Sacred Music at the Cathedral of Saint Paul calls people of all ages to be “servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.” (1 Cor 4:1) The Cathedral Choirs exist and flourish through the mandate of the Roman Catholic liturgical documents to lead and illuminate prayer through profound excellence in musical expression, through the understanding and proclamation of sacred texts, and through a loving desire to respect and enhance the rich liturgical heritage of our faith. The range of musical expression heard throughout the year at the Cathedral at both her liturgies and concerts is varied and engaging: chant, children, polyphony, choirs, organ, brass, bells, orchestras, and more, singing and playing in varied styles that serve the liturgy and the community, and that uplift and ennoble the spirit.
We invite you and your family to consider ways in which to become involved in this enriching ministry of service.
Lawrence W. Lawyer, Director of Sacred Music
The Cathedral Choir
The Cathedral Choir is the principal liturgical choir both for parish and many Archdiocesan celebrations at the Cathedral. An ensemble of 35 volunteer musicians, the Choir sings for liturgies as well as concerts. Between September and May, they sing most Sundays at the 10:00 a.m. Sunday Mass, Singing music ranging from Gregorian chant and Renaissance polyphony to that of contemporary composers, the Cathedral Choir rehearses on Wednesdays from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Choir Schools, having historically-proven ability for quality musical training, remain important for the renewed Roman Catholic liturgy. The Church’s rich legacy of musical education of children/youth extends back to medieval times, and the treasury of Sacred Music, from the early ages of the Church to the present, is the foundation of the musical, liturgical, and theological curriculum of the Cathedral Choir School. Our curriculum strives to foster a love for the Most Holy Trinity whilst deepening the understanding of the Catholic Faith.
The Cathedral Choir School, under the direction of Ms. Jayne Windnagel, and is organized into two levels:
Saint Thomas Choristers: Our preparatory choir for 1st–3rd Grades, ages 6-8. Rehearse Wednesdays 4:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. 3rd graders sing Mass monthly, immediately following rehearsal.
Saint Cecilia (girls) and Saint Gregory (boys) Choristers: 4th Grade–High School, ages 9-17. Rehearse Wednesdays 4:00 p.m.-5:10 p.m. Sing Mass immediately following rehearsal from 5:15 p.m.–6:00 p.m. Sing other Masses and Archdiocesan events monthly throughout the school year.
First rehearsal: Wednesday, September 4, 2019 - Final rehearsal: Wednesday, May 27, 2020
Restoring the Cathedral Organs
Read about the Cathedral of Saint Paul's historic organs. Watch videos of their inner workings and demonstrations of the beautiful music with which they fill the Cathedral. Learn more about the Cathedral Heritage Foundation's efforts to raise money to maintain these grand instruments.
Music and the Arts
View the season's schedule of musical performances.
About the Sacred Music Staff
Lawrence W. Lawyer, Director of Sacred Music, has been a member of the Cathedral sacred music staff since 2004. A Pi Kappa Lambda graduate of Millikin University and Scarritt Graduate School, he holds degrees in sacred music from both institutions. His principal teachers have been Richard Hoffland and Sandra Willets (choral) and Wilma Jensen and Janette Fishell (organ). A church organist from the age of 11, he began his ministry playing for daily Masses celebrated with his schoolmates. A principal facet of his vocation is offering service to religious communities and orders of the metropolitan area. Beginning with his appointment as Director of Sacred Music at the Cathedral of Saint Joseph the Workman in La Crosse, he has since remained in the upper Midwest, leading a number of well-regarded programs for the Church, serving as a member of two diocesan liturgical commissions, and teaching, adjudicating, and presenting workshops in Roman Catholic liturgy and music. As a concert organist, he has presented recitals at churches and cathedrals throughout the United States, including the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. A member of the Conference of Roman Catholic Cathedral Musicians (CRCCM) since 1986, his professional memberships include the American Guild of Organists and National Association of Pastoral Musicians.
Chris Ganza is the Cathedral's Choir Director and Organist, as well as the Artistic Director of the Cathedral Concert Series. He directs the adult choir, assists in the Cathedral's chorister training program, serves as organist for various sung liturgies, and manages the scheduling and details of the Cathedral's concert series.
Chris earned the Bachelor of Music degree in Church Music from Saint Olaf College, studying organ performance and improvisation with John Ferguson and Catherine Rodland, and conducting with Anton Armstrong, Christopher Aspaas, Timothy Mahr, and Steven Amundson. He earned the Master of Music degree in Organ Performance from the University of Oklahoma, studying organ performance and improvisation with John Schwandt and Damin Spritzer, and studying conducting with Richard Zielinski. He has been the recipient of first place in various competitions, including the Paul Manz Scholarship Competition, the John R. Rodland Memorial Scholarship Competition, and the Albert Schweitzer Organ Competition.
Chris's study of the organ began at the age of nine, under the tutelage of Ray Cornils, Municipal Organist Emeritus of the City of Portland, ME. In addition to parishes in his home state of Maine, he has served parishes in Saint Paul, Oklahoma City, and Minneapolis. He was the first organ scholar at the Church of Saint Louis, King of France in Saint Paul, the Director of Music and Organist and Saint Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Oklahoma City, OK, and the Organist and Choirmaster at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Minneapolis. In addition to his work at the Cathedral, Chris maintains a solo concert schedule, and is the Director of Choral Music at Saint Agnes School in Saint Paul, where he directs an acclaimed choral program for students in grades 5-12.