Music

Cantors

The cantor’s primary role is to sing the Responsorial Psalm at Mass, but also to lead the congregation in other responsorial music and to assist their singing.

If you have a desire to minister in this way and have a confident singing voice, contact Gary Penkala (304) 725-5558 or liturgy@stjameswv.org.

 

Choirs

Sacred Heart Choir

[Kindergarten — Grade 2] This choir introduces young singers to proper singing technique, to the joys of group singing, to basic music theory concepts and lays the foundation for dedicated parish ministry. The choir sings once a month at the 11:00 Mass, generally with one or more older choirs.

Leaders: Julianna Perkowski, Peter Galvin and Nancy Guiney (304) 725-5558 or liturgy@stjameswv.org.
Rehearsals: Wednesdays, 4:15-5:15 pm

Saint Cecilia Choir

[Girls, Grades 3-8] The girls in this choir refine their singing technique, using repertoire spanning the centuries from Gregorian chant through music newly-composed for them. The choir sings twice a month at the 11:00 Mass, often with the Saint Gregory Choir. The girls’ and boys’ choirs employ a hierarchical system wherein young singers earn points and progress through six levels, from Chorister through Senior Director, shown by the color ribbon on which their robe cross is hung.

Leaders: Gary Penkala and Carol Hayes (304) 725-5558 or liturgy@stjameswv.org
Rehearsals: Wednesdays, 4:15-5:15 pm

Saint Gregory Choir

[Boys, Grades 3-8, unchanged voices] Following in a long tradition of boys’ choirs in the Church, these young singers work on developing good vocal technique. Repertoire includes chant and traditional boys’ music, as well as music of modern composers. The choir sings twice a month at the 11:00 Mass. The girls’ and boys’ choirs employ a hierarchical system wherein young singers earn points and progress through six levels, from Chorister through Senior Director, shown by the color ribbon on which their robe cross is hung.

Leaders: Gary Penkala and Brigid Bakin (304) 725-5558 or liturgy@stjameswv.org
Rehearsals: Wednesdays, 4:15-5:15 pm

Saint Dominic Savio Choir

[Boys, changing voices] Named for Saint Dominic Savio, a student of Saint John Bosco and the Patron Saint of choir boys, this group allows boys in Grade 8 or younger to continue to sing choral music as their voices change and mature. Particular care is given to choosing music that fits the narrow and lowering range of the cambiata (“changing”) singer. This group sings with the Saint Gregory Choir, and occasionally with Archangelus Chorale, Cappella Musica, or on their own.

Leader: Gary Penkala and Donovan Bakin (304) 725-5558 or liturgy@stjameswv.org
Rehearsals: Wednesdays, 4:15-5:15 pm>

Archangelus Chorale

[High school] This chorale is made up of a group of dedicated high school singers whose ministry is to provide music for the Wednesday evening Mass (7:00 pm). Their repertoire ranges from unison Latin chants through full mixed-voice motets. The choir also joins the youth choirs or the adult choirs to sing for special liturgies.

Leader: Kathleen Feeney and Nancy Guiney (304) 725-5558 or liturgy@stjameswv.org
Rehearsals: Wednesdays, 5:45-6:45 pm

Joseph of Arimathea Choir

[Funeral choir] This choir helps the congregation to sing at funerals and also presents some appropriate choral literature.

Leader: Gary Penkala (304) 725-5558 or liturgy@stjameswv.org
Rehearsals: First Thursday morning of the month, 11:00-12:00; and 45 minutes prior to a funeral

Holy Trinity Ensemble

[Grade 5 to high school] This auditioned youth schola provides music for Baptisms at Saint James Church and also rehearses for specific events, like Carnevale, Olde Time Christmas (Harpers Ferry) and the Saint Lawrence Dinner.

Leader: Grace Guiney (304) 725-5558 or liturgy@stjameswv.org
Rehearsals: Thursdays, 4:15-5:15 pm

Cappella Musica

[Adult] The Cappella Musica is the primary adult choir in the parish. They sing a variety of music, including Gregorian chant, Renaissance polyphony, Baroque and Classical chorales, Romantic era motets and music of today. The choir sings twice a month at 11:00 Mass and special liturgies.

Leader: Gary Penkala (304) 725-5558 or liturgy@stjameswv.org
Rehearsals: Thursdays, 7:15-8:45 pm

Schola Cantorum

[Adult, auditioned] This select ensemble specializes in Gregorian chant and Renaissance polyphony. The choir sings once a month at 11:00 Mass and for special liturgies throughout the year.

Leader: Gary Penkala (304) 725-5558 or liturgy@stjameswv.org
Rehearsals: Thursdays, 8:45-9:15 pm

Bells of Our Lady of Mercy [handbells]

This group rings our five-octave set of English handbells and our three-octaves of hand chimes at the 5:00 pm (Saturday) Anticipated Mass. Members should have a comfortable knowledge of music reading.

Leader: Jennifer Kauffmann (304) 725-5558 or liturgy@stjameswv.org
Rehearsals: Saturdays, 3:30-4:30 pm

Organ and Instruments

Organists

Organists perform a vital role in Roman Catholic Church music, both in accompanying the congregation on antiphons, hymns and responses, and in presenting solo music from the vast repertoire for the instrument. Organists interested in helping at the parish should contact Gary Penkala at liturgy@stjameswv.org

Instrumentalists

We are always looking for instrumentalists to enhance music at our liturgies. If you play an instrument, be sure your name is on file with the Music Department. We will contact you as needs arise. Contact us at liturgy@stjameswv.org