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Brother Rice, Mother McAuley Choirs Performing in Rome and the Vatican

By Howard Ludwig | December 14, 2015 6:31am
 The choir at Brother Rice High School in Mount Greenwood will visit Rome and Vatican City with fellow choir members from neighboring Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School. The combined choir will perform as part of a massive, 5,000-member international choir.
The choir at Brother Rice High School in Mount Greenwood will visit Rome and Vatican City with fellow choir members from neighboring Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School. The combined choir will perform as part of a massive, 5,000-member international choir.
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MOUNT GREENWOOD — The Pope has a habit of stopping in to see rehearsals for an upcoming concert series in which both the Brother Rice and Mother McAuley choirs will perform.

Al Rendak of the Brother Rice music department will lead 12 students from the all-boys school on the trip. They will be joined by about 35 singers from the neighboring all-girls school in Mount Greenwood, he said.

"We are combining our forces to be a male, female, full-part choir," Rendak said Friday.

The choral students from the Far Southwest Side will join about 2,000 performers from the United States to participate in the 40th International Congress of Pueri Cantores. They will team up with another 3,000 young singers from across the globe.

The neighborhood students will visit both Rome and Vatican City on the trip that spans Dec. 26-Jan. 2. The religious visit is organized by the American Federation Pueri Cantores, a Southern California-based group that promotes liturgical music events nationwide for students from 4th-12th grade.

The Congress of Pueri Cantores concert series is held every five years. The various choirs sing Christmas carols representative of their countries.

The event concludes with the World Peace Day Papal Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica. Here, several thousand youths will sing along with the Sistine Chapel Choir in the liturgy celebrated by Pope, according to organizers.

The Pope is commonly known to drop by practice during the concert series, and Rendak has told his choir performers to have anything they'd like blessed in their pocket should such an occasion arise.

"I guess it is tradition that the Pope just randomly drops in," he said.