The Catholic University of America

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Choral Practice: CUA's Choir of 17 to Rehearse for Papal Visit

9 a.m., Monday, April 7


The Catholic University of America
Benjamin T. Rome School of Music
Room 210
620 Michigan Ave., N.E.
Washington, D.C.


The media is invited to cover a rehearsal at 9 a.m. Monday, April 7, of Catholic University's Choir of 17, the choral group that will sing for Pope Benedict XVI at CUA on Thursday, April 17. At the rehearsal, Leo Nestor, Justine Ward Bayard Professor of Music, will direct the choir of 17 CUA undergraduate and graduate students rehearsing the two pieces they will sing for the pope in the Great Room of the Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center, where he will give a major address on Catholic education.

For the April 17 performance, Nestor has chosen the 8th-century chant Laudes regiae: Christus vincit, which Nestor describes as "a shout" or acclamation. One of the earliest forms of ritual or processional music, the piece invokes blessings and graces for the Church and upon the Holy Father, says Nestor.

The second piece is titled Tu es Petrus. A tribute to the papacy, the hymn opens with the line: "You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." It was written by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, who died in1594.

The CUA performance will mark Nestor's third performance for a pope. His previous performances were in Rome for Pope John Paul II. In May 1993 he directed the CUA Chamber Orchestra and Chamber Choir of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and in 1987 he directed the CUA Chorus and Symphony Orchestra.

MEDIA: To cover the rehearsal, contact Katie Lee or Mary McCarthy in the Office of Public Affairs at 202-319-5600.