By Torrey Culbertson, ‘22
Thomas More College is pleased to welcome Mr. Michael Olbash as Guild Master of the St. Philip Neri Sacred Music Guild. Mr. Olbash, who holds an undergraduate degree in music from Harvard University and a Master of Music degree in Sacred Music and Liturgy from St. Joseph’s College in Indiana, is working to help the students nurture and deepen their engagement with sacred music. Guild sessions thus far have included everything from reading and discussing Sacrosanctum Concilium (the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy of the Second Vatican Council) to learning the note reading and conducting gestures of Gregorian chant.
“It is refreshing to work with people who honestly care about learning sacred music.”–Mr. Michael Olbash, Sacred Music Guild Master
“There is something inside all of us that innately knows sacred music is good and beautiful,” says Sophomore guild member Cana Teague. “The Sacred Music Guild is teaching us how to put that into words, how to communicate this truth through our voices.” In addition to discussing the nature of sacred music and mastering foundational skills, the Sacred Music Guild is working on several projects that will bring their art to the service of the broader community. On the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Guild will sing the Missa Cantata with full Gregorian Propers and Ordinaries at St. Stanislaus Catholic Church in Nashua. Guild members will also join with another area choir this spring to sing Haydn’s Missa brevis Sancti Joannis de Deo, accompanied by string ensemble, at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston at a Solemn High Mass for the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker.
Mr. Olbash also serves as Organist and Choirmaster of St. Adelaide’s Parish in Peabody, Massachusetts, and as Director of Music at Pope St. John XXIII National Seminary in Weston, Massachusetts. He brings incredible energy and expertise to the Sacred Music Guild Program at Thomas More College. “It is refreshing,” says Mr. Olbash of his new role at the College, “to work with people who honestly care about learning sacred music.”