General inquires about our Music Program should be directed to: Daniel Sañez

Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir


Benefit Concert for the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart

Sunday, February 12, 2017,  3:00 pm

Two-time GRAMMY® award-winning, world-renowned vocal ensemble Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir presents a benefit concert at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart. These artists frequently perform before sold-out audiences in such venues as Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, the BBC Proms, Vienna Konzerthaus, and the Kennedy Center.

Please join us for this benefit concert, which will be the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir’s sole performance in Virginia during 2017. Funds from the benefit concert will support the Cathedral’s ministries serving the spiritual, health, social justice, and fellowship needs of our community.

Pope Benedict XVI on Music

“[Music] has the power to lead us back … to the Creator of all harmony, creating a resonance within us which is like being in tune with the beauty and truth of God, with the reality which no human knowledge or philosophy can ever express.”

– Pope Benedict XVI in Rome, September 5, 2007

“In ‘lifting up your hearts,’ — sursum corda — music of faith seeks the integration of man and finds it not within itself but only by going beyond itself into the Word made flesh…It cannot be realized by an individual, but only in cooperation with others…Such a sacred music bequeathes joy and a higher type of ecstasy which does not extinguish personality, but unites and thus liberates. Such a sacred music gives us a foretaste of that freedom which does not destroy, but which unites and purifies.”

–Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI
lecture at the VIII International Church Music Congress in Rome, November 17, 1985.

Cathedral Concert Series

In keeping with the tradition of cathedrals throughout the ages, the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart actively promotes and engages in the arts and social outreach for the Catholic Diocese of Richmond and the Greater Richmond Area.“The Cathedral Concert Series” and “The Guest Artists & Guest Choirs At Cathedral Liturgies Series” are made possible through a generous grant from the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation; a generous music program endowment created by + Frank T. Eck; a generous music program endowment created by J. Alfred & Margaret Broaddus, Jr.; and the generosity of the community of the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart.

Music for a Cathedral Space


List of Concerts for the 2016 – 17 Season


25th Annual Holiday Festival of Music

presented by Commonwealth Catholic Charities
Featuring the Richmond Symphony

Monday, November 28, 2016 | 7:00 pm

Commonwealth Catholic Charities presents their 25th Annual Holiday Festival of Music and will include traditional carols and a sing-a-long. The cathedral is happy to host the Richmond Symphony in an evening that will benefit the over 40,000 people CCC serves on a yearly basis.


Advent Lessons and Carols

in Commemoration of Worlds AIDS Day
Saturday, December 10, 2016 | 7:30 pm

Join the cathedral community in this inaugural, annual Advent Lessons and Carols in preparation for the Christmas season. Festive carols and beautiful anthems will be featured. Lessons and Carols at the Cathedral is presented in commemoration of World AIDS Day. Donations will be solicited to support the good works of The Renewal Projects.


Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir

Celebrity Concert Event featuring two-time GRAMMY® award-winning
vocal ensemble

Sunday, February 12, 2017 | 3:00 pm

Two-time Grammy®-award winning, internationally-renowned vocal ensemble Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir presents a benefit concert at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart. The EPCC frequently performs in sold-out venues such as Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, BBC Proms, Vienna Konzerthaus, and the Kennedy Center.


Furman University Singers

Dr. Hugh Ferguson Floyd, Conductor
Monday, March 6, 2017 | 7:00 pm

Founded in 1946, Furman Singers is one of the premier collegiate ensembles in America.

The group tours across the United States and Europe, showcasing a repertoire that covers everything from Renaissance motets to the finest choral music of the 20th century.


David Jonies, Organ

Associate Director of Music, Holy Name Cathedral, Chicago
Wednesday, May 3, 2017 | 7:30 pm

David Jonies is Associate Director of Music at Chicago’s Holy Name Cathedral. Mr. Jonies studied organ and church music at the Hochschule fur Musik, Wurzburg, Germany, and was an organ student at the Royal Academy of Music. Prior to becoming organ Scholar at Westminster Cathedral, he held a similar post at the Chapel Royal, Hampton Court Palace. David was Gold Medalist at the International Organ Competition in Landau, Bavaria and has won awards from the Royal College of Organists and was presented with the Alec Robertson Scholarship.


ACRONYM Baroque Ensemble

Friday, May 26, 2017 | 7:00 pm

ACRONYM is dedicated to giving modern premieres of the wild instrumental music of the seventeenth century. Hailed as “absolutely first rate” by Early Music America Magazine and “first class” by the Philadelphia Inquirer, ACRONYM is dedicated to giving modern premieres of the wild instrumental music of the seventeenth century. Their Richmond program, entitled “Venice to Vienna,” will feature the music of Giovanni Priuli, Giovanni Valentini, Antonio Bertali, Alessandro Poglietti, Samuel Capricornus, Clemens Thieme, Johann Rosenmüller, Adam Drese, and Johann Christoph Pezel.


Greater Richmond Children’s Choir

Hope Armstrong Erb, Director
Sunday, June 25, 2017 | 2:00 pm

The Greater Richmond Children’s Choir will perform sacred and secular music from the Renaissance and Classical periods, World Music, and compositions written and arranged for GRCC. The GRCC has been hailed as one of Richmond’s “most acclaimed musical exports” and is recognized as one of the best choirs in the country.


The Cathedral’s Director of Music & Liturgy

Mr. Daniel B. Sañez Cathedral’s Director of Music & Liturgy

musicdirectorDaniel Benjamin Sañez is Director of Music and Liturgy for the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Richmond, VA, where he leads liturgical celebrations for the parish and for the Diocese of Richmond. Daniel is also Artistic Director of the Music for a Cathedral Space Concert Series, which presents an array of high-quality performing-arts events at the cathedral.

Before his appointment at the cathedral, he was Director of Music, Organist, and Choirmaster for the Church of Saint Catherine of Siena in New York City, Associate Director of Music for the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception,
and Assistant Director of Music at Holy Trinity Church in Georgetown, D.C.

While in New York, Daniel was Artistic Director of the Sounds of Siena Concert Series featuring the resident, professional choir, Schola Dominicana at several concerts every year. Daniel also served in the Music Commission of the Archdiocese of New York and as Director of Music for the inaugural Men’s Conference in the Archdiocese of New York. He also led the music for Solemn Pontifical Vespers in the Extraordinary Form during the premiere Sacra Liturgia Conference, the first such conference in the United States.

A Hollywood, CA, native, Daniel has performed with the Los Angeles (L.A.) Children’s Chorus, L.A. Master Chorale, Paul Salamunovich, L.A. Opera, Placido Domingo, the Kronos Quartet, Richmond Symphony; and conductors Esa-Pekka Salonen, John Williams, Keith Lockhart, and Jeanette Sorrell. He has concertized throughout the United States of America, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Switzerland, and Germany. At the closing concert for the American Guild of Organists 2010 Convention in Washington, D.C., Daniel gave the world premiere of James MacMillan’s “Tota Pulchra Es” with the Choir of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception under Basilica Director of Music Dr. Peter Latona. He was a featured recitalist during the National Association of Pastoral Musicians 2009 Convention in Chicago. Daniel has performed for His Holiness Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the Cardinals and Bishops of the United States, the President of the United States, the White House staff, and the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Daniel is a graduate of Boston College where he studied organ and choral conducting. As a Fulbright Fellow in Leipzig, Germany, he continued organ studies at the famed Thomaskirche, where J. S. Bach served as music director for twenty-seven years. Daniel earned the Master of Music in Historical Performance at the prestigious Oberlin College Conservatory of Music where he studied organ, harpsichord, fortepiano, voice, and choral conducting. Among his teachers are John Finney, James David Christie, Bernard Lagacé, Lionel Rogg, David Boe, Ullrich Böhme, Lisa Goode Crawford, Hugh Floyd, Salvatore Champange, and Max von Egmond. Daniel is a member of the Conference of Roman Catholic Cathedral Musicians, Organ Historical Society, American Guild of Organists, Church Music Association of America, American Choral Directors Association, and National Association of Pastoral Musicians.

Cathedral Choirs

The Cathedral Choir: This program enriches, embellishes, and supports the celebration of the Liturgy through God’s gift of music. Discernment of this gift through an informal audition, the ability to read music, and experience as a choral singer are required. Rehearsals are each Thursday from 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm and 45 minutes prior to each Liturgy at which this choir is scheduled to sing. The “requirements” for the Cathedral Choir include the ability to read music, prior choral experience, and a brief audition/interview. At the brief audition/interview, you will sing a song (or part of a song) of your choice; you will sing a series of vocal exercises; and you will sight sing a part of a choral piece.

Children’s Choir

Attention children who love to sing who are 2nd through 5th grade! Cathedral will once again have a children’s choir that will sing at the 4:00 pm Mass on Christmas Eve and the 9:00 am Mass Easter Sunday. Leading up to those Masses, the children’s choir will rehearse for three Sunday morning rehearsals before Christmas Eve and Easter. Mrs. Amy Hruska will lead the choir and looks forward to working with the children of Cathedral.

The rehearsals are:

  • December 2016
  • Sunday, December 4   10-11:00 am
  • Sunday, December 11   10-11:00 am
  • Sunday, December 18   10-11:00 am
  • Saturday, December 24   3:00 pm (to rehearse before the 4:00 pm Mass)
  • March 2017
  • Sunday, March 26   10-11:00 am
  • Sunday, April 2   10-11:00 am
  • Sunday, April 9   10-11:00 am
  • Sunday, April 16   8:15 am (to rehearse before 9:00 am Mass)

All rehearsals will be held in the 2nd floor conference room of the parish offices.

If you think you can commit to this schedule and would like to participate, please email Amy Hruska.

Cathedral Cantors

Lauren Clay Tompkins has been a cantor and soprano section leader at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Richmond, VA since early 2015. A Richmond native, Lauren is no stranger to area congregations, having held several similar positions over the past decade. Love of music has brought her beyond the doors of the church into the wider community, featuring as a soloist in concerts for the Richmond Chapter of the American Guild of Organists and as a veteran member of the James River Singers. A soprano, she has a background in vocal performance and musical theatre from Appomattox Regional Governor’s School and has a special interest in Early Music, having studied voice with Nancy Zylstra and Penelope Jensen at Oberlin Conservatory’s Baroque Performance Institute. Lauren’s interests are wide-ranging: from studying acting in college to receiving a degree in International Studies from VCU. These days, when she is not singing, you can find Lauren loving her work supporting women as a birth doula and engaged in the 24/7 job of caring for her three sweet, vivacious children!

Jennifer Piazza-Pick, soprano, has been active in oratorio, concerts, choral music, and opera in the United States and Europe. She was a member of the House Chorus at the National theater Mannheim in Mannheim, Germany for five years, where she performed in over 50 different productions. She has also performed with Ithaca Opera, Long Beach Opera, Pacific Chorale, Cincinnati Opera, Opera Theater of Lucca, the U.S. Army Europe Band, Opera Piccola of San Antonio, Alamo City Ballet, Pacific Chorale, San Antonio Chamber Choir, the Princeton Festival, the Dallas Choral Festival, the Virginia Chorale, and the Oregon Bach Festival. An advocate of American music, Ms. Piazza-Pick has premiered works for many American composers, and frequently presents recitals and lectures on American music, especially 21st-century American composers. At the Composers Alliance of San Antonio’s spring concert, featuring the poetry of San Antonio’s poet laureate, Camen Tafolla, she premiered the works of three different compoers. She gave the premiere Texas performance for CMASH, a California-based music repertory group, where she premiered a song cycle by award-winning composer Liam Wade. Ms. Piazza-Pick is the winner of Hawaii Public Radio’s art song contest, the George Cortes Award for Classical Singing by the Artist Foundation of San Antonio and was a finalist for the American Prize in the women’s art song division. She is currently an adjunct instructor of voice at Virginia State University and the University of Richmond, and she maintains a private studio.

Ian Richardson, bass-baritone,who has been praised for his “rich vocal power,” is a native Iowan now residing in Richmond, Virginia. Since his completion of graduate school, Ian has performed in many opera companies, including Kentucky Opera, St. Petersburg Opera, and Des Moines Metro Opera, as well as others. While experimenting in both the low baritone and high bass repertoire, he has enjoyed performing the roles of Olin Blitch in Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah, Figaro in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, and Timur in Puccini’s Turandot, as well as roles composed by Benjamin Britten, Gian Carlo Menotti, Charles Gounod, and Giuseppe Verdi. In Richmond, he has performed with Capitol Opera in their productions of Die Fledermaus and La Rinuncia. He is a regular cantor at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, and a choir member at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church. When he’s not singing, he enjoys composing classical music, playing jazz and double bass, and improvising on the piano.

Rondy Michael Lazaro, M.D., is a tenor with the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart Parish Choir and the Richmond Symphony Chorus. He is a former member of the San Francisco Symphony Chorus, Stanford Chamber Chorale, Stanford University Singers, University of Virginia Chamber Singers, and the University of Virginia University Singers. Dr. Lazaro has studied voice with Gregory Wait, Norm DeVol, and Bridgid Eversole. He has sung in masterclasses for Christòpheren Nomura, John Bellemer, Rudolf Jansen, and Ragnar Bohlin. He is also an active violinist and conductor. Dr. Lazaro graduated from Stanford University in 2008 with a B.A. in Music (concentration in Conducting) and a B.S. in Biology. He was the winner of the 2008 Louis Sudler Prize in the Performing and Creative Arts from the Stanford University Department of Music. He earned his M.D. from the University of Virginia in 2014. Dr. Lazaro is currently a resident physician in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Guest Choirs

The Cathedral of the Sacred Heart welcomes and would like to offer visiting choirs an opportunity to share their talents.

Guest choirs are invited to sing at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart as the calendar allows. The Cathedral reserves the right to reschedule a choir should an unforeseen event of importance occur.

To request an opportunity to sing at the Cathedral:

Send a written request via letter or email with a description of your choir and dates and times that you would prefer. Send a list with time lengths of the sacred repertoire prepared for the requested Mass. Include a recording of 5-10 minutes in length of the current choir. Please note that all guest choirs that are approved perform gratis. Music without accompaniment or with organ accompaniment is preferred. Please allow thirty days for a performance request response.

Professional Choristers

The Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Richmond, VA, seeks professional singers for permanent and substitute positions for all voice parts as well as cantor opportunities. (Semi-professional choir. The professional core will constitute an ensemble separate from the semi-professional whole.)

Substitute choristers must be available on Sunday mornings.

Choristers are engaged from September through June with Thursday night rehearsals, reoccurring Sunday Masses at 9 and 11 a.m., occasional diocesan events, other events as scheduled, and concert opportunities.

Competitive pay.

The cathedral’s music program welcomes those who wish to make music at a high level and are thoroughly trained in the vocal arts, having earned at least a Bachelor’s in Music/Voice, or equivalent experience/skills. Exceptional sight-singing ability, flexibility in sound, and mastery of differing musical styles are equally important as dedication, commitment, and leadership skills.

Auditions are in progress and will continue until positions are filled. The audition will include a rendering of an early music aria of the applicant’s choice, sight-singing of Gregorian chant (in modern notation), and sight-singing of a renaissance Mass.

Those interested may electronically send a CV, a statement of interest, and recordings/clips (if available) to:

Daniel B. Sañez, M. Mus.
Director of Music and Liturgy
Artistic Director, Music for a Cathedral Space Concert Series
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