Music Ministry

Music Ministry

Our Music Groups

  • St. Mary’s Parish Choir
  • St. Mary’s Piano-Guitar Ensemble                               

The celebration of Eucharist expresses the essence of our parish life. Music has always served a central liturgical role since Mrs. Antoinette Shaw in 1867 began to teach the earliest parishioners liturgical chant and to foster the development of a highly regarded parish choir.  

St. Mary’s pipe organ was a featured instrument during the Organ Historical Society National Convention held in the Twin Cities August 5-12, 2017.  The organ was featured in concert at St. Mary's on August 10th.

A small pipe organ operated by hand bellows was installed soon after the dedication of the first church building.  A larger organ was subsequently commissioned in 1887 from a prestigious Boston firm. The current pipe organ was installed in the new St. Mary’s church in 1927, and is a featured instrument on the 2017 Organ Historical Society National Convention. A beautiful Schimmel grand piano was gifted to St. Mary’s in 2004. 

St. Mary’s parish musicians strive to illuminate the richness of scriptural and sacramental experience, and to enhance the beauty of the liturgy through their sung prayer.

The parish choir leads music at the 10:30 Mass September – May, for Advent Vespers, Christmas, Holy Week and Easter, and for special parish celebrations.  Its repertory spans traditional to contemporary chants and hymns, and includes sacred choral literature of seven centuries. 

The parish piano-guitar ensemble leads music at the 4:30 Mass on Saturday and offers a mix of traditional hymnody and the best of Catholic contemporary ritual music. 

An Invitation to Join

Both the choir and the ensemble are animated by a love of liturgical music and a desire to serve the parish community.  Both the choir and ensemble welcome singers who would like to share with them in the joy of parish music ministry!

Mary Joy serves as St. Mary’s Music Director, organist and choir director.  She would be happy to talk with you about the parish music program, or about your interest in the choir or ensemble (651.222.2619 X4; ).  Or, feel free to visit with her or any of the parish musicians following a weekend Mass.


St. Mary’s 1927 Reuter Organ was showcased on August 10, 2017 at a concert of The Organ Historical Society National Convention. The selection above is from Triumphal March by Dudley Buck; used with permission of the performer, Rosalind Mohnsen, Boston, MA, all rights reserved.

The Parish Choir of Saint Mary and The Saint Agnes Concert Chorale
A Concert of Sacred Music For Lent
Church of Saint Mary, St. Paul, Minnesota
March 14, 2010

Above selection: Requiem, Op. 48: III. Sanctus by Gabriel Fauré

More info and recordings:


1. Dietrich Buxtehude (1637-1707): Ciacona in E Minor, BuxWV 160
2. Jeanne Demessieux (1921-1968): Choral Paraphrase on "Attende Domine"
3-9. Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924): Requiem, Op. 48
3. I. Introit and Kyrie
4. II. Offertory
5. III. Sanctus
6. IV. Pie Jesu
7. V. Agnus Dei
8. VI. Libera Me
9. VII. In Paradisum
10. Sigfrid Karg-Elert (1877-1933): Kyrie Eleison from Cathedral Windows, Op. 106
11. Bernard Wayne Sanders (b. 1957): Fugue on the "Kyrie"
12. Gregorio Allegri (1582-1652): Miserere Mei, Deus
13. Théodore Dubois (1837-1924): Adoramus Te Christe
14. Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750): Christ aller Welt Trost (Christ, Consolation of All the World), BWV 670

St. Mary's contemporary ensemble