Dir. Carlo Banfi - 1954 Dir. Cesare Mino Dir. Cerri - 1957 Organo: Marinoni inaugurazione della nuova sede - 18 Mag. 2003
The Schola Cantorum Choir
of Sanctuary in Rho
The Schola Cantorum choir was founded in 1907 by "Padri Oblati" Carlo Rebuzzini and Felice Ercoli.
The aim of the choir was to sing during the celebrations in the Sanctuary and to help other choirs get started in the town.
The first director was Father Ercoli who had been directing the choir for 45 years.
The Schola Cantorum choir was made up of men only, chosen directly from the primary school children of the town by Father Ercoli. Later women started singing in the choir and the soprano and alto voices were sung by them.
Other directors came after Father Ercoli: Ercole Banfi, his son Carlo, who directed the choir until the end of the '60s, then Mino, Ferrari and Cerri.
The Director Achille Nava has been directing the Schola Cantorum choir since 1974. Nava took his "diploma" in piano at the G. Verdi "Conservatorio" (Academy of Music) in Milan. He went on his musical studies attending Composition and Directing courses by the "Civica Scuola di Musica" (Civic School of Music) in Milan.
The Choir has 50 members, 30 women and 20 men.
The Choir has a wide repertoire which varies from vocal pieces with or without organ accompaniment or other instruments, both sacred and secular, different musical forms of various genres and of different ages: Gregorian music, madrigals, hymns of praise, "mottetti a cappella" by Renaissance composers until today. Composers include Palestrina, Monteverdi, Bach, Bruckner, Haendel, Poulenc, pieces for solo, choir and orchestra by W.A.Mozart ("Messa dell"incoronazione" and "Vesperae Solenne de Confessore"), F.Schubert ("Messa in do maggiore" and "Deutsche Messe"), A.Vivaldi ("Magnificat"), M.A. Charpentier ("Te Deum"), G. Fauré ("Requiem").
The Choir sings every Sunday during Mass at eleven o"clock and at the other main celebrations in the Sanctuary of The Madonna Addolorata and performs concerts in Italy and abroad.
The Choir was selected twice at the International Exhibition of "Cappelle Musicali" in Loreto (in 1980 and in 1989) and in 1983 it took part in the second edition of "Incontri Polifonici" (Polyphonic Meetings) in Chieti, while in 1986 the choir performed in Nuoro for the "XII Rassegna Internazionale".( International Meeting)
The Polish choir "Organum", founded by the Pope Giovanni Paolo II in 1967, invited the Schola Cantorum to Poland. In September 1981 and in August 1985 the choir went to Poland and performed concerts in Varsavia, Cracow and Czestochowa with great success.
In 1988 the Schola Cantorum was twinned with the Ungarian choir A. Schweizer. In 1988 and later in 1990 it performed numerous concerts in various Magyar towns, the concert with the orchestra accompaniment of the Kronungsmesse K 317 by Mozart in Budapest was particularly appreciated.
In 1991 the choir was offered hospitality by the S. Michael Choir in Hildesheim (Germany) where it took part in the "Sommerlichen Kirchenmusik".
In July 1993 it took part in the "Rassegna Nazionale" (National Exhibition) of sacred Music in Lucca and in September it sang at the tenth edition of the Choral Exhibition in Varzo (Vb).
On 8 October 1995 it inaugurated the sixth edition of Rassegna "Città di Ancona".
In 1996 the Choir was "in tournée" in the U.S.A. and in Canada. It performed concerts with the Collegium Musicum Orchestra of Bellingham in Seattle, Bellingham, San Francisco and Vancouver.
Since 1994 the Schola has taken part in the "Novena dell'Immacolata" in Duomo Cathedral in Milan in December every year.
In Duomo Cathedral from 1993 to 1996 it took part in the traditional Christmas Concert "Città di Milano", together with the "Rosetum" Orchestra of Milan directed by the Director Adriano Bassi, collaboration repeated in 2002.
In 1999 it was invited at the "Convegno Ligure delle Corali di Sori", national polyphonic and folkloristic festival, and took part in "IV Rassegna Cittadina di Musica Polifonica " in Brescia.
In 2001 together with other three choirs it took part in the Exhibition in Pero (Mi) in the Parrocchia della Visitazione. It also sang during the solemn celebrations for the Madonna di Fatima in the first week of June.
On 23 November 2003 the Choir took part to the XXVII" National Meeting of Sacrum Music developed in Roma, in the Basilic of San Pietro at Vaticano, organized by the Italian Association of Saint Cecilia.
On June 2005 the Schola Cantorum of Santuario of Rho took part to the VIII Alta Pusteria International Choir Festival singing in the churches of Villabassa and Colle di Casies, also in the Gustav Mahler"s concert-hall in Dobbiaco.
Since 1990 the Schola Cantorum has been organizing the "Rassegna" (Exhibition) "Cantando in CoRho" to celebrate the Feast of Madonna Addolorata and has invited the best Italian Choirs to sing.
Schola Cantorum 2003