December 12, 2023 // Diocese

Notre Dame Choirs Bring Joy to the Season

By Cathi Kennedy

An array of choral ensembles helped kick off the new liturgical year at the University of Notre Dame with an Advent Lessons and Carols performance at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on Sunday, December 3. The concert brought together the university’s Folk Choir, Liturgical Choir, Magnificat Choir, and Basilica Schola to celebrate this season of hope, peace, joy, and love.

J.J. Wright, Director of the Folk Choir, told Today’s Catholic that rehearsals for the performance – and the concerts to come – began before Thanksgiving. He said he eagerly anticipates the Advent season. “Each year, I like to revisit two albums that have their home in the Advent season, ‘O Emmanuel,’ which is based on the ancient O Antiphons and was recorded with the Notre Dame Children’s Choir, and ‘Vespers for the Immaculate Conception,’ which we celebrate during Advent on December 8.”

Photo provided by Peter Ringenberg
The Notre Dame Community Choir performs its Advent Lessons and Carols at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on Sunday, December 3. The choir will hold another performance of Lessons and Carols at 10 p.m. on Christmas Eve in the basilica, which will be followed by Midnight Mass.

Meg Beuter, a senior at Notre Dame and President of the Folk Choir, said the choir has become like an extended family. “The open-hearted nature of our community allows us to put our best selves into our music ministry and encourage one another’s creativity in faith. We are a group of musicians who sing sacred music from a wide range of eras and genres, and we are continuing to build this repertoire by composing our own music as a choir.”

Wright added: “During Advent, I think we’re all invited into a space of creative longing – to challenge ourselves to be ready at any moment for God to come crashing into our lives with something better than we could have ever dreamed possible. As the days continue to grow shorter and we seemingly become busier and busier as we inch closer to Christmas, this mindset is especially challenging to imagine, but the beauty of Advent is that the challenge is exactly where God works most fruitfully to transform our hearts and minds through the incarnation of Jesus.”

The Notre Dame Community Choir will hold another performance on Christmas Eve in the Basilica, with a Lessons and Carols concert beginning at 10 p.m., followed by Midnight Mass – at which the choir will sing – at 11 p.m.

The Notre Dame Folk Choir is set to begin a tour of the Midwest in January that will take the performers to two cities in Michigan (Bloomfield Hills and Warren), five cities in Ohio (Toledo, Findlay, New Albany, Dayton, and Columbus), as well as Indianapolis and Fort Wayne. The concert in Fort Wayne will take place on Sunday, January 14, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. For more information, visit

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