Beyond the curriculum’s formal study of music in the junior year, TAC students have numerous opportunities to develop their musical abilities and share them with the community.
The Thomas Aquinas College Choir — lovingly called the “Grimm Choir” after the longtime choir directors — rehearses weekly and sings at each Sunday Mass, in addition to holding concerts throughout the year. In California, there is a yearly wintertime concert, where students in recent years have performed Handel’s Messiah, Bach Cantatas, and Mozart’s Coronation Mass. On the New England campus there is an annual “Lessons and Carols” — an Advent tradition dating back to the late 19th century — for which the choir sings in joyful expectation of Christ’s birth. Present on both campuses is a men’s Schola Gregoriana, who provide solemn choral music for Sunday’s Extraordinary Form Mass.
Informal gatherings of musicians and vocalists are also popular among students and faculty. Annual Schubertiades and Open Mic Nights showcase the impressive musical talents that many students bring to the College, and give them an opportunity to perform in a relaxed atmosphere. Additionally, there are several student-run choirs and many opportunities for chamber music.
Student musicians also have pleasant venues for practicing and performing on campus. In California, there are a number of private practice rooms, including St. Cecilia Hall, which houses a grand piano for use by soloists and accompanists alike. In New England, Margaret Olivia Music Hall, which is a stunning architectural masterpiece itself, features several practice rooms that are popular among students.