Candlelight Concert Series, Christ Church Schola Cantorum, and Compline

Announcing the release of the latest CD recording from Christ Church. This 2 CD set is availible for $20. The Christ Church Schola Cantorum joins forces with Joris Verdin who plays Eastman's vintage Muestel Harmonium. Experience the sounds that a Parisian could have heard on a typical Sunday in the 19th century. This program includes many works recorded for the first time with original instrumentation -- works by Franck, Saint-Saëns, Gounod, Berlioz, Lemmens, Dubois, and Lefebure-Wely. These CDs make wonderful gifts to lovers of music. These and other Christ Church recordings may be purchased on this site on the CD-Shop page via the "Music" tab.

The Christ Church Schola Cantorum sings Compline Sunday evenings at 9:00 p.m., October through April.  This ancient Liturgy marks the close of the “Hours of the Divine Office.” Its origins date from the 4th Century monastic custom of private prayer and devotion before retiring.  St. Benedict is credited for the name of the office, its liturgical character, and arrangement. 

Compline Preludes: 8:50 p.m.
First-Sunday Candlelight Concert Series: (8:30 p.m. first Sunday of the month)
Candlelight Concerts precede Compline of first Sundays at 8:30 PM.  
Compline follows at 9:00 PM sung by the Schola Cantorum.
Reception following Compline at 9:30 PM

“The Christ Church Schola Cantorum… sings beautifully.” Fanfare, Jan/Feb 2010. Founded in 1997 by Stephen Kennedy, the Schola performs the Office of Compline at Christ Church Rochester NY, Sunday evenings, October through April. First Sunday Candlelight Concerts and Compline was named “…The coolest, most unusual music experience in the city…” in Rochester Magazine’s  “Our Top Picks of 2014.″

This ensemble is also an early music laboratory through engagement of historic rehearsal and performance practices. The Schola specializes in Gregorian chant, Renaissance and Baroque choral music, and choral improvisation.  It has collaborated with Manfred Cordes and Weser-Renaissance Bremen, Boston Early Music Festival Chamber Players, and organists Edoardo Bellotti, Hans Davidsson, David Higgs, Olivier Latry, William Porter, Joris Verdin, and Harald Vogel. The Schola has been a favorite of festivals and concert series, especially at the annual international Eastman-Rochester Organ Initiative.  NPR’s “Pipe Dreams”, Minnesota Public Radio, and “With Heart and Voice” regularly broadcast tracks from the Schola’s CDs. With organists Edoardo Bellotti and Stephen Kennedy, the Schola & dual organs performed a “guided improvisation” accompaniment to Carl Dryer’s 1928 silent classic “La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc” for Eastman’s 2014 EROI Festival and the University of Rochester’s interdisciplinary UCIS Cluster on Music and Film.  The “live soundtrack” made it a gut-wrenching, terrifying, heart-breaking event.  It left the audience in stunned silence, before breaking into rapturous ovation.

The Schola’s 2004 debut recording and the 2008 CD of sacred music by David Conte have garnered critical acclaim.  Mendelssohn Rarities is the Schola’s latest release featuring the Craighead-Saunders Baroque Organ with organists David Higgs, Hans Davidsson, William Porter, Stephen Kennedy, and Thatcher Lyman. Their next release features 19th century French choral music, with Belgian keyboardist Joris Verdin on Eastman’s vintage Mustel harmonium. The Schola is comprised of Rochester-area musicians, Eastman School of Music faculty and students, and RIT Faculty. Participation in the Schola is offered for course credit at the Eastman School of Music.

Candlelight Concerts precede Compline on the first Sunday of each month (October–April) at 8:30 P. M. with Compline following at 9:00 P. M. Friends of Music supports this concert series. Receptions follow Compline on these Sundays at 9:30 P. M. in the Guild Room.

Members of Schola Cantorum

Members: Ben David Aronson, Mark Ballard, Lydia Becker, Michael Bennett, Nicholas Bulgarino, Hana J. Cai, Daniel Chang, Glenna Curren, Meg Cutting, Ava D'Agostino, Noah Fields, Carl Galland, Naomi Gregory, Ekaterina Gorlova, Benjamin Henderson , Christopher Huebner, Aika Ito, Aaron James, Benjamin Johns, John Kirkpatrick, Marc Laroussini, Chase Loomer, Thatcher Lyman, Sarah McConnell, Honey Meconi, Amanda Mole, Chris Petit, Julian Petrallia, Owen Reid, Evan Ritter, Michael E Ruhling, Jiaqi Shao, Amy Steinberg, Lydia Warboys, Madeleine Woodworth, Alden Wright

Stephen Kennedy, Director

Thatcher Lyman, Assistant Director

Christopher Huebner (Assistant and Librarian)

Please contact Stephen Kennedy to set up an audition:


Listen to Schola as they sing with the Italian Baroque Organ - Concert - Missa a San Ignacio (Domenico Zipoli)

A liturgical recreation of Zipoli’s Missa a San Ignacio, written for the Jesuit missions in early 18th-century South America, with concerted mass movements, organ solos, choral motets, and chant.
This concert took place in the Fountain Court at the Memorial Art Gallery on Saturday, October 24, 2015 at 7:30pm for the 10th Anniversary Festival Concert during a four-day festival (October 22-25, 2015) of concerts, masterclasses, and paper sessions marking the tenth anniversary of the installation of Eastman’s Italian Baroque Organ at the Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester, NY.

Here are the links to the YouTube videos





The Preces

The Lord Almighty grant us a peaceful night and a perfect end. Amen. Our help is in the name of the Lord; the maker of heaven and earth.


O God, make speed to save us. O Lord, make haste to help us. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. 

(One of the following psalms are chanted)

Psalm 4 Cum invocarem

Psalm 31 In te, Domine, speravi

Psalm 134 Ecce Nunc 

The Hymn: Te lucis ante terminum

To thee before the close of day, Creator of the world, we pray that, with thy wonted favour, thou wouldst be our guard and keeper now. From all ill dreams defend our sight, from fears and terrors of the night; withhold from us our ghostly foe, that spot of sin we may not know. O Father, that we ask be done, Through Jesus Christ, thine only Son, who, with the Holy Ghost and thee, doth live and reign eternally. Amen.

Motet: chosen from the Schola’s repertoire

The Responsory

Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit; For you have redeemed me, O Lord, O God of truth. Keep us, O Lord, as the apple of your eye; hide us under the shadow of your wings.

The Kyrie

Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our tresspasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.


Be our light in the darkness, O Lord, and in your great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night; for the love of your only Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Be present, O merciful God, and protect us through the hours of this night, so that we who are wearied by the changes and chances of this life may rest in your eternal changelessness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Look down, O Lord, from your heavenly throne, and illumine this night with your celestial brightness; that by night as by day your people may glorify your holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Visit this place, O Lord, and drive far from it all snares of the enemy; let your holy angels dwell with us to preserve us in peace; and let your blessing be upon us always; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love's sake. Amen.

O God, your unfailing providence sustains the world we live in and the life we live: watch over those, both night and day, who work while others sleep, and grant that we may never forget that our common life depends upon each other's toil; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Silent intercessions

The Nunc dimittis

Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace according to thy word. For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; to be a light to lighten the Gentiles and to be the glory of thy people Israel.

The Concluding Versicle and Blessing

Let us bless the Lord. Thanks be to God.

The almighty and merciful Lord, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, bless us and keep us. Amen.

Hymn to the BVM (this plainsong hymn is sung in accordance with the Roman Rite and changes seasonally)

Deo gratias (Setting by William Byrd 1543–1623)

Thanks be to God