redeem the world.
The Cathedral Choirs exist 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.
We welcome you to become involved the community of sacred music at the Cathedral of Saint Paul and invite you to participate through the divine worship and ministry of sacred music.
Lawrence W. Lawyer, Acting Director of Sacred Music
Music and the Arts
View the season's schedule of musical performances
The Cathedral Choir is the principal liturgical choir at the Cathedral of Saint Paul. An ensemble of 35 to 40 auditioned professional and volunteer musicians, the Choir sings for about 40 liturgies in addition to several concerts per year. Between September and May, they can be heard most Sundays at the 10:00 a.m. Sunday Mass and on Relevant Radio 1330 AM, www.relevantradio.com. The Cathedral Choir sings music ranging from Gregorian chant to Renaissance polyphony to music of contemporary composers. The Cathedral Choir rehearses on Wednesdays from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Cathedral Choir School
Choir Schools of historically proven ability for high-quality musical training remain important for the renewed Roman Catholic liturgy. The Church’s rich legacy of musical education of children and youth extending back to the early medieval times needs to be rediscovered and promoted today. The musical and spiritual formation of the young is critically important to the life of the Church. Music education should be part of the overall curriculum of the religious education of children, especially at a time when state schools in much of the English-speaking word have significantly reduced artistic formation. These are the guiding values we follow:
- We are dedicated to a safe environment for all people.
- We are dedicated to the highest level of artistic expression.
- We are committed to the pursuit of excellence within a joyful, caring, and cooperative environment.
- We are committed to the development of the individual and community through the richness of cultural exchange, self-discovery, and team effort.
- We will contribute to society through financial accountability, artistic performance, education, and the development of responsible citizens.
The Cathedral Choir School is organized into 3 levels. Placement at different levels and progression from one to the next is dependent on the Chorister’s level of musical and personal skill and maturity, and placement is made at the sole discretion of Choir School staff. The levels are as follows:
Saint Anne Choristers: Kindergarten through 1st grade
K-1 Rehearse on Wednesdays from 4:05 to 4:30 p.m.
Saint Thomas Choristers: Second grade through 4th grade
2-4 Rehearse Wednesdays from 4:35 to 5:10 p.m.
Saint Cecilia (girls) and Saint Gregory (boys) Choristers: 5th grade through High School
Must be able to match pitch. Rehearse Wednesdays from 4:00 to 5:10 p.m. in the Choir Gallery. Sing Mass from 5:15 to 6:00 p.m.
The Schola Cantorum is the resident professional choral ensemble of the Cathedral. Through their primary ministry as support of the Cathedral and Archdiocesan choirs, the Schola Cantorum specializes in offering Gregorian chant and Renaissance polyphony including many of the Latin Masses composed for particular solemnities and feast days throughout the liturgical year.
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.
Cathedral CD Recordings
A CD recording of Christmas music sung by the Cathedral Choir, “In Excelsis Gloria,” is available for purchase.
“Espressivo,” a CD of music for violin and organ, with violinist Michal Sobieski and former Director of Music James Biery, was recorded at the Cathedral and released in 2008.
About the Sacred Music Staff
Lawrence W. Lawyer, Associate Director of Sacred Music, has been on the Cathedral sacred music staff since 2006. A Pi Kappa Lambda graduate of Millikin University and Scarritt Graduate School, he holds degrees in sacred music from both institutions. A church organist from the age of 11, he began his ministry playing for daily Masses celebrated with his schoolmates. He also serves parishes and religious communities of the metropolitan area as staff organist and festival organist for jubilees. Beginning with his appointment by the future Raymond Cardinal Burke as Director of 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 given recitals at churches and cathedrals throughout the United States, including the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. He has been a member of the Conference of Roman Catholic Cathedral Musicians since 1986, and holds numerous professional memberships, including the American Guild of Organists and National Association of Pastoral Musicians.