Combine choirs L&C 2016

Choirs at Sacred Heart Church

Worshiping God through music is an integral part of our Catholic heritage.  The choirs at Sacred Heart Church lead, inspire and enliven congregational singing at masses and liturgies throughout the year. Additionally, solo choir anthems are chosen from the past as well as present day masterpieces. 
To achieve this, the choristers are constantly learning and honing proper vocal technique for a healthy long lasting voice, and exercising musicianship skills including music and note reading, ear-training, stylistic interpretation, musical terms and the employment of multiple languages through proper diction.
Listen to our choirs at their recent performance:
Lo, How A Rose E'er Blooming - 2016 Lessons and Carols
Chancel and Multi-cultural choirs
This Is the Truth - 2016 Lessons and Carols
Children's Schola

The Chancel Choir

The Sacred Heart Chancel Choir leads congregational singing at the 12:15 p.m. mass from early September through mid-June, as well as Holy Week liturgies and the major feast days of the church year. The choir also presents programs throughout the year including the Advent Service of Lessons and Carols. The choir is comprised of adults and young adults (post-confirmation) and rehearses on most Thursday evenings at 7:30 p.m.  Rehearsal attendance is required for mass choral participation.

The Multi Cultural Ministry Choir

The Multi-Cultural Ministry (MCM) of Sacred Heart Church represents the richly diverse cultural composition of our parish, practicing the Catholic faith expressed in various traditions. This ministry proclaims the Good News of Christ through singing in the choir at the 5:30 p.m. mass on Saturdays of the month. The Multi-Cultural Ministry Choir also sings at special liturgical celebrations, including Simbang Gabi, Advent Lessons and Carols, and major feast days of the Church Year. Comprised of a core group of dedicated volunteers of all ages and backgrounds, this choir rehearses Saturdays at 4:15 p.m.  Rehearsal attendance is required for mass choral participation.

The Holiday Choir

The Holiday Choir joins with and augments the Chancel Choir for the Christmas season and for Holy week.  Designed for singers who are unable to commit to the regular rehearsal schedule, or for students returning home from college for vacation, members contact the Music Director six weeks prior to the holiday to arrange a rehearsal schedule, and are required to attend a minimum of three rehearsals prior to the holiday. 


Director of Music - Ms. Jennifer D. Behnke

Dramatic soprano Jennifer D. Behnke enjoys a hugely varied and rapidly growing career, both as a performer and as an educator. A graduate of Manhattan School of Music and the University of Rochester, she has received numerous scholarships and awards, including the inaugural Eugene L. Brister Award (2015), and has been championed by world-renowned Wagnerian singers Jane Eaglen and Gordon Hawkins. She has sung the roles of Leonore (Fidelio), Giorgietta (Il tabarro), Nedda (I pagliacci), Brunnhilde (Götterdämmerung and Die Walküre), Female Chorus (The Rape of Lucretia), Maddalena (Andrea Chénier), Grimgerde (Die Walküre), among others. In the New York area aloneBehnke has performed with New York Opera Forum, Chelsea Opera,Central City Chorus, Analog Arts, Astoria Symphony, The Brearly Singers, the Columbia University Glee Club, and the West Village Chorale. She has participated in various workshops and master classes including the Johanna Meier Opera Theatre Intensive (SD), the Baldwin Wallace Wagner Intensive (OH).


Ms. Behnke is in demand as an oratorio soloist, and recent roles include the soprano solos in Fauré’s Requiem, Händel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Missa Sancti Nicolai, Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem, Duruflé’s Requiem, Finzi’s In Terra Pax,and Mozart’s Requiem, Vesperae solennes de Confessore, and Missa Brevis No. 10 in C. A favorite of contemporary composers, she has worked with Pawel Lukaszewski, Aurelio Porfiri, David Evan Thomas, and Eric Hunter, with whom she frequently collaborates in recital.  She was especially honored to both perform as a soloist and lead congregational singing during a service for Pope Benedict XVI on his visit to New York’s St. Joseph’s Church, which was broadcast live around the world.


In addition to her performance career, Ms. Behnke is an active educator and conductor, and has taught voice privately in New Jersey for many years. She has served as the Director of Children’s Schola at Sacred Heart Church (Bloomfield, NJ), Interim Director of Choir and Voice Studies at Immaculate Conception High School (Montclair, NJ), a member of Voice Faculty at Broadway Performing Arts Studio (Bloomfield, NJ), and Visiting Artist and Guest Lecturer at Bucknell University. A passionate advocate of music therapy and charitable music-making, Ms. Behnke is a freelance concert promoter, raising money and awareness for numerous ecumenical and health care organizations on the east coast, including the Von Hippel Lindau Family Alliance (Boston) and the Austin Riggs Psychiatric Hospital  (Stockbridge, MA). She is a native of Highland Lakes, NJ.