Open rehearsals begin in February for new ecumenical cathedral festival choir

BARTONVILLE — Open rehearsals begin this Wednesday, Feb. 7, for a new festival choir that will sing for liturgical celebrations at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Peoria. The rehearsals will be held at 6:30 p.m. at St. Anthony Church, 2525 S. Skyway Road, and continue Feb. 14, 21 and 28.

Forming the core for the festival choir is the St. Anthony Camerata Chorale, founded in 2014 and directed by Mary Ann Fahey-Darling, liturgical director of music at St. Anthony. It is not necessary to be able to read music, she said, and no audition is required.

The group is open to people of all faith traditions.

“Bishop (Edward) O’Rourke used to say one way we could all worship God together is through music,” Fahey-Darling said. “It really stuck with me and is why I do what I do.”

The St. Anthony Camerata Chorale Ecumenical Festival Choir will sing at St. Mary’s Cathedral for the Rite of Election at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 18; the St. Patrick’s Day Mass at 8 a.m. on Saturday, March 17; the Chrism Mass at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, March 27; and the Mass of Ordination to the Priesthood at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 26.

The group is also scheduled to present concerts this spring and for Christmas. “Christmas at the Cathedral” will be part of the Heart of Peoria Concert Series.

For more information about the festival choir, contact Fahey-Darling at (309) 678-9166 or

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