MUSIC AT THE BASILICA
The Basilica Chamber Choir
The Basilica Chamber Choir is the primary vocal ensemble of the basilica and the oldest volunteer ministry in the parish. The chamber choir typically sings for the Sunday morning 11:00am mass from September through Pentecost. The chamber choir rehearses on Wednesday evenings from 7:15pm -8:30pm.
The Basilica Schola
The Basilica Schola is an eight voice ensemble of singers selected from the Chamber Choir to sing advanced choral literature, particularly from the Renaissance period, which is beyond the scope of the larger ensemble. The schola sings six to eight times per year with a focus on the Holy Days of Obligation and Holy Week.
The Basilica Handbell Choir
The Basilica Handbell Choir typically plays once a month during the choral season (September – Pentecost) and rehearses on Wednesdays from 6:00pm-7:00pm. The handbell choir is an advanced group of ringers that is committed to 100% weekly attendance.
The Basilica Cantor Ministry
The Basilica Cantor Ministry is open by audition to music readers who are typically a part of one of the ensembles. Previous experience is not required. Contact the Director of Music for details.
Are you an instrumentalist? Parishioners who play flute, violin, or other instruments at a late intermediate to advanced level are encouraged to contact the director of music.
Music Director: Dr. Peter Kurdziel
Peter Kurdziel has been the Director of Music at the Basilica since August of 2010. He earned degrees in organ from Hope College where he was a student of Huw Lewis and the University of Notre Dame where he was a student of Craig Cramer. He received the Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) where he was a student of Dana Robinson. In addition to the organ, Peter has also studied voice, conducting, harpsichord, and theology at the graduate level. He is the past dean of the Grand Rapids and Muskegon -Lakeshore Chapters of the American Guild of Organists. He has also served on the executive boards of the Grand Rapids Chapter of the National Pastoral Musicians and the West Michigan Symphony.
The Basilica Organ
The Basilica Organ was built by the Wicks Organ Company in 1980. It was tonally finished by Charles Mosley and Jonathan Tuuk.
The organ was modified by the Lauck Pipe Organ Company in 1999 and 2001. A new console was installed by the Goulding and Wood Pipe Organ Company in 2022.
The full specification can be viewed here