Christmas at Loretto

Beautiful New Music for the Season
Featuring the world premiere of a new work by American composer Carolyn Pirtle along with other new works for the season and familiar carols in new arrangements.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

7:30 p.m.
Peace Lutheran Church
South Haven, Michigan


Sunday, December 22, 2019

7:30 p.m.
Church of Our Lady of Loretto
Saint Mary’s College

This concert sponsored in part by Ron and Barbara Robbins.


Carolyn Pirtle

Carolyn Pirtle, composer

This concert closes our 30th anniversary season and will be our 30th Christmas concert.  In honor of this occasion, our program will be made up entirely of works by women composers, to honor Saint Mary’s College, the women’s college that has been our “home” for the past 30 years. This annual holiday concert always draws a large crowd of Northwest Indiana residents.  For this year’s concert, we have commissioned a new work from composer Carolyn Pirtle, Program Director for the Notre Dame Center for Liturgy.  She has chosen to set a poem by Christopher Wordsworth called “Sing, O Sing, This Blessed Morn,” and set it somewhat in the style of a madrigal. We will also feature several of our past commissioned works by women composers.

As Program Director of the Center for Liturgy, Carolyn oversees the planning and facilitation of the Center’s signature events, particularly the annual symposium, Liturgy Week, as well as the McGrath Institute’s annual International Crèche Exhibit and Pilgrimage, and the Marian Procession and May Crowning. Additionally, Carolyn assists with liturgical planning for the entire McGrath Institute, collaborates in the liturgical and musical formation of MICL program participants and is a contributing member of the editorial board for Church Life Journal, where she writes on liturgical music, aesthetics, devotional practice, and popular culture.

Born and raised in Wichita, Kansas, Carolyn began studying piano at age three. By age twelve, she was accompanying and cantoring for Mass and has been an active parish musician ever since. She holds degrees in piano performance (B.M., Kansas State University, 2003), music theory-composition (M.M., Kansas State University, 2005), vocal/choral sacred music (M.S.M., Notre Dame, 2008), and theology (M.A., Notre
Dame, 2016). Carolyn speaks regularly on the theology and practice of liturgical music, the role of the arts in Catholic life, formation in liturgical and devotional prayer, and Christian creativity.

An award-winning composer, Carolyn has set the antiphons and psalms for the entire Liturgy of the Hours, and several of her liturgical compositions are available through World Library Publications and earthsongs. She is also the composer and playwright of the nine one-act musicals performed in yearly cycles at Notre Dame Vision. Carolyn has published articles in Logos: A Journal for Catholic Thought and CultureAIM: Liturgy Resources Magazine, and GIA Quarterly (forthcoming), is author of the forthcoming book Praying the Rosary Together: A Guide for Households and Classrooms(World Library Publications, 2019), and is currently working on two commissioned choral works for Saint Mary’s College and the South Bend Chamber Singers, as well as settings of the Entrance Antiphons.

When she’s not playing piano, singing, or composing, Carolyn enjoys attending live performances of musicals, watching old movies, teaching piano lessons to young people, reading novels, and baking breads and other treats for her co-workers. They really like breads and treats


Christmas at Loretta 2018 featured the world premiere of a new work by American composer William McClelland along with other new works for the season and familiar carols in new arrangements.

Mark your calendars for Christmas at Loretto 2019, scheduled for Sunday, December 22.

The South Bend Chamber Singers present Christmas at Loretto 2018

  • Hodie Christus Natus Est Peppi Calvar
  • The Angel Gabriel from Heaven Came Basque Carol, arr. Susan LaBarr
  • O Come, Divine Messiah! Sixteenth Century French Carol, arr. Howard Helvey
  • What Sweeter Music J. Edmund Hughes
  • Let Your Heart Speak Music Jocelyn Hagen
    In Memory of R. Wyatt Mick (1929-2018)
  • Caedmon’s Hymn William McClelland
    World Premiere
  • From Starry Skies Descending Alphonsus Liguori, arr. Robert Sieving
  • Ravta et rivam Rex Isenberg
  • Spanish Ave Maria Henry Mollicone
  • Hodie Joan Szymko
  • Make We Joy Now in This Fest Matthew Culloton
  • Vidimus Stellam Kevin Siegfried
  • Born on a New Day John David and Philip Lawson, arr. Peter Knight
  • Behold a Tender Babe Paul Mealor
  • Mary Had a Baby St. Helena Island Spiritual, arr. Craig Carnahan
  • Three Angels Ben Parry
  • Silent Night arr. Sir Malcolm Sargent




Let Your Heart Speak Music, by Jocelyn Hagen. Performed in memory of R. Wyatt Mick, 1929-2018.

Hodie, by Joan Szymko. Conducted by Ryan Peteraf.

Born on a New Day, by John David and Philip Lawson, arranged by Peter Knight.

Behold a Tender Babe, by Paul Mealor. Tenor soloist Ryan Clough.

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