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SCHOLA Makes History in Liturgical Program with Launch of First Album

DirectSchola2or of Liturgy and Music Programs Joseph Legaspi, Ph.D. had big plans for SCHOLA, the University liturgical choir, when he began to lead the group two years ago. At the time, SCHOLA had about three singers who would perform at Sunday church services — but Dr. Legaspi knew it was time to take SCHOLA to the next level.

Fast forward to today and SCHOLA not only has a growing variety of singers and instrumentalists, but it is also about to celebrate a major accomplishment: the launch of its first album. SCHOLA will officially launch its album “Saint Peter’s Mass for Cantor, Mixed Choir and Piano” at the University community Mass at 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 20 at St. Aedan’s: The Saint Peter’s University Church.

“I’m proud of what the students have done; there was a lot of time, effort and talent that was put into this project and that makes me very proud,” said Dr. Legaspi. “I wanted the students to have a great experience — and the friendships they were able to build with the other members are priceless.”

SCHOLA’s album features a sound that isn’t quite typical of secular music. It essentially takes classic psalms and hymns and puts a contemporary twist on them, creating a cross-breed of music theatre and the soft rock sounds of artists like John Mayer.

“It’s captivating for young adults — it’s captivating for any adult,” added Rev. Rocco Danzi, S.J., director of campus ministry. “Through music, we feel the love and forgiveness of the Lord; it’s electric.”

With the help of several friends of the University, alumni and the dedication of the Campus Ministry team, SCHOLA was able to finish the album during the summer. It includes 18 tracks and one bonus track with music and additional words by composer Paulo K. Tirol. Fr. Danzi also noted that the album was dedicated to Rev. Edward J. Heavey, S.J., H’04, who served nearly 40 years at Saint Peter’s as its first dean of students and later as chaplain to the alumni association.

“He was such an inspiration, so now we can remember him with something inspiring,” added Fr. Danzi.

SCHOLA’s album will be for sale at the launch celebration. The CDs will be sold at a special launch price of $10 on Sunday, September 20 and Monday, September 21. After that date, the CDs will be $20 and can be purchased at the Office of Campus Ministry, which is located on the first floor of the Mac Mahon Student Center.  All proceeds will support the liturgical musical program.

Moving forward, SCHOLA is planning to produce an album every year. Currently, Dr. Legaspi said they are collaborating on a double disc album with former Glee Club alumni. One disc will feature music from SCHOLA and the other will have remastered and digitalized tracks of the Glee Club’s recordings throughout the years. Dr. Legaspi also plans on continuing to help perfect the vocal ability, poise and performing abilities of SCHOLA members as well as preparing SCHOLA to compete in an international competition for the first time next spring.

“We’re really raising the bar,” added Fr. Danzi. “As with everything we do in campus ministry, we are prepping students through our programs to become inspired and informed and to go back out in the local community to be a leader.”