Cathedral hosts Northern California Regional Choir Festival

By Mary Powers

The Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption hosted on March 4 the 2023 Northern California Youth Choir Festival and Mass with 10 schools participating from as far away as Reno, Nevada. Pueri Cantores, the sponsor of the festival, is the Vatican-based student choral organization of the Catholic Church.

The day consisted of choir rehearsals, learning new music, and Mass celebrated by Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone.

The prestigious conductor who led the festival was Dr. Richard Robbins, the director of choral activities at the University of Minnesota Duluth and chorus master of the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra.

“This year’s Pueri Cantores Festival was one of the highlights for our choir, said Chris Tietze, director of music at the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption and director of the St. Brigid School Honor Choir. “The students really enjoyed meeting and singing with other children from throughout Northern California, and they found the music inspiring and challenging. As a director, I could not have been more pleased.”

According to Tietze, the national office of Pueri Cantores not only provided most of the music, but also audio clips, which helped some of the choirs learn the music. He hopes to host the festival again next year.

In his homily, Archbishop Cordileone welcomed the choirs to San Francisco and the Cathedral. Speaking on being good stewards of time, talent, and treasure, the Archbishop noted that the choirs offered an example of sharing their God-given gifts to spread God’s love and give Him glory. 

“It is very appropriate then that we have the Pueri Cantores and other choirs with us during this season of Lent,” said Archbishop Cordileone. “They use their talents and energies to enhance our worship with true beauty to help us worship reverently. They use their talents and energies to give God glory and praise. In this most important human action of worshiping God, the choirs instill a sense of right worship to God that is truly befitting God’s house.”

The participating choirs included:

Bishop Manogue Catholic High School Treble Choir, Reno, NV
Chesterton Academy at Valley of the Sacred Heart, Dixon, CA
Golden Gate Boys Choir and Bellringers, Hayward, CA
Jesuit High School Chamber Singers, Carmichael, CA
Kolbe-Trinity Choir, Napa, CA
Queen of Angels Children’s Choir of Saint Bede Catholic Church, Hayward, CA
Saint Joseph Principal’s Honor Choir, Alameda, CA
Saint Mary’s Cathedral Choir School at St. Brigid School, San Francisco, CA
San Carlos Cathedral Children’s Choir, Monterey, CA Stella Maris Academy Sing

Photos: Dennis Callahan, Archdiocese of San Francisco