Jill A. Boughton | February 13, 2017
Worshippers at the 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, Mass at Fort Wayne’s Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception will be treated to a particularly special farewell to “alleluia” before Lent begins the following Wednesday.
At the invitation of Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades, 40 students who comprise the Notre Dame Celebration Choir and the Notre Dame Handbell Choir at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart will travel to Fort Wayne to lead the music during the vigil Mass.
Karen Kirner of Campus Ministry at Notre Dame formed both ensembles in 1997 and directed them until the fall of 2016, when Patrick Kronner came from Indiana University, Bloomington, to direct the Celebration Choir. At that time Kirner became director of the folk choir; she still directs the Handbell Choir as well and will be the organist for the Mass.
The Celebration Choir has toured with the Handbell Choir, which sings in the wider community, including at Westville Prison, with youth and at unity prayer services. They also lead the music at a Mass held in DeBartolo Performing Arts Center half an hour after the end of each home football game. In the Handbell Choir, 15 students play two handbells each, ranging over a total of five octaves. These enthusiastic musicians usually participate during all four years as undergrads.
Notre Dame Campus Ministry is blessed with other choirs, including the Notre Dame Liturgical Choir, the Women’s Liturgical Choir and the Schola, who perform polyphonic “high church” music. All the choirs combine for special occasions like Junior Parents Weekend and Advent Lessons and Carols.