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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Liturgical Choir continues to worship through music

Photo by Isabel Bonebrake
Many singing groups across campus had concerts for the holidays.

“Joy to the World” and “Jingle Bells” were two of the songs played by Marquette’s concert band at the Christmas Tree Lighting Dec. 6.

But as the lights flickered on for the first time this season — and Christmas carols begin to fill the air — one group on campus has been consistently bringing music to campus: The liturgical choir.

“The liturgical choir is primarily singing at mass. That’s something I had done back in my hometown, back when it was just a few people,” Autumn Paulus, a sophomore in the College of Engineering, said. “I saw their poster, and I thought, ‘That sounds like something I did back home and I would like to keep doing.'”

The liturgical choir sings at the 6 p.m. mass at the Church of the Gesu every Sunday and is hosted by Campus Ministry.

“I’ve always liked singing since I was a little kid,” Paulus said. “I heard this quote one time that was like ‘If you’re singing something it’s like you’re praying twice.’ It’s just a different way to engage with the material, which definitely speaks to me since I’m more musically inclined.”

While they practice twice a week, Paulus said it doesn’t feel as intense as some of the other choirs on campus may be.

“Everyone’s just here to have fun,” Paulus said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re an amazing singer or not, the director works with people of all different levels … It’s just kind of nice and chill and a great community to be in.”

Like Paulus, Lauren Pfeifer, a senior in the College of Business Administration and president of the liturgical choir, said her love for singing began at an early age while singing at her private elementary school.

We had weekly masses there and I started singing at those masses and cantoring,” Pfeifer said. “That’s kind of how I got started and then I went to a public high school and I continued singing in choir there.”

She has been performing in the liturgical choir since her first year after her two older brothers, who also attended Marquette, recommended it to her.

“It might seem like a cliché, but I feel like everyone jams out to music in their car and sings along to their favorite songs, so I don’t think it’s as much of a hidden talent as some people may think it is,” Pfeifer said. “I just always enjoyed music. I just feel like singing is a good outlet and something that I think a lot more people do than what meets the eye.”

Andrew Mountin, assistant director of campus ministry for liturgical music, strives to continue spreading joy through music. Mountin was involved in the choir as a student at Marquette, and after moving around the country for a few years for graduate studies and work, Mountin returned to Marquette this past July.

“I was looking to get involved in as many music opportunities as possible (after graduation), so I got a job working as a student assistant to the director … my predecessor’s predecessor. That director (Rachelle Kramer) was very much a mentor to me and working for her inspired me to consider a career as a choir conductor,” Mountin said in an email. “When my predecessor (Tom Koester) announced his retirement this past spring, I saw the opportunity to come back and lead the program where I got my start.”

He said his favorite memory of this choir is actually getting to help prepare the Lessons and Carols performance as a student.

Pfeifer said the Lessons and Carols concert is similar to a prayer service, where they walk through the creation story and how Christmas came to be.

“Back then it was a collaboration between the University Chorus and the Liturgical Choir, and both groups were larger than they are now. Getting to sing with or even witness 100+ singers performing anything is a powerful experience,” Mountin said in an email. “It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that some of the memories of Lessons and Carols were so significant that I’ve dedicated my life to trying to build those memories for others.”

The liturgical choir had their Lessons and Carols concert last Friday, and is looking forward to performing in its spring concert next semester.
This story was written by Skyler Chun. She can be reached at [email protected]

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