St Gregory Choir Boys (14+)

Course Syllabus & Required Books/Materials

The St. Gregory Boys Choir is committed to helping boys ages 14+ grow as choristers by helping them work through their vocal change issues in an enjoyable, health-based way that seeks to aid them in understanding the reasons for their vocal shift, how to play to their strengths, and exercises to do that can bring about good resonance and tone.  The boys will be instructed in Gregorian Chant methodology, focusing particularly on Gregorian Chant hymnody, Mass Ordinaries, and Psalm Tones for the purposes of singing at High Mass, both by themselves and also as a bridge to join (optionally) with the adult Men’s choir. The boys will also explore a wide-range of rhythms.  As an optional outing, the choir will attend the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra’s performance of Handel’s Messiah in mid-December, along with a nice dinner ahead-of-time.  In the spring, some tunes from a montage of Musicals will be taught for the purposes of providing a night of musical entertainment.  Skills will be assessed via routine musical games and activities, as well as an end-of-the-semester individual singing demonstration.  Mr. Flaherty will be working with parents to ensure that this class can be taken for high school credit if deemed necessary or useful to individual families.  The cost for this class is $75 for the entire year; if that amount presents an outrageous burden, $50 would be acceptable. All payments (to be made at a later time) for this class will be made directly to the church and not to Mr. Flaherty. Families should provide a 1-inch, black three-ring binder, along with at least two pencils, and a packet of music staff-paper; please use the staff paper provided at the link found HERE.    

 

Mr. Jacob Flaherty – Tutor Biography

Mr. Jacob Flaherty (St. Cecilia Girls Choir, St. Gregory Boys Choir, St. Dominic Savio Boys Choir), a native of St. Paul, has been the Music Director and Organist at the Church of All Saints since August of 2015.  Mr. Flaherty’s interest in Sacred Music began at the age of ten when he started as a boy soprano. During this time, Mr. Flaherty was exposed to Gregorian Chant, Renaissance Polyphony, the great Viennese school of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven, the great hymnody of the English school, and the music of the 19th century Romanticism of Mendelssohn, Franck, Vierne, Saint-Saens, Gounod, and Vaughan Williams.  Mr. Flaherty began the study of piano and pipe organ in the sixth grade, and in 8th grade played a lead role in the Minnesota Opera’s production of Pelleas et Mellisande, composed by Claude Debussy and performed at the Ordway Center in St. Paul. After winning the Vocal Music Award at Saint Agnes High School in 2000, Mr. Flaherty entered the University of Saint Thomas, spending two years in college seminary, and majoring in Vocal Music Education (K-12) with minors in Philosophy and Catholic Studies.  Mr. Flaherty sang in the University of St. Thomas’ Chamber Singers, performing works including Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Requiem, Haydn’s Pauken Mass, and Brahms’ Requiem. Mr. Flaherty has spent the last fifteen years directing church choirs, playing the organ, and teaching in South Dakota and Minnesota, and has worked with students in grades K – 12.

 

During his tenure at All Saints, the choir has grown in numbers, versatility, and in repertoire.  Some highlights of the past several years include singing Allegri’s Miserere Mei, Victoria’s Requiem for Six Voices, Kempter’s Pastoralmesse with orchestra, Palestrina’s Missa Papae Marcelli, Hassler’s Missa Dixit Maria, Mozart’s Missa Brevis in F, Gounod’s Seven Last Words of Christ, and many, many more Masses and Motets.  Mr. Flaherty also enjoys composing and arranging, having written several hymns and motets, re-purposing some Anglican Communion Service settings into Traditional Latin Mass ones, and orchestrating many other pieces.  A full-length orchestra Mass composition is currently in-progress.

 

He is the blessed husband to Esther and father of Mariana Rose (7), Joseph Pius (6), John Fulton (4), and Charles Edmund Athanasius (2). Mr. Flaherty takes as his motto the words of Pope St. Pius X – to “restore all things in Christ”.  “It is far too easy to make music an idol; we see this all the time in the world”, says Mr. Flaherty. “Music is a tool meant to glorify God and to edify (instruct/make better) the faithful. We work as hard as we can and prepare as well as we can, but there will be pieces that fail to achieve perfection – this is true with the adult choir as it is with children’s choirs.  Upon completion of the day’s efforts, no matter the end result, to enjoy the fellowship of parishioners (on Sundays) and co-op families (Fridays) is a very real way to know that we are hopefully about the Lord’s work, and not about our own egos. To be able to offer this music to God and partake in this fellowship with such wonderful families amongst the traditional sacramental and prayer life of the church is, outside of my family, the single greatest blessing I have ever received.  I hope to be able to do this for my entire life, growing in holiness and getting better as I go along.”

 

Besides his musical pursuits, Mr. Flaherty is an baseball fan, and has coached at the junior high level for seven years.