At the NATIONAL SHRINE OF SAINT FRANCIS OF ASSISI with
choral music of reverent majesty
~SCHOLA CANTORUM SAN FRANCISCO (SCSF)~
Resident Choir of the National Shrine of St. Francis
John Renke, Director
North Beach, San Francisco @ Columbus & Vallejo
~NOVEMBER~ @ THE NATIONAL SHRINE OF ST. FRANCIS
Sunday 20 Nov. 12:15pm Mass
Sunday 27 Nov. 12:15pm MASS
4pm ADVENT CAROL SERVICE
The 12 member, professional choir is returning to a regular schedule of Mass and Vespers.
However, the newly named Schola Cantorum San Francisco (SCSF) will not limit itself to
performances only at the Shrine. In December, Advent season performances around the
Bay at San Quentin, St. Anselm, and St. Patrick's in San Francisco. Then, SCSF will prepare
for its 2006 tour of Italy.
Schola Cantorum San Francisco, the resident choir of the National Shrine, provides a
strong, living tradition of choral music, central to the Shrine's liturgy. The choir draws on
the rich repertory of Gregorian chant, Renaissance polyphony and a variety of other
liturgical music composed through the centuries, including a growing number of works
commissioned by the Shrine. SCSF sings for 12:15 p.m. Solemn Mass, and starting
November 27th will resume singing Solemn Vespers at 3:15 p.m. every Sunday at the
Shrine. The choir also sings for numerous special liturgies and concerts throughout the
year, and is always eager to share their talent with the Bay Area community.
~ABOUT THE MUSIC~
Vance George, conductor of the San Francisco Symphony Chorus, has said of SCSF "
is nothing to match it; it is the only choir of its kind." The Vatican organist, after
attending Solemn Mass at the Shrine, said, "this is as good as it gets!" And the Director of
Music of the famous Farm Street Church in London, England, has said the Shrine has
among the very best church music programs in the nation. A number of high-profile
events, including performances for the Treasury of St. Francis exhibit at the California
Palace of the Legion of Honor, the televised `Jubilee Year' Mass at PacBell Park, a
performance with the Oakland East Bay Symphony, and regular concerts throughout the
Bay Area, have presented the SCSF to a large and enthusiastic public. The annual carol
concert, Christmas in the City, draws standing-room-only crowds.
Sunday Concerts, offered free to the public every week of the year at 4.00 p.m., features
guest artists and the Shrine's own musicians in performances of chamber and choral
music and recitals on the acclaimed Schoenstein pipe organ. These concerts expand the
Shrine's outreach beyond the Church's liturgical life to the many thousands of people from
around the world who visit the city of St. Francis each year.
The release of he choir's first CD, Pilgrimage, was critically acclaimed throughout the
country and abroad. SCSF has recently released its second CD, This Christmas Night.
Both are available from the Shrine's Porziuncola Gift Shop.
~ABOUT THE SHRINE~
The National Shrine of St. Francis of Assisi, located in the heart of San Francisco's North
Beach district, is a place of pilgrimage for people of faith from around the world. Other
than the early Missions, it is the oldest church in the state, built originally in 1849. It is
both a city and state historical landmark and was the City's first cathedral.
In the past seven years, the National Shrine has successfully built and nourished a music
program which now can be considered among the best in the country and a key pillar of
the Shrine's unique offering to the Catholic and non-Catholic population of the San
Francisco Bay Area. Both Mass and the Divine Office are carried out with authority and
dignity, establishing the Shrine as a center for the celebration of the Roman Rite.
~ABOUT THE DIRECTOR~
Director, John Renke, a native San Franciscan, was Associate Organist and Choirmaster of
Grace Cathedral in San Francisco for fifteen years. Since then he held positions in music
and liturgy at St. Patrick's Seminary in Menlo Park, and in San Francisco at St. Mary's
Cathedral, St. Ignatius Church at the University of San Francisco, and at St. Dominic's
Church. In 1998, John was appointed the founding Director of Music and Liturgy of the
National Shrine of Saint Francis of Assisi. He is a member of the National Conference of
Roman Catholic Cathedral Musicians and serves on the Liturgical Commission and Music
Committee of the Archdiocese of San Francisco. John has performed recitals throughout
the United States, in England and Australia.
FOR MORE INFORMTION VISIT www.shrinesf.org/schola.htm