About the Chorale

Chorale Rehearsals are Monday and Wednesday evenings, 6:45 to 8:30, in the Michuda Family Rehearsal Hall in the O’Neill Hall of Music.

The Chorale is the official concert choir of the University of Notre Dame. A mixed ensemble of 70 voices specializing in choral works from the Renaissance to the present, it performs a concert on campus each fall (late October/early November) and each spring (late March/April) in the Leighton Concert Hall of the Marie P. DeBartolo Performing Arts. In addition, the Chorale performs Handel's Messiah with the Festival Baroque Orchestra in the Leighton Concert Hall the first weekend of December. The Chorale often joins forces with the Notre Dame Glee Club and the Saint Mary’s Women’s Choir to perform the great choral works with orchestra with the South Bend Symphony Orchestra in the Morris Performing Arts Center in downtown South Bend.

Each year’s events also include a Winter Tour to cities around the USA in January, an evening concert on Friday of Commencement Weekend, and participation in the Baccalaureate Mass the next day. The Chorale also takes an international tour every three or four years in May, which, in 1997, included cities in Italy (Rome, Orvieto, Spoleto, Assisi, Siena, Florence, Venice, Padua). In May 2000 the Chorale traveled to southern France (Nice, Arles, Aix-en-Provence), Switzerland (Geneva), southern Germany (Munich, Passau), Austria (Salzburg) and northern Italy (Venice). In May 2005 the Chorale toured New Zealand's South Island, performing in Christ Church, Timaru, Dunedin, and Nelson. In May 2008 the Chorale returned to New Zealand, this time with concerts primarily in the north of South Island and sight-seeing throughout South Island. In May 2011 the ensemble traveled to Rome for a weeklong stay, with a side trip to Florence and Assisi; this tour included singing for the Pope at the General Audience, singing for Saturday Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica, and full concerts in the Basilica San Francesco in Assisi and in Sant’ Ignazio in Rome. In May 2014 the Chorale traveled to Prague, Vienna, and Salzburg, with concerts in the Old St. Nicholas Church on the Square in Prague, the Imperial Chapel of the Schoenbrunn Palace in Vienna, and in Salzburg Cathedral. In May 2018, the Chorale toured Ireland for nine days, visiting Belfast, Giant’s Causeway, Derry, Westport, Galway, Cliffs of Moher, and Dublin.

Our Director

Alexander Blachly, the 1992 recipient of the Noah Greenberg Award given by the American Musicological Society to stimulate historically aware performances and the study of historical performing practices, has been active in Early Music as both performer and scholar for the past 45 years. He earned his post-graduate degrees in musicology from Columbia University. He is the founder-director of the internationally acclaimed vocal ensemble Pomerium, which is recording an on-going series of compact discs of a cappella Renaissance music. These recordings have appeared on the Old Hall, Glissando, Deutsche Grammophon/Archiv, Dorian, Classic Masters, and Nonesuch labels. Prior to assuming the post of Director of Choral Music at the University of Notre Dame in 1993, Mr. Blachly taught early music and directed collegia musica at Columbia University, Sarah Lawrence College, New York University, Rutgers University, and the University of Pennsylvania, where for eight years he directed the a cappella ensemble Ancient Voices. Mr. Blachly directs the University of Notre Dame Chorale and Festival Baroque Orchestra and the Schola Musicorum (chant choir) of Notre Dame; has taught Music History I (Medieval & Renaissance), Music History III (Haydn to Debussy), Early Music Performance Practice, Renaissance Notation, Freshman Fine Arts University Seminar, Core, MUS 122/222 (Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Wagner, Brahms), MUS 50101 (Vocal Sacred Music I: Gregorian Chant), MUS 50102 (Sacred Polyphony of the Renaissance), and MSM 60109 (Renaissance polyphony). For eleven years he hosted a three-hour classical-music radio show each Wednesday morning on the University’s classical-music radio station, WSND 88.9 FM.