The Adult Choir, a 16-member all-volunteer ensemble that sings at the Sunday 11:30am Mass, has a four-fold mission: to foster community, present music both accessible and challenging, encourage congregational participation, and enhance the liturgy.
Apart from sacred concerts, the choir annually presents a popular "Broadway and Beyond" program in the church hall.
New members are always welcomed into our schola!
Volunteer Choir Members
The Children's Choir is a 50-member choir drawn from the religious education program and directed by Chris Gillespie. In 2008, the children's choir performed for Pope Benedict XVI, the Ave Maria composed by Chris Gillespie. They join with the Adult choir in the annual Advent program.
Within our parish's Religious Education Program for Children, the Children's Choir is designed to give students an appreciation for the traditional language of the Roman Catholic Church as well as an introduction to the basic chants of the Mass, traditional hymns and an expanding English repertoire.
Students will know the Sanctus, Agnus Dei, Pater Noster, Ave Maria, Regina Caeli, Tantum Ergo, Adeste Fideles etc.
The Spanish Choir is a lively group that sings every Sunday during the 10:15am Spanish Mass and includes: instrumentalists, guitarists and keyboards, directed by Efrem Galicia.
The Schola Cantorum of St. Thomas More is drawn from some of the most gifted singers in New York and specialize in the great Catholic choral tradition of music from the 11th to the 21st centuries. The Schola Cantorum sings at the 12:00 noon Choral Mass each Sunday as well as at all the major solemnities of the liturgical year. As cantors, they also assist the congregation in singing the chants and hymns of the liturgy at all other weekend Masses (except Sunday 8:30am).
SISHEL CLAVERIE (Alto) - Mexican mezzo-soprano Sishel Claverie has been praised by Opera News for her “scene-stealing antics… and her substantial vocal goods”. She recently made her debut with The Santa Fe Opera as Charlotte, in the 2013 production of Offenbach’s La Grande Duchesse de Gérolstein. This summer she returns to Santa Fe Opera as the cover of Carmen.
This past winter she performed the role of Daniela in the musical In The Heights, with Skylight Music Theater, in Milwaukee WI.
Her future engagements include her debut with Opera In the Heights as Carmen, in Houston TX; and the role of Angelina in La Cenerentola with Skylight Music Theater.
Starting in 2011, Sishel was in residency for two years at Utah Opera, with multiple engagements like the role of Berta in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Second Lady in Die Zauberflöte, Inez in Il Trovatore, Giovanna in Rigoletto, and the cover of Paula in Daniel Catan’s Florencia en el Amazonas. Sishel also appeared as a soloist with Utah Symphony and The Deer Valley Music Festival.
In 2010 she was a member of Houston Grand Opera’s outreach program, Opera to Go! Her credits include the Third Lady and Papagena in Mozart’s The Magic Flute; and Stefano in Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet, among others.
Ms. Claverie has been a Studio Artist at Wolf Trap Opera, at the Renata Scotto Opera Studio in Rome, Santa Fe Opera, Opera New Jersey, and S.I.V.A.M., Mexico’s most prestigious Young Artist Program.
Her operatic roles also include Komponist in Ariadne auf Naxos, the title role in Chérubin, Dorabella in Cosí fan tutte, Susanna in The Ghosts of Versailles, and Meg in the international premiere of Adamo’s Little Women, among others.
Sishel holds a bachelor's degree in Music from the University of Houston and a Master's degree from Rice University. She currently resides in New York City.
JONATHAN BLALOCK (Tenor) - Steve Smith of the New York Times praises Mr. Blalock for his debut with the PROTOTYPE festival, saying, “Jonathan Blalock is riveting in the title role: his voice sweet and true, his thin smile telegraphing Paul’s honeyed contempt for his working class surroundings in a steel-dominated Pittsburgh.”
In the 2013-2014 season he debuts with Washington National Opera (Baker in the world premiere of AN AMERICAN SOLDIER), the Portland Symphony (Tenor soloist in "The Magic of Christmas), the San Antonio Opera (The Fantastic Mr. Fox), The St. George Choral Society (Tenor soloist in Mozart's C minor Mass), West Edge Opera (Hydrogen Jukebox) and the PROTOTYPE festival (Paul in Paul's Case by Greg Spears). The Opera Orchestra of New York just named Jonathan a top prize winner of the Agnes Varis award for Bel Canto.
In 2015 Jonathan will debut with Opera Roanoke as Ramiro in Rossini's La Cenerentola. He will also reprise the role of Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni for his company debut with Cedar Rapids Opera.
Mr. Blalock recently completed two seasons as an Apprentice with Santa Fe Opera, where he covered two Rossini roles: Rodrigo (La donna del Lago) and Condulmiero (Maometto II). In addition, he sang scenes as Peter Quint (Turn of the Screw) and the title role in Le Comte Ory, and covered the Bailiff in the world premiere of Theodore Morrison's Oscar.
Highly acclaimed for his work in 20th and 21st Century Opera, Jonathan has appeared in a number of world premieres, including The Secret Agent with the Center for Contemporary Opera in NYC and the Armel Festival in Hungary; Jorge Martin's Before Night Falls with Fort Worth Opera; and Paul's Case with Urban Arias. In addition, he made his Virginia Opera debut as Cégeste in Philip Glass' Orphée, and has sung with Fort Worth Opera in the same composer's Hydrogen Jukebox.
Other career highlights include Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni) with Nevada Opera; Nemorino (L'elisir d'amore) with Opera in Williamsburg; Handel's Messiah with the Lexington Philharmonic and Winston-Salem Symphony; Carmina Burana with Las Crucas Symphony; Fenton (Falstaff) with Mercury Opera in Rochester; Tonio (La file du Régiment) with IVAI in both Isreal and Montreal; Count Almaviva (Il di Siviglia) with Opera Company of Middlebury); and Normanno (Lucia di Lamermoor), Howard Boucher (Dead Man Walking), and Remendado (Carmen) with Fort Worth Opera.
MARK DONATO (Tenor) - Mark Donato has been singing professionally for 27 years.
A true gypsy & crossover talent; he has travelled the world in
US & European tours of Broadway shows. Also a accomplished rhythm tap dancer his shows include “42nd Street,” “Crazy For You,” “The Will Rogers Follies,” & “State Fair.” Best role to date was Don Lockwood (the Gene Kelly role) in “Singin’ in the Rain.” He has also spent many years working on cruise ships going to places like Antarctica, Norway, the South Pacific & the Mediterranean.
After crossing back into the opera & classical singing world; he sings in several concerts, operas, & music festivals in NYC, and abroad (including 5 performances @ Carnegie Hall, one time as a soloist).
Mark is also a certified Vinyasa yoga instructor with more than 20 years experience; he’s been teaching in NYC since the late 90s.
STEVEN EDDY (Baritone) - Praised for his “winning portrayals” (The Dallas Morning News) and “sterling musical and physical work” (stagehappenings.com), young baritone Steven Eddy has exhibited extraordinary versatility in the realms of opera, oratorio and art song.
He recently returned to the 2014 Fort Worth Opera in critically acclaimed performances as Ponchel in Silent Night, one year following his company debut as Harlekin in Ariadne auf Naxos. His other opera credits include Dancaïre (Carmen), Aeneas (Dido & Aeneas), Schaunard, (La bohème), Nick Shadow (The Rake’s Progress), Ford (Falstaff), and Guglielmo (Così fan tutte).
A frequent concert artist and recitalist, he was a Marc & Eva Stern Fellow with SongFest at Colburn, a member of the Aspen Opera Theater Center, and a Vocal Arts Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center. He has collaborated with such ensembles as The Mark Morris Dance Group, The Handel Choir of Baltimore, The New York Virtuoso Singers, Ensemble VIII, The Hall Ensemble, and The Saginaw Choral Society. He has also garnered awards and recognition in several competitions, including the District and Regional levels of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, The Dallas Opera Guild Competition, and the Joy in Singing Music Sessions.
Mr. Eddy is a graduate of the Fort Worth Opera Studio as well as both Indiana University and the University of Michigan.
OLIVER HOLT (Bass) Oliver Holt is delighted to be a part of the Schola Cantorum, and to be directed by Maestro Candela. A graduate of NYU's classical voice program, Oliver has performed with many choirs in the city, including the choir of Church of the Ascension as well as that of St. Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue. When not singing here with the Schola, Oliver performs barbershop and other close harmony music as part of the Chris Wade Music Production company, which was recently featured in the New York Times.