When Andrew Beine first heard Gregorian chant about four years ago when he was a junior in high school, he was struck by how different it was from other music he had heard.
“I remember being kind of entranced by it because it was so different. I found a lot of beauty in it,” Beine said.
Since then, Beine, now a 20-year-old junior at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Winona, Minnesota, has learned to pray with Gregorian chant. In 2020, he and four other seminarians formed a group called Schola, short for the Latin phrase “schola cantorum,” meaning “school of singers.”
“This type of choir is a liturgical choir which sings sacred music for Holy Mass and other liturgies. Our schola focuses primarily on liturgical music from the Latin Church, the largest of the 24 particular churches within the Catholic Church,” Beine said.
The group has grown to seven members. Six of the members will be traveling to perform at various parishes in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee from Feb. 28 to March 4. The concerts are free of charge; a freewill offering will be taken.
Each concert will last about an hour and 15 minutes. In addition to performing Gregorian chant, Schola will perform an Eastern-style liturgical piece, which is characterized by greater harmonic expression and is typically more repetitive than Gregorian chant.
“We enjoy all of this music because it is a form of prayer and lifts our hearts as well as those who hear it to God. So goes the saying attributed to St. Augustine, ‘Those who sing pray twice.’” Beine said.
The concerts will include:
Tuesday, Feb. 28, 7 p.m.: Basilica of St. Josephat, 2333 S. Sixth St., Milwaukee
Wednesday, March 1, 8 p.m.: Cor Jesu at St. Robert Parish, 4019 N. Farwell Ave., Shorewood.
Thursday, March 2, 7 p.m.: St. Robert Parish, 4019 N. Farwell Ave., Shorewood.
Saturday, March 4, 7 p.m.: Holy Trinity, 331 Main St., Kewaskum.
Beine, whose home parish is Holy Trinity in Kewaskum, looks forward to bringing the music to the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.
“I really encourage everyone to come out and experience it, especially if you haven’t heard Gregorian chant before,” Beine said.