The Schola was founded in 1975 by Dr Mary Berry, a Cambridge musician and musicologist, in order to ensure that the chant should continue to be taught, and that all those who wished to sing and study this profoundly spiritual and ancient music should be able to do so. It became a registered charity in 1984. The Schola aims to promote the teaching and singing of Gregorian chant and, whenever possible, to foster its study and research. The sung liturgical music of Western Christianity, known since the time of the Carolingian Empire as ‘Gregorian Chant’, represents an unbroken tradition of two thousand years of authentic Christian song. The chants, full of beauty and variety, and with a deep spiritual content, have been composed throughout the centuries, and contain music special to many regions.
Since the Schola’s foundation, hundreds of people from all over the world and from all backgrounds have come to the Schola’s singing days, workshops and seminars, to sing and study the chant. The collection of recordings on the Herald label, sung by the Schola’s professional Cantors, is bringing the chant to an even wider audience, and at the same time provides an archive of its varied use at different times and places.
Who’s who in the Schola
Directors of the Schola Gregoriana
- Director: Iain Simcock
- Associate Director: Philip Duffy
- London: Jeremy White
- South East: Matthew Ward
- South West: Peter Wilton
- North: Philip Duffy
- Scotland: Alan Henderson
- Julian Berkeley (Chairman)
- Bernard Marriott (Hon. Treasurer)
Further information plus details and booking forms for events can be obtained from:
Schola Gregoriana, 47 Western Park Road, Leicester, LE3 6HQ
Associates of the Schola
People who wish to associate themselves with the aims of the Schola, and who would like to help support its work and teaching and performing the chant, are invited to become Associates. Members of the Associates pay an annual subscription and receive information about the Schola’s work, and about the singing events, day school, weekend gatherings, pilrimages and other activities which they are welcome to attend. Those who prefer to listen rather than sing are also most welcome. A News letter is circulated every few months.
Associates of The Schola Gregoriana have the opportunity of meeting together several times each year.
These meetings often take the form of a residential weekend and in the recent past have included locations such as The Cathedral of the Isles, Scotland, Girton College, Cambridge, Worth Abbey, Sussex, The Friars, Aylesford, Kent, Ushaw College, Co Durham, Hawkstone Hall, Shropshire, Sarum College, Salisbury and the Dominican Priory of Holy Cross, Leicester. We frequently study music that has a particular relevance for the location. Please follow this link to join the Schola:
Cantors of the Schola
These young professional singers have a particular interest in Gregorian chant and other early music. They specialize in the reconstruction and performance of early as well as present-day liturgy, seeking to understand the evolution of musical style and practice. They were the first in the field to record a reconstruction of a complete festal service based on the tropes and organa of the Winchester Troper. Their repertoire includes a number of liturgical dramas, among them the tenth-century Visitatio from Winchester, the Ceremony of the Star, and a thirteenth-century Annunciation drama from Padua.
The Cantors also sing full Latin sevices in Gregorian chant for weddings and funerals. Each year they sing the whole of the Holy Week services, and on the occasion of the Schola’s Silver Jubilee Celebrations, they sang (together with the Associates) a reconstruction of Sarum Vespers in King’s College Chapel, Cambridge. These Vespers, edited in 1519 by the Vice-Provost of King’s, come from the only printed edition of the Salisbury Antiphoner.