After a gap of 30 years, the ‘Pope’s Choir’ is set to make another historic visit to the US.
Detroit is gearing up for a visit by the Sistine Chapel choir, also known as the “Pope’s choir.” The choir will be visiting the US after 30 years and will be performing at New York, Washington and finally in Detroit, also known as the “Renaissance City.” The performance of choir in Detroit is significant because it is famous for specializing in Renaissance music, thanks to the efforts of the choirmaster, Msgr. Massimo Palombella.
The monsignor has promised that the choir will “bring its cutting-edge research and study of Renaissance music, coming right from the archives of the Sistine Chapel, preserved in the Vatican Library, the largest Renaissance music archive in the world.” He said that it was an honor for the choir to perform again in the US after a gap of 30 years, and has announced that the concert of the choir, comprising of 20 men and 35 boys, will be putting up at Detroit and will be full of the very best of what Renaissance music has to offer.
The Sistine Chapel choir came to be called as the “Pope’s Choir” because it has officially assumed the role of the troop of singers who would accompany the papal entourage as early as the 5th century. Having donned this mantle, the Sistine Chapel choir now officially plays the role the troops played in those days.
The choir will perform at three places on three different days. The first performance will be in New York at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on the 16th of September, followed by a performance at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., and finally at Detroit on the 23rd at the Detroit Opera House.
The choir is so special because the music they create is Renaissance music in its purest and most traditional form. Msgr. Palombella’s extensive studies of Renaissance literature and works has enabled him to revolutionize the choir’s music. As such, not only is the music of the choir significant from a religious point of view, but also from the perspective of someone who is deeply interested in music and its history.
The Archbishop of Detroit, Allen Vigneron was very grateful to the Pope for having permitted the choir to visit the US for a performance. He said that to host the choir in his archbishopric was a “particular privilege.”