Sacred Treasures of Christmas


SACRED TREASURES OF CHRISTMAS is a new recording from the boys of the London Oratory Schola, directed by Charles Cole. The Schola is one of the top boys’ choirs in the world and sings at the London Oratory. The boys, aged 8-18, are all pupils at The London Oratory School.

The Choir’s Director, Charles Cole said: “We are delighted to present our newest album which we recorded earlier this year. ‘Sacred Treasures of Christmas’ focuses on some of the most iconic polyphonic works written for the Christmas liturgy. These motets, rendered so beautifully by the greatest masters of the Renaissance, capture the awe, mystery and effusive joy of the Nativity.”

Sacred Treasures of Christmas, a sequence of music for Christmas, Epiphany and Candlemas, continues the ‘Sacred Treasures’ series, an anthology of sacred repertoire drawn from the liturgical motets which the boys sing at the London Oratory.

Charles Cole continued: “Through these recordings, the Schola seeks to bring to a wider audience the music which adorns the liturgies at the London Oratory. These motets have an important function within the liturgy and are not solely beautiful works of art to be appreciated in a removed context such as a museum or art gallery. Their sacred purpose, the way they are experienced by the boys who sing them, and the manner in which they are heard at the Oratory, are before all else within the liturgical context.”

The motets on the new album celebrate the Nativity itself, before moving on to the Feast of the Epiphany and the Adoration of the Magi, and concluding with the Purification of the Virgin. Amongst the composers represented are Victoria, Guerrero, Palestrina, Lassus, Clemens, Sheppard and Tallis.

Sacred Treasures of Christmas from London Oratory Schola on Vimeo.

For more information, visit Hyperion or the London Oratory Schola websites.


Also Available at these outlets:



Colloquium week in Philadelphia

Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul, Philadelphia

The Sacred Music Colloquium is underway at the cathedral in Philadelphia, and today had the most splendid event of the week, a sung Mass with a performance of the Requiem,  the Missa pro defuncto archiepiscopo Sigismundo by Michael Haydn (1737-1806), the younger brother of F.J. Haydn.

The various portions of the Mass were performed by three choirs under the direction of Charles Cole, David Hughes, and Timothy McDonnell. For the occasion, a generous donor made it possible for CMAA to include an orchestra with numerous performers from the Baltimore Symphony.

Charles Cole, choir, and orchestra rehearsing for the Requiem

Charles Cole, choir, and orchestra rehearsing for the Requiem



Here is one portion of the Mass, the Tract Absolve, Domine, performed by the women’s schola composed of colloquium participants under the direction of Mary Ann Carr Wilson:

Cardinal Vaughan Schola tour to the USA

The Schola Cantorum of The Cardinal Vaughan School in London will shortly be embarking on a tour to the USA, visiting Milwaukee, Cincinnati, Stamford CT and New York. In addition to the events detailed on the poster, the choir will also be singing High Mass at St Josaphat Basilica on Sunday 28 June at 10am.

Concert for Ghana in London

A concert of Italian Sacred Music sung by Scherzo will be taking place at St James’s Church, Spanish Place, London on Friday 8 May at 7.30pm. The concert, which includes Rossini’s Petit Messe Solennelle, is in aid of the Parish of St Martin de Porres in Tema, Ghana, to enable the community to build a new church. The choir’s director, Matthew O’Keeffe (a very able musician and former chorister of mine!) visited the parish for a month and taught the choir Latin, Chant and Byrd. He described it as “an eye-opening experience, particularly in terms of the universal power of the traditional music of the Church”. There is a Facebook event page here. Please support the concert if you can!

Mystery object in Indy

As readers will see from Ben’s last post, the Colloquium is well and truly underway in Indy. We look forward to our first Mass this afternoon and photos will follow over at NLM. The object in the photograph below was used this morning in a class by Jeffrey Morse. Who knows what it is and what it’s for? (In case you are wondering, nobody was injured.)

The Cardinal Vaughan Schola sings for the Ordinariate

Following on from the two highly successful Epiphany Services in London organised by the Friends of the Ordinariate, at which the renowned Schola Cantorum of The Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School has sung, the Ordinariate is delighted to welcome the choir back to its central church in London next week (Thursday 8 May).

Te Lucis Ante Terminum: a recital of choral music drawn from the Roman Catholic and Anglican traditions, was devised especially for the Ordinariate by the school’s music director, Scott Price, who also conducts the Schola. The programme includes music by Victoria, Guerrero, Stanford, Walton and Balfour Gardiner.

The Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School is one of the country’s foremost Catholic state secondary schools, known particularly for its fine musical tradition and strong Catholic ethos. Besides singing at the Vaughan’s weekly Masses and Feast Day celebrations, the Schola Cantorum performs widely around London, at concert halls and churches including Westminster Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s Cathedral, Cadogan Hall, St John’s, Smith Square and The Royal Festival Hall. It also makes annual tours abroad and has featured in Radio and TV broadcasts, most recently on BBC Radio 4’s Sunday Worship and on Vatican Radio.

The Ordinary, Mgr Keith Newton said: ” The Cardinal Vaughan School Schola have sung for us now on two occasions, most recently, in January this year at our central church, Our Lady of the Assumption and St Gregory, Warwick Street. They are a wonderful choir and they have been very supportive of the Ordinariate. We are delighted, this time, to welcome them back to Warwick Street for a concert at which there will be a retiring collection to raise funds which will go towards the cost of the schola’s next international tour. This choir makes a tremendously important contribution to the Catholic musical scene and I am very happy that the Ordinariate has formed such a close association with it. I hope that Ordinariate members will come and support what promises to be a very enjoyable recital”.

The concert is at 7pm on Thursday 8 May at the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption and St Gregory, Warwick Street, London, W1B 5LZ. Admission is free with a retiring collection for the Schola.