The Schola's Quarter Notes 2019 Quarter 2

Assumption Becomes a Music Magnet School in 2019-2020

by Fr. Ted Ley, SM, DMus

It’s official! Assumption is becoming a Catholic Magnet School in the Communication Arts with a special focus on Sacred and Classical Choral Music, Pre-K through Eighth Grade. Mr. Vicente Bastidas joins the Faculty full-time as the Choirmaster. Every child going to Assumption will receive a music education second-to-none. There will be no raise in school tuition for this opportunity, thanks to generous benefactors. Ms. Juarez, the school principal, is working closely with experts to create the most up-to-date and exciting program in Education available to any child in the East Los Angeles area.

Facebook Live

If you miss any of our events then jump onto your Facebook page and navigate to our video sections. Lately, we have been using Facebook live to stream the videos of our events. Please, join us for our next performances either in-person or through Facebook. Feel free to leave comments.

Vicente Bastidas, at age nine, singing the soprano part of the complete Vivaldi Gloria in a Schola concert with orchestra.

Creating a True Choir School for Our Times, Part 1

by Fr. Ted Ley, SM, DMus

A “school choir” is not a “choir school.” There is a big difference. We knew we could create a worthy “school choir” at Assumption. That was already an answer to a prayer: We could help revivify a venerable school in a needy neighborhood. But more has happened!

In a choir school as distinguished from a school choir, the children’s general studies – the “Three R’s” – are to large extent taught through choral music preparation and performance. This holistic approach is closer to home schooling than to age-related classes. And like home-schooled students, youth in choir schools often excel in national standardized tests.

But the curriculum has to be “just right.” For example, Escolania Pacifica students have as their Science Lab, the Physics of Sound, Electronics and Communications. This type of lab utilizes Algebra and Geometry earlier than most middle school Science. The children of Assumption have run a campus radio broadcasting station for several years. We are now adding amateur radio, so more advanced students can pass the examinations and be assigned by the FCC their personal call letters and be able to join the American Radio Relay League.

Ways to contribute to our mission

Consider volunteering in the choir

Our choir is always looking for more singers. If you are interested in singing soprano, alto, tenor, or bass then please reach out to us either through email or phone call. At the moment, we sing at St. John Chrysostom in Inglewood on Sundays with practice starting at 10am and mass at 11:30am. In addition, we plan concerts locally and on the road. We are happy to accept new singers, so please feel welcome to inquire.

Make donations by mail

Despite the move to electronic payments, we still do accept checks. Checks should be payable to “The Schola Cantorum of the Pacific” and mailed to P.O. Box 171, Wrightwood, CA 92397. Since we are a 501(c)3 non-profit, all donations are tax deductible according to current tax laws. You will receive an acknowledgement letter that you can keep for tax purposes.

Make donations online

There are now two ways to make donations online. The first way is making one-time donations through PayPal and the second way is using PayPal to set up recurring donations. All donations through PayPal are also tax deductible according to current tax laws.

Share our stories to others and on social media

Unquestionably, one of the best ways to support us is to attend our events and show and tell your friends and family. Share this newsletter with others or leave it on your coffee table. And share our social media posts with others in your favorite social network. We appreciate all the exposure you can provide for us.

Shop through AmazonSmile

The details were first shared through our first quarterly newsletter. We are participating in AmazonSmile. Once it’s set up, you can shop regularly through Amazon and 0.5% of your purchases will donated to your favorite non-profit.

All details can be found on our website.


Escolanía students performing ’Amazing Grace’ at an event for Ascending Lights. (Photo by Michelle Herrera)

Good Friday service at Little Sisters of the Poor. Our adult choir sang ‘The St. John Passion’ composed by Father Ted Ley, SM.

Easter Sunday at St John Chrysostom at the 10:30am mass.

Escolanía Students performing their Spring concert program at Assumption, May 19, 2019

My First Solo Experience

By Matthew Alcocer

It was my first public performance and I loved doing it. I was a little nervous at the beginning but the choir comforted me. Then came my solo and these were the words to my solo:

Into my life came a world of song. It is the world I have needed all along. I enjoy it so. Everywhere we go. Our songs inspire, entertain – and we grow: Till comes the day childhood must go away. Our reverie at an end, I’ll sing the songs written from age to age. To perform with my lifetime friends. Children of the Stage, don’t take a final bow. Keep singing forever, remember whenever. You’re singing your song, people will sing along, As I sang along with you.

I felt nervous but they say I didn’t look like it. When I sang the solo I thought I was raspy with my throat but I wasn’t. Whenever I’m in the choir I’m at my favorite class because singing is my favorite thing to do. I would one day like to be a professional singer. I practice my vocal chords in the choir to try to accomplish those dreams. People in the choir are nice, like Cristian and Jade, because they help me sing the songs every time I am nervous. The choir has encouraged me to improve my grades. I’ve been promised a lead part in our Early California musical, “Fandango.” This is a happy time for me.

Matthew, 12, was the alto soloist in the Escolanía presentation at the Marianist Lalanne House in University Park by USC on June 23rd, 2019.

The Schola Then and Now

Here is the only (digital) picture we have of the Schola's first public Mass which was at the Feast Day of St. Joseph, March 19, 1977, at Mission San Juan Capistrano, the annual celebration of the return of the swallows to the Old Mission.
A picture of mostly the kids singing the Sunday Mass we did at Sacred Heart Church in Ely, NV on August 4th, 2019
Created By
Julio Maldonado