Spotlight Series

MacPhail Spotlight Series Concert – Basilica of Saint Mary

Date: Wed Jun 07 2023

Time: 7:30 PM - 8:30 PM

Location: Minneapolis

Basilica of Saint Mary

This performance is free and open to the public.



Join MacPhail string faculty, the Basilica Cathedral Choir and The Schola Cantorum for a night of beauty!

The program will include works inspired by beautiful poetry, most notably the text of Sr. Delores Dufner, OSB, “Of Beauty,” that will be heard for the first time with the chamber orchestra arrangement by Richard Rossi.

A return performance of Luminous Night   (Ola Gjeilo) based on the poetry of Charles A. Silvestri and St. John of the Cross and the beloved How Lovely is Thy Dwelling (Brahms).  

Other works include:

Achieved is the Glorious Work (Haydn) and Deep Peace, Elaine Hagenberg.  A capella choral works round out the program celebrating art and artists and the deep beauty that surrounds us.

The concert is free and open to the public.

THE BASILICA CATHEDRAL CHOIR is a group of volunteer adults who lead the 9:30 choral Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Mary, singing two choral motets and various other liturgical music for approximately 1,000 parishioners each Sunday from September through June. In 1995 the choir joined with Temple Israel in performing “Choose Life” an ecumenical oratorio by Mona Lyn Reese and Delores Dufner. The choir recorded its first CD “All that Hath Life and Breath” in 1996 and a second Christmas CD, “Pax civitatis,” in November of 2002. Their third CD, “Sancta civitas” was released in 2010. The newest CD, “et canunt angeli” was released in December of 2011. They embarked on their first European tour in 1997 and received ovations in both Italy and Austria. The choir was selected to perform at the American Choral Director’s Association of Minnesota’s convention in November of 2001. In February of 2005, the choir was again selected to perform at the National American Choral Director’s Convention in Los Angeles at Christ the Light Cathedral. In October 2005 the choir performed the world premier of Steven Paulus’ oratorio “To Be Certain of the Dawn” at the Basilica of Saint Mary, performing the work with the Minnesota Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä conducting. As a result of the success of this premiere, the Cathedral Choir was invited back to join with the Minnesota Chorale and perform the work again at Orchestra Hall and be a part of a recording project. The compact disc was released on the BIS label in February of 2009. The choir performed at the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris during their 2012 concert tour to resounding accolades.

The Cathedral Choir joins forces with all the downtown area major churches in commissioning and performing a new choral work every other year. Numerous works have been commissioned and dedicated to the Basilica Cathedral Choir by notable composers such as Stephen Paulus, David Conte, Edie Hill, Donald Krubsack, Timothy Takach and Anne Kilstofte. The choir has also joined forces with other area choirs to perform major works such as Dona nobis pacem, Vaughan Williams and Ein Deutsches Requiem, Brahms with full orchestra. For the 100th Centennial year celebrations in 2008, the choir performed Poulenc’s Stabat Mater with full orchestra and in the fall of 2011, they performed Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms in commemoration of the tenth anniversary of 9-11. The Cathedral Choir served as the anchor choir in Poland’s celebration of the 100th anniversary of Pope John Paul II in April of 2020.

Part of the choir’s mission statement reads: “The members of the Basilica Choir and its Director are committed to high quality music of diverse cultures and to the highest possible level of execution, thus serving the parish mission of high quality liturgy which is both diverse and inclusive. The members of the Basilica Choir are committed to nurturing each other in this task.” Their CD’s can be obtained through the website at

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