Ensembles & Organizations
Cantors lead the congregation in song at Mass. We are blessed to have a very talented group of volunteers who take on this responsibility every week. Open auditions are held every fall. Individual auditions may be set up by appointment. Cantor rehearsals are scheduled as needed, no more than twice per month.
The Adult Choir sings at the 9am Sunday mass and all major celebrations. Members must be of high school age or older. The ability to read music is helpful, but all levels of experience are welcome. There are no formal auditions. Rehearsals take place every Wednesday from 7pm to 9pm in church.
Benedictine Children's Chorus
The Benedictine Children's Chorus (formerly Children's Choir) is made up of young vocalists in grades 3-5. This chorus meets on Monday morning at 7:15am in church for rehearsal and sings for the 8:30am Daily Mass each week. The choir also sings once a month at Sunday Mass. The Children's Chorus is directed by Hannah Stapleton & Jeremy Kiolbassa.
The Family Choir is made up of singers of all ages. This group is especially tailored to parents with children that cannot commit to rehearsing and singing every week. The family choir meets once per month at 9:15am for rehearsal and sings for the 10:30am Mass right afterward. This group is lead by Matthew Herek, Associate Director of Music.
6:30pm Sunday Ensemble
The 6:30pm ensemble ministers from September - Pentecost at the Sunday night mass. Membership is open to all singers/instrumentalists high school age and up from St. Ben's, St. Matthias, Our Lady of Lourdes, and Queen of Angels. The ensemble sings a variety of Catholic hymnody with a focus on contemporary style. The ensemble meets at 6pm on Sundays to prepare to sing the 6:30pm liturgy and then meets for 30 minutes afterwards to prepare for the next week's mass. The 6:30pm Ensemble is directed by Matt Herek.
The Chant Schola is an auditioned group that is made up of members of our Adult Choir and cantors. This small ensemble meets periodically for special solemnities and feasts. This group has a special focus in early sacred music.
Ravenswood Community Orchestra
The R.C.O. is an independent community orchestra in residence at St. Benedict. They perform several concerts throughout the year and collaborate with the parish music ministry on a regular basis. Rehearsals take place on Monday at 7:30pm in the school library.
LIVE! at Ben's
This concert series highlights talented members of our parish community, neighborhood, and beyond. These concerts showcase a variety of ensembles, soloists, and genres. Most concerts are free and all are open to everyone.
Parish Music Staff
Jeremy Kiolbassa, Director of Music Ministry
JEREMY KIOLBASSA is a performer and composer, living and working in Chicago, IL. His Fascination with sacred music the organ began in his formative years at St. Hyacinth Catholic School in Chicago. In childhood he demonstrated a natural ability to play by ear, and his abilities developed without formal training into adolescence, teaching himself to read music while continuing to play by ear and improvise. His formal musical training began relatively late as he attended Whitney Young High School in Chicago. While refining his keyboard technique, he also gained a great love for choral repertoire during this time, singing in choirs under the baton of two great conductors, Scott Arkenberg and Gloria Brown. He went on to attend VanderCook College of Music to study music education. He studied applied piano performance in the studio of Ms. Marianne Krupa, and during this time all but stopped practicing the organ outside of Sunday Mass.Over the past five years Jeremy has rekindled his love for the instrument that peaked his interest so many years ago. He had the privilege of studying with Dr. Elizabeth Naegele at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago for just over 3 years. In 2013 he was appointed Director of Music Ministry at Saint Benedict Catholic Parish in Chicago. Under his direction, the parish has embraced the organ and ‘traditional’ worship, and the music program has more than tripled in size. His ear and natural ability have manifested a love for improvisation and composition.
Matthew Herek, Associate Director of Music
MATTHEW HEREK has served as a music ministry associate at St. Benedict since February of 2015. His primary role is accompanying the 6:30pm Sunday Night liturgy as well as serving as needed at other masses and liturgical functions. A Michigan native, Matt moved to Chicago in 2001 after completing his bachelor's and master's degrees at Michigan State University. Matt has worked at a number of parishes in Chicago including: St. Vincent DePaul, St Luke's (River Forest), St. Matthias, and St. Joseph's (Libertyville). Matt is a passionate fan of his MSU Spartans and enjoys watching and being involved in sports. Matt resides in Uptown with Archie, a high energy silver labrador he adopted in July of 2017. Matt is also Jack, Max, and Grace's favorite Uncle.