July 14 to July 21, 2024
The Jacobs Academy Schola Cantorum is an intensive week-long course for young musicians passionate about performing a cappella and accompanied sacred choral music. Unique in the USA, this course selects, by audition, advanced singers who are undergraduates or high schoolers aged 15 and above. Most applicants will have sung at other choral courses and weekly in an ensemble.
The course welcomes some of our country’s finest young ensemble singers and organists, limited to 24 participants. The small size and auditioned nature of the Schola Cantorum creates a strong sense of personal contribution and group identity; it also allows our faculty to offer mentorship and nurturing to each participant. Graduate students currently at JSoM serve as musical mentors and camp counselors to the participants.
The vocal style and performance practice embodied in the Schola Cantorum is encapsulated by its polyphonic repertoire and an “ensemble“ approach to singing. Small consorts (quartets or octets) offer contrasting literature. Space is built into the schedule for private vocal coaching. The climax of each day’s activity is a liturgical event open to the public, for example Evensong, Compline, or Vespers. The Schola and its organists prepare each day’s music to be sung in public that evening. This fast-paced schedule will challenge the singers to improve their sight-reading and ensemble skills.
Three full scholarships (underwritten by Schoenstein Co. and the Goulding and Wood Company) are chosen from among organ applicants; these players work with faculty in choral accompaniment. The organ scholars also receive private lessons from either Dr. Janette Fishell or Dr. Christopher Young, at the Jacobs Organ Academy (which runs concurrently with the Schola course).
Listen to live recordings from summer 2023
The repertoire heard in the 2023 Schola course was:
Ayleward: Preces and Responses
Boyce: O where shall wisdom
Burk: Preces and Responses
Byrd: Nunc Dimittis (Gradualia, Latin)
Dove: Ecce beatam lucem
Gibbons: Second Evening Service (with a consort of viols)
Gibbons: See, see the word is incarnate (with a consort of viols)
Howells: Behold, O God our defender
Mathias: Jesus College Service
Sheppard: Libera nos, salva nos
Stanford: Evening Service in A major
Stanford: Evening Service in C major
Stone: Lord’s Prayer
Tallis: Short Service
Tallis: If ye love me
Tavener: Hymn to the Mother of God
Psalm chants by Atwood, Camidge, Cooke and Hancock
Gregorian responses at Compline
Hymn tunes: Angel Voices, Coe Fen, Diva Servatrix, Guiting Power, and Sussex
“This experience challenged me in ways that have drastically benefited my growth as a choral singer and allowed me to make lifelong connections in the profession… opportunities I won’t soon forget.”
– Jordyn T. (Undergraduate at University of New Mexico)
“It was very instructive to observe and learn from the brilliant Professors Marsh and Smith, whose contrasting conducting and leadership styles were underscored by their common goal of providing adequate room for both individual and ensemble growth. I certainly gained a lot from this program—both musically and socially—and could not recommend it more.”
– Dhruv G. (Undergraduate at Harvard University)
“I’ll cherish the friends and the memories that I made at the Schola Cantorum. The intense nature of the course gave a realistic picture of what being a professional musician is actually like. It was amazing to see what beautiful music we could make, singers and organists from across the country, in 7 days.”
– James W. (Organ Scholar for the course and Undergraduate at Jacobs School of Music)
“I had never been surrounded by so many musicians who loved to create the same kind of music that I do. It was captivating. The music that we created together will remain a highlight of my summer for a very long time.
– Maria C. (Undergraduate at Vassar College)
Music Directors Dana Marsh and Jeffrey Smith
Organ Faculty Janette Fishell and Christopher Young
Further information on our team: Faculty – Organ Department (iu.edu) and Dana Marsh: Current: Faculty: Jacobs School of Music: Indiana University Bloomington
Housing, meals, and rehearsals are located conveniently on the beautiful IU campus. From Friday to Sunday, we move to beautiful St. Meinrad’s Abbey. The chapel of this abbey is acoustically magnificent This inspiring architectural gem is set in a bucolic part of our state, and our visit is a climax to the week. The facilities on offer at St. Meinrad’s are simple, but excellent. Retreats Saint Meinrad Archabbey
Fees for the 2023 Course
$ 70.00 Application fee due with submitted materials
$ 1,000.00 Course fee, including tuition, housing and meals
Application requirements for Singers: unedited recordings of
Two solo works either sacred or secular.
One must be in a language other than English or Latin.
Application requirements for Organist Scholars: unedited recordings of