Gregorian chant comes to northern Michigan

Aug 31, 2018

The Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music’s Gregorian Schola performs at the Cross in the Woods Shrine in Indian River.
Credit Jack Conners

A Gregorian chant group from Rome wraps up a tour in northern Michigan Friday.

 “The Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music is a Vatican institution founded by Pope Pius X for the need for sacred music," says Kirsten Trudeau.

Trudeau grew up in Lake Leelanau and is a member of the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music’s Gregorian Schola. She lives in Italy. 

She says she’s been studying Gregorian chant since she was 12 years old.

“I was singing in the parish where I grew up - in Holy Rosary Parish in Cedar, Michigan, and I went to a sacred music colloquium put on by the Church Music Association of America at Loyola University in Chicago, when I was 12 years old,” she says. “That opened up my eyes to a whole world of early music, medieval music and Gregorian chant.”

The Gregorian Schola was founded in 1911 to preserve and promote Gregorian chant. The group is made up of both men and women.


Trudeau says this type of music doesn’t really exist in the United States, so she wanted to bring her group to northern Michigan.

“I asked the [institute’s]president if I could organize a tour, and it just happens that I’m getting married this fall as well,” she explains. “So, they’re coming … to do a tour and finish with my wedding.”

The Gregorian Schola performs Gregorian chant from manuscripts as early as the 900s.

You can hear them tonight at Holy Rosary Catholic Church, in Cedar.
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