The Notre Dame Magnificat Choir
The Notre Dame Magnificat Choir (formerly the Women’s Liturgical Choir) is currently comprised of forty women from various academic and faith backgrounds who primarily serve as musicians at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. The choir is inclusive, welcoming, and open to all graduate and undergraduate Notre Dame, St. Mary’s, and Holy Cross students who sing in the treble range. The choir performs chant, newly commissioned works, and other sacred music from various eras and cultures in both Masses and concerts. Recent annual tours have brought the choir to Peru, South America, and to Montréal, Canada. The choir strives to build upon the rich musical traditions of the Church, to uplift women’s voices, and to serve the community as the hands and feet of Christ. In the Fall 2020 Semester we plan to focus on a combination of student-created “virtual choir” videos, safe outdoor performances, and a musical project focusing on social justice issues in South Bend in collaboration with the Catholic Worker, among other things.
The choir is responsible for providing music at the Saturday Vigil Mass at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, including the mass after Notre Dame home football games. In addition, the Magnificat Choir sings at a variety of other Masses and services through the school year, including:
- Opening of the School Year Mass
- Sunday vespers
- Advent Lessons and Carols
- Certain Holy Days of Obligation, and special Masses
- Junior Parents Weekend Mass
- Holy Week Liturgies (Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday)
- Yearly concert
- Baccalaureate Mass
Membership is by audition only. General auditions for all university choral ensembles, including the Magnificat Choir, are held at the beginning of the school year. Further auditions are held throughout the rest of the school year. Contact Dr. Patrick Kronner for additional audition information or click here.
Our Mission Statement: The Magnificat Choir proclaims the glory of God through prayerful song and strives to draw people closer to Christ with its ministry. The choir celebrates and builds upon the rich musical traditions of the Church, uplift women’s voices, and serves the community as the hands and feet of Christ. As a diverse group of singers, the ensemble reflects the Notre Dame family by fostering a spirit of community that creates lifelong friendships.
Our Name: The Magnificat Choir derives its name from the song of the Blessed Virgin Mary: “Magnificat anima mea Dominum” (“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord”). With Our Lady, through song, our souls proclaim the Lord’s greatness and our spirits rejoice in our Saving God. Mary’s words inspire our mission to serve, worship, and uplift women's voices as we follow her perfect example of a life of praise.
Who we are: The Magnificat Choir is currently comprised of fifty women from various academic and faith backgrounds who primarily serve as music ministers at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. The choir is inclusive, welcoming, and open to all Notre Dame, St. Mary’s, and Holy Cross students who sing in the treble range. Information about joining the choir can be found here.
What we do: Through uplifting and prayerful music, the Magnificat Choir proclaims the glory of God at the 5pm Saturday Vigil Mass at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, and welcomes visitors to campus at the masses following home football games. In addition to serving as music ministers at the Basilica, the choir performs at a variety of concerts and special collaborative events throughout the school year. Each year, the choir extends their ministry beyond the Notre Dame campus by sharing their music in domestic and international tours. Most recently, the group has traveled to South America and Florida, and is looking forward to their upcoming tour to Ireland in 2021.
What we sing: The choir draws repertoire from a variety of cultures and traditions including Gregorian and Eastern chant, Renaissance polyphony, South American hymnody, and music from the 16th Century through the present day. Recognizing the importance of new music for the Church, the group regularly commissions original pieces for women’s voices and sponsors an annual composition contest. In order to live out the mission of uplifting women’s voices, a special emphasis is placed on the singing of music and texts of female artists.
Who we serve: Beyond their ministry on Notre Dame’s campus, the Magnificat Choir engages in community outreach especially with the Catholic Worker movement in South Bend, visits Notre Dame Clubs and local parishes nationwide on tours, and collaborates with the Holy Cross Missions around the globe. The choir will be traveling to Ireland in January 2021.
Our choir community: While the time spent in rehearsal and Mass routinely brings the members of the choir together, the choir community extends far beyond the rehearsal room and Basilica. Members are invited to participate in weekly dinners at the dining halls, volunteer at group service opportunities in South Bend, and a variety of social events throughout the academic year. In addition, the choir comes together to celebrate both incoming freshman and graduating seniors each year by participating in Welcome Weekend and Commencement festivities. The strong friendships built within this choir serve as an academic, spiritual, and social support for members throughout their time at Notre Dame.
Our Patron Saint: St. Hildegard of Bingen was a talented Medieval mystic, poet, writer, scientist, composer of music, and Doctor of the Church. She not only led her own abbey of religious women, but worked tirelessly for the betterment of the Church as a whole, confronting the rich and powerful of her day to bring about reform. Her writings show her love for God’s creation and her extensive work with medicinal healing, aspects that greatly influenced how she served her own abbey, her local community, and the broader Church community. This saint reflects the choir’s love for new music and academic diversity, as well as its mission to uplift women’s voices and better the lives of those in the Notre Dame community and far beyond.
Just as one might ask family members or friends for prayers, it is a part of the Catholic Tradition to ask for the prayers of the saints as well. During her life, St. Hildegard of Bingen placed an emphasis on various causes important to the Magnificat Choir’s mission; therefore, our choir have adopted her as our patron saint. The choir invokes St. Hildegard’s prayers as we live out our mission today.
St. Hildegard, please watch over us as we serve others through our music. Bring us closer to Christ, whom you loved so dearly, and inspire us to work with true courage and hearts ready to serve our community. We ask that through your intercession, we may grow in virtue and bring others to the contemplation of the true, the good, and the beautiful. Amen.
Our Logo : The Magnificat Choir’s logo, designed by Julian Mancini, ND’19, is inspired primarily by imagery associated with the choir’s patron saint, the composer Hildegard of Bingen. Specifically, the image of Hildegard’s heavenly vision of a “Choir of Angels,” as recorded around the year 1150 in a collection of illuminated manuscripts known as Scivias, is used as a basis for the design. The original image depicts the nine choirs of angels in concentric rings around the Lord of Hosts, reminding us that God should be the center of our lives. The logo’s circular image pays homage to the inspirational example that is found in Hidegard’s life and music. At the same time, the logo gives a nod to the most common comment that our choristers hear following our performances, namely, that they sound like “a choir of angels.” Additionally, the design calls to mind the rose window found in the cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris, as a reminder of our call to emulate Our Lady’s (Notre Dame) example of a perfect life of praise in all that we do.