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St. Peter's Catholic Church

108 E. St. Peter St.~ New Iberia LA 70560 ~ (337) 369-3816

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The Sacred Music Program of St. Peter

Choir Loft

“Music is not man’s invention, but his heritage from the blessed spirits”

{Tomas Luis de Victoria 1548-1611}

 

            St. Peter Roman Catholic Parish is home of a Traditional Roman Catholic Sacred Music program. At its core, the Sacred Music program seeks to engage and to uplift the minds of the faithful through the gift of Sacred Music in order to provide a more complete and meaningful worship experience.  It draws from the repertory of centuries of musical compositions from Gregorian chant to music of noted twenty-first century composers.  The Sacred Music program of St. Peter’s seeks to draw on the vast treasury of sacred music and to also foster, promote, protect, and grow that treasury.  St. Peter’s is home to three choral ensembles that work to provide, weekly, quality Sacred Music for the praise of Almighty God and for the sanctification and edification of His people.

            The St. Peter Schola Cantorum is a professional ensemble of singers who sing that 9 am Solemn Holy Mass on Sunday mornings as well as for other high, holy feast days during the liturgical year. The group draws its repertoire from Gregorian chant, Renaissance, Baroque, and modern day compositions. It also sings choral mass settings on a week to week basis.  The Schola Cantorum meets each Tuesday from September through August at 4:45 pm to rehearse. Admission to this group is by audition only. Prior vocal, choral singing experience and basic music theory knowledge are requisite for admission to this group. For more information please contact, Mr. Benoit LeBleu, Director of Sacred Music at 337-456-2164 or ben@stpetersofnewiberia.com.

            The Voices of St. Peter is the parish choir and sings weekly at the 4pm Anticipated Mass on Saturdays. The ensemble meets weekly on Tuesday evenings from September through August at 6 pm for to rehearse.  The Voices of St. Peter draws its repertoire from many source of Sacred Music. Admission to the group is open to those who are willing to make a commitment to attending at least 45 sung liturgies and as many rehearsals and love to sing and work at making quality sacred music.  Prior choral singing and basic music theory knowledge are desirable but not recommended. Please contact Mr. Benoit LeBleu, Director of Sacred Music to schedule an appointment for vocal placement at 337-465-2164 or ben@stpetersofnewiberia.com.

            The St. Peter Youth Contemporary Ensemble is the parish youth choir and sings weekly at the 6 pm Sunday evening Holy Mass. Music for this group is drawn from contemporary sources and is designed to engage those who are seeking a more contemporary style of music.  The group rehearses on Sunday afternoons in church from 4:45 to 5:45pm. Please contact Mr. Benoit LeBleu, Director of Sacred Music for more information at 337-465-2164 or ben@stpetersofnewiberia.com.

 

Sacred Music Schedule by Weekend at St. Peter

Saturday   4 pm Anticipated Mass The Voices of St. Peter with organ and cantor
Sunday    7:30 am  Low MassOrgan music alone
Sunday    9 am Solemn High MassThe St. Peter Schola Cantorum with organ and cantor
Sunday   11 am    Holy Mass Organ and Cantor
Sunday    6 pm    Holy Mass St. Peter Contemporary Youth Ensemble

 Holy Days of Obligation

Anticipated Mass     5:30 pmThe Voices of St. Peter with organ and cantor
6:30 am and 12:10 pmSilent Masses
5:30 pm Solemn Mass of the Day The Schola Cantorum of St. Peter with organ and cantor
  
Summer and Choral HolidaysOrgan and Cantor at Holy Masses that are normally assigned a choral group.

 

Other Musical Events at St. Peter

The Acadiana Symphony Orchestra: Sounds of the Season Concert is held each year the Sunday following Thanksgiving at 3 pm in the church. The concert features guest vocalists and musical selections of a Christmas nature.  This concert is free and open to the public.

The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols is a Christmas Carol and Christmas music concert that is held on the Sunday of the Third Week of Advent at 3 pm in the church. This festival features scripture readings and time honored Christmas carols and Christmas music and is offered as a way to prepare for the Birth of the Savior. This concert is free and open to the public.

The Acadiana Symphony Orchestra: February Concert is held each year at the mid part of the month of February. The concert features the Chamber orchestra of the symphony and performs listener’s favorite classical pieces with guest soloist. This concert is free and open to the public.

The Service of Tenebrae (the Service of Darkness) is offered each year on the Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Lent at 7 pm in the church. This service has at its center the chanted Lamentations of the Prophet Jeremiah which are set to an ancient chant tone. Throughout the service choral selections are sung that draw on the idea of the impending suffering and death of the Lord.  At the conclusion of each chanted Lamentation the longing cry: “Jerusalem, Jerusalem return to the Lord, your God” is chanted followed by the extinguishing of one of the candles on the Tenebrae hearse until the church is completely dark.  This service is offered as a way to enter more deeply into Passiontide week and a prelude to Holy Week.  It is free and open to the public.

Sacred Music News

Sacred Music Department Staff

Ben LeBleu

Ben LeBleu is the Director of Sacred Music for St. Peter Roman Catholic Church. He is a graduate of McNeese State University in Lake Charles Louisiana. Prior to his joining the staff at St. Peter’s, Ben was the Director of Sacred Music and Organist at Sacred Heart of Jesus Roman Catholic Church in Ville Platte, Louisiana. During his tenure there, he oversaw the development of the Sacred Music Program as well as the purchase, design, and installation of the new parish organ. Ben has served multiple church parishes since beginning his career in music in 1995. He is a fellow of the English Guild of Musicians and Singers, a member of the American Guild of Organists, and a member of the Church Music Association of America. Ben enjoys choral music and organ music and has assisted many parishes in bettering their music programs and also in purchasing and maintaining their instruments. He has studied conducting through the Church Music Association of American with Jeffery Morse, student of Dr. Mary Berry at Oxford University London, Charles Cole, director of Brompton Oratory Choir and deputy organist of Westminster Cathedral, London. Ben studied organ and choral accompaniment with the late Lynn Bauman, organist of St. Francis Xavier Cathedral, Alexandria, Louisiana. Ben is excited to part of and the head of an ever growing music program.

  
Karen Guidry

Karen H. Guidry is the associate organist of St. Peter Roman Catholic Church. She is responsible for accompanying the Voice of St. Peter on the Anticipated Masses on Saturday afternoon and other holy days.  Karen is also the organist for the 7:30 am Low Mass on Sundays and plays weddings and funerals as well as various other liturgies in our parish. She has been at St. Peter’s parish as organist for over 30 years. Karen is gifted and talented musician who enjoys working with our ever growing Sacred Music program.

  
Kenel Williams

Kenel Williams is the pianist and director for the St. Peter Contemporary Ensemble that is charged with providing music at the 6 pm Sunday evening Holy Mass.  He is a graduate of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in piano pedagogy. Kenel enjoys working with the youth of St. Peter’s to engage them in music ministry and to provide quality music for our parish.  He is a talented musician and enjoys working in the sacred music program of St. Peter parish.

 

Choral Music for the Season

            Please find below the choral music outline for the upcoming season. These selections are subject to change at any time. The selections may be viewed by right clicking and selecting open hyperlink on the blue underlined text.

 

(Choral Music for Ordinary time I)

(Choral Music for Lent)

Music for Weddings

            Weddings are a joyous time in the life of the bride and the groom. Policies for music are outlined in the Marriage Preparation Policy booklet which is received from the wedding coordinator upon meeting to schedule the date.  Below are some to the most commonly used wedding selections here at St. Peter. Please remember to read through the wedding policy concerning music and musicians before booking musicians for your wedding.  The selections may be viewed by right clicking and selecting open hyperlink on the blue underlined text.

 

Wedding Music Selections

Music for Funerals and Memorial Services

            During planning a funeral or memorial service many tasks and elements must be discussed. In order to make planning the music for the funeral or memorial service somewhat easier, we have included a list of the most commonly used music below for services. We have available our parish cantor as well as other soloists available to sing for memorial services or funerals. Please our Director of Sacred Music or our Funeral Coordinator know what music and musicians you would like when meeting to plan the funeral or memorials service. The selections may be viewed by right clicking and selecting open hyperlink on the blue underlined text.

 

Funeral Music Selections