Visiting Choirs

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The Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Queen of the Universe welcomes visiting choirs, and are pleased to offer choral groups an opportunity to share their talents with those who come to the Basilica to visit.

The Music Department receives many requests from choirs to sing at the Basilica. While formal recitals or concerts are not the precedent, an opportunity to perform during a visit to the Basilica is usually a welcome occasion and choirs are scheduled to sing as the calendar allows at the 6:00pm Saturday Mass by prior arrangement only.

When an acceptable date is established, the Music Department will forward the list of hymns and Mass parts that are scheduled for that weekend. The guest choir will have an opportunity to sing a motet of their own at offertory, and or communion. A cantor and organist from the Basilica will always be present, even when a guest choir is singing at Mass.

Please observe the following process when requesting opportunity to sing at the Basilica:

  1. Send a formal written request (by letter or e-mail) including a brief description of the choir (e.g. children’s choir of 40 voices; high school advanced choir of 20 voices; volunteer parish choir of 30 voices, etc.) and the preferred dates and times. Please remember that guest choirs are invited to sing at the Saturday 6:00pm Mass only.
  2. Provide a list of sacred repertoire the choir plans on having prepared for their visit as well as the length of each piece. Music performed at the Basilica at Mass must all be of religious (specifically Christian) nature, and fit in with the liturgical season (Lent, Easter, Christmas, etc.)