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Music at St Thomas More


The importance of music to our faith journey was frequently foretold in the Bible. Pope Benedict XVI noted that “sing” and “song” are some of the more commonly used words in the Old (309 times) and New (36 times) Testament. As one example in the latter, St. Paul, in his letter to the Colossians, indicated “let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts, sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs to God.” Subsequently, its value and importance has been reinforced by Church leaders throughout Catholic Church history. For example, St Augustine stated that “music, that is the science or the sense of proper modulation, is likewise given by God’s generosity to mortals having rational souls in order to lead them to higher things.” In more modern times, during the second Vatican Council, Pope Paul VI unambiguously proclaimed the importance of the musical tradition of the Church, declaring it a “treasure of inestimable value” that “forms a necessary or integral part of the solemn liturgy” and further indicating that “sacred music is to be considered the more holy the more closely it is joined to the liturgical rite, whether by adding delight to prayer, fostering oneness of spirit, or investing the rites with greater solemnity.” Finally, in a 2013 homily, Pope Francis clearly conveyed the vital purpose of music at Mass. He said, it is "first of all a matter of participating intensely in the mystery of God, in the 'theophany' that takes place in every Eucharistic celebration, in which the Lord makes himself present among his people, who are called truly to participate in the salvation realized by the crucified and risen Christ".


For more than thirty years, St. Thomas More has been blessed with musical leadership that has embraced these sentiments. Under the dedicated and highly professional direction of Mrs. Patricia Amato (1991-2007), and now Mrs. Jane Brown (2008-to date), a culture of inspiring musical engagement has been fostered that has led to the creation of quality choral groups and a distinctly robust level of vocal congregational participation at services.



STM Choir

Following the restructuring and consolidation of the STM weekend Mass schedule within the past three years, the collective voices of our traditional Adult Choral group and the Contemporary Music Ensemble (which has included female and male individuals from high school age through mature adulthood) are now merged. The combined Choir enhances the music at the weekly 10:00 AM Sunday Mass, as well as during additional services that occur during Holy Week, at Christmas time, and other special celebrations throughout the church year. A subset of the group also provides choral music at the weekly 4:30 PM Saturday Mass. Outside instrumentalists are routinely invited to provide supplemental music accompaniment at Easter and Christmas. Choir rehearsals are held in the Church on Wednesday evenings from 7:00-8:30/9:00 PM. Those desiring to join the group are strongly encouraged to contact our music director (Jane. Brown) to discuss their interest. While music reading ability and/or previous choral experience is not required (although certainly desirable) for membership, the ability to match pitch and project a pleasant singing voice, as well as to routinely commit time to practice with the group, are important criteria.




Our present group of cantors are both choir members and leaders of congregational song. When serving in this expanded capacity, they also proclaim the responsorial psalm after the first reading and lead the gathered assembly in singing the refrain. Those designated and trained for

this ministry by our choir director are nurtured to couple their ability to sing, with an attention to correct pronunciation and diction, in order to incant the texts with clarity and sentiment.


Resurrection Choir

The Resurrection Choir consists of a variable-sized group of dedicated STM congregants and choir members who make themselves available, as necessary on weekday mornings, to collectively support the assembly singing at a funeral Mass. The group serves an important simultaneous consoling and uplifting role in the funeral rites through its vocalization of broadly familiar sacred music. Retired individuals, stay at home parents, or those having a work/activity schedule that is conducive to being available during funeral times (usually at a 9:00 or 10:00 AM weekday Mass), are invited to speak to Mrs. Brown for more information and be referred to a contact list. At this time, there is no routine practice schedule commitment for this group.



For specific questions related to specific STM choral-related issues, please contact:


Jane G Brown

STM Director of Music

Certified Director, SAI

Director, Harbor City Chorus, BHS

Dundalk Star Spangled Chorus, SAI

Greater Harrisburg Chorus - Region 19 Champions,SAI

2018 SAI/NAfME Music Educator Award Recipient

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