Roderick Bryce and the Schola Cantorum of St. Joseph’s Basilica release new album “Into Light”

Roderick Bryce and the Schola Cantorum of St. Joseph’s Basilica release new album “Into Light”

The Schola Cantorum (Latin for “Song School”) of St. Joseph’s Basilica released their newest album “Into Light” Sacred Music for Advent on November 15th. This is their second album after the “Alpha & Omega” Sounds of Christmas album which was released in 2020.  Music director and professor at Newman Theological College, Roderick Bryce, participated in a short interview by Teresa Jarvis, the Events Coordinator for the Benedict XVI Institute at NTC, who asked a few questions on the new album release. 

What is the story behind this album “Into Light”?

The Scola Cantoruum is an eight-piece vocal ensemble led by Roderick Bryce, with Carol Kube, Jessica Wagner (sopranos); Wendy Gronnestad-Damue, Sarah Thomsen (altos); Ian Bannerman (tenors); Tim To, Josiah Maxfield (basses).

The rationale for creating albums of sacred music comes from several places, not least that sacred choral music is very popular, even in the secular realm just now. But, locally, we wanted to highlight the great work that is being done by the musicians of the Basilica, and allow people a chance to hear us beyond our Sunday morning liturgical duties. These albums allow the listener to take these sacred sounds out into their everyday lives – on the bus, in their car on their commute to work, or to be used for quiet moments of calm and prayer at home in the evening, or as a nice soundtrack to putting up their family Christmas decorations!

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Roderick Bryce, Director of Schola choir. Photo by: Prairie Catholic

How does this album relate to your last release?

This second album is an all-Advent programme of music, and so is an ideal companion to the first album, which was Christmas music. Both albums now span the whole Advent & Christmas season and make great seasonal gifts for music-lovers. If we ever record another, we’ll tackle Holy Week next! 

Where was this album recorded? When did you record it? And how did this location best suit your needs?

The album was recorded in the foyer of Newman Theological College in the latter part of June. The NTC acoustics are great for recording - not too resonant and not “dry.” Although, we did have to contest with a very loud thunder storm one evening, and even the noise from the Garth Brooks concert from the stadium, but we managed to work around those obstacles.

What genre of music would this album appeal to?

There is something for everyone on these albums, with music spanning over a thousand years: Gregorian chant to contemporary composers. We have a mixture of Renaissance polyphony from England, Italy, Spain, Germany and Slovinia, as well as pieces by male and female contemporary composers from the UK. There are well-known pieces on this disc, and some unfamiliar works, too. The Schola sings in Latin, English and French and the music is a balance of liturgical music and devotional works.

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Photo of all choir members mentioned by name above. Roderick Bryce on far right.

Where can we purchase the album?

Digital downloads and physical CDs of both albums can be purchased at or directly from St Joseph’s Basilica office.  

Roderick Bryce is one of the professors at Newman theological college. Mr. Bryce teaches course called “Way of Beauty: Sacred fine Arts” which introduces the students to the West’s rich tradition of architecture painting and music alongside seminal reflections on beauty. Mr. Bryce also leads the college's choir and organizes workshops on Eastern Iconography and other sacred arts. 

Teresa Jarvis is the Events Coordinator for the Director of the BXVI Institute here at NTC. Mrs. Jarvis aids in coordinating events at the college such as Adoremus, a night of Adoration in which the Schola Cantorum joins to lead us in sacred music, and Credo, a coffee-house style evening of apologetics for those ages 15-30.

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