Frances Nelson- Music Director & Organist
The Cathedral Choir
The Cathedral Choir is a mixed voice, professional/volunteer choir which leads the worship of the Cathedral congregation. The Choir has a distinguished history of service to the Cathedral, the Diocese and the community at large.
The Choir leads the Sunday morning Eucharist year-round at the 10:30 a.m. service. In addition to singing at Sunday Masses, they sing at special celebrations of Mass including Easter Vigil, Christmas Vigil, Midnight Masses and ordinations for the Diocese of Jackson.
Interested in Joining the Cathedral Choir?
Contact Frances Nelson at the email above or call the Cathedral office at 601-969-3125.
BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CATHEDRAL PIPE ORGAN
In 1980, it was determined that the Kilgen organ currently in use at the Cathedral was in need of repair or replacement. An Organ Committee was formed under the guidance of Fr. Robert Olivier with Keith Harkins as chairman. The Committee determined that a new instrument would best solve the problems of the old organ. Many of these problems were due, in fact, to the location of the old organ in tightly packed side chambers. The next major decision was that the tracker or mechanical action would be employed instead of the electro-pneumatic action in the Kilgen organ. The Organ Committee then began interviewing builders of tracker organs in the United States and several foreign countries. The Rieger Orgelbau of Schwarzach, Austria, was selected and a contract was signed in December of 1984. Upon completion of the renovations to the gallery, which included air conditioning and a new stairwell, the new Rieger organ was delivered and installed in the spring of 1987. Dr. Craig Cramer served as organ consultant for this project. Having the continued guidance of Msgr. Noel Foley and direction of Bishop William R. Houck, the new organ was dedicated on Sunday February 14, 1988 giving Glory of God and in honor of Bishop Joseph B. Brunini.
The tonal design of the new organ, as well as the organ case, is in keeping with the classic traditions after the French organ builder, Francois Henry Cliquot. The organ case is made of oak from the Lorraine district of France. The oak is fumed, then treated with beeswax. The ornamental pipe shades, also oak, are carved in a pattern unique to St. Peter’s Cathedral. The pipes in the case are made of polished tin. In the classic tradition, the Rückpositiv Division, controlled by the lower keyboard is set into the gallery rail. The name for the division comes from the practice of placing it behind the back (rücken) of the organist. The Hauptwerk or Great Division is located over the key desk and is controlled by the upper keyboard. The pipes of the Pedal Division are in the large case behind Hauptwerk. The key of each division are connected to the playing mechanism of their respective division by small wooden rods or trackers, hence the name “tracker organ.” The manual keys are covered with bone and ebony; the stop controls, also tracker, have faces of ebony. The pedal keys are made of oak and ebony. The key desk has preparations for a combination action which may be added (when funds are available) in the future.