Our Lady of Mount Carmel window
Music Department

I will praise the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.


Music has always played an important role in the liturgical life of our parish, and this tradition flourishes to this day. With a rich legacy of musical leadership including Adalbert Huguelet and William Ferris that continues under the guidance of Paul French, the assembly has an opportunity to worship with music from the rich heritage of the Catholic Church, and is an active participant in all the liturgies through spirited singing of psalms, chants, acclamations, hymns and songs.


Choral Program

Our four parish choirs enhance parish liturgies with a rich and varied repertoire of sacred music. All choirs are under the direction of Music Director Paul French, and each choir welcomes new members throughout the year. All interested singers (and parents) are invited to contact the music office for further details.


Choir of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

The “Morning Choir” is a superb vocal ensemble comprised of experienced singers with music reading facility; as such the choir is able to sing a tremendous variety of fine choral literature. Included in its repertoire is timeless Gregorian chant and Renaissance polyphony; works of Bach, Haydn, Mozart, contemporary masters such as Britten, Howells, and Pärt; and music from the Russian Orthodox and Spiritual traditions. The choir sings each Sunday morning at the 11am Mass from the first Sunday in October through Corpus Christi in June. 


Contemporary Choir

This ensemble sings a varied repertoire of contemporary Catholic music, spirituals, and traditional folk music from many cultures. It sings at the Sunday evening 4:30 pm Mass during the seasons of Advent-Christmas and Lent-Easter, appealing to singers who are interested in a more limited time commitment. The Contemporary Choir welcomes singers from extensive or limited musical/choral backgrounds: the ability to read music is helpful but not required. 


Treble Choir

This parish choir is open to students in grades 4-8 who attend Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Academy as well as other local public and private schools. Treble choirs by definition comprise young voices, both boys and girls, taking the higher (soprano and alto) parts. The choir rehearses on Wednesday afternoons after school and sings for parish liturgies every two to three weeks. During rehearsals, the boys and girls learn not only the liturgical repertoire, but also music theory and vocal training. Our Treble Choir holds membership in the American Federation Pueri Cantores, which is the official student choral organization of the Roman Catholic Church, and participates in local, national and international choral festivals. 


Junior Choir

This parish choir is open to students in grades 1-3 who attend Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Academy as well as other local public and private schools. The majority of the Wednesday rehearsals are spent learning to produce a healthy choral tone, how to read notes and clefs, and of course having fun singing beautiful music. The Juniors sing for Masses four or five times per year.


Cantors

Our parish cantors serve in the roles of cantor and psalmist for all weekend parish liturgies as well as holy day Masses, Holy Week liturgies, funerals, weddings and other sacramental moments.


Staff


Paul French, Music Director

Prior to joining the Music staff of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in January of 2001, Paul French has worked in parishes in the Archdiocese of Chicago for nearly three decades. He studied composition, chant, conducting and organ at St. John's University (Collegeville, MN), Northwestern University and the Pontificio Istituto di Musica Sacra in Rome, Italy, and is also the Music Director of the William Ferris Chorale, a professional choral ensemble dedicated to the performance of the a capella repertoire of the 20th and 21st centuries. Active in the Chicago area as a recording session conductor and producer, Paul French has been a faculty member of the NPM Choir Director Institutes for over a decade, and is a composer of more than 200 instrumental and choral works in a variety of media including works for choir, voice, organ, brass, and orchestra. 


Kelly Dobbs-Mickus, Organist

Ms. Dobbs-Mickus plays our E. M. Skinner and Visser-Rowland organs at weekend liturgies and accompanies the Morning Choir throughout the choral season. In addition to her superb keyboard artistry, Kelly is employed as a music editor with MorningStar Publishers. Ms. Mickus’ organ studies have been at both Indiana University and DePaul University, and she brings with her nearly 30 years experience playing for parishes in the Chicago and Joliet dioceses.


The liturgical year at Our Lady of Mount Carmel is filled with voices and instruments making a joyful noise to the Lord! Join us in our music making in praise of God. For further information, please contact music director, Paul French at pkmcfrench@aol.com or 773-525-0453 x17.


The Liturgical Year


2017-2018 Music Season

Access a complete, printable listing of choral selections for choral-season-brochure-2017-18.pdf  (PDF format).