Preparing Leaders
of Faith Through Sacred Music

500X330_MSM_IntroThe Master of Sacred Music at the University of St. Thomas prepares students for employment as professional church musicians. The UST Music Department offers an extraordinary educational opportunity for anyone wishing to study and pursue a career in organ and vocal performance, teaching, or church music.

The program integrates the musical, liturgical, and pastoral dimensions to ground students professionally in liturgical music as a ministry. Graduates of the program will be prepared to work with clergy and congregations in a full or part-time capacity, as well as to teach.

Two University of St. Thomas - Houston Music students play piano and guitar​Within a 3-mile radius of the UST campus, at least a dozen parishes – and more than 40 in the Houston area – regularly seek out student musicians for employment. Most UST Music majors are employed part-time as singers or instrumentalists in:

  • Traditional Roman Catholic, Anglo-Catholic and Protestant church choirs
  • Jewish temple choirs
  • Places of worship that feature orchestral music and contemporary bands

These early career opportunities not only improve your musical and performance skills, but provide real-world performance experience and build relationships with potential employers. Aspiring musicians of all ages not attending UST can get top-tier music instruction in our Music Preparatory School private lessons and summer camps.

UST Music grads have been accepted into prestigious graduate music programs, including Yale, Rice, San Francisco Conservatory, Westminster Choir College and many more top schools.

See what else you can do with a music degree.

If you love to sing, you’ll love performing with The University Singers. This dynamic ensemble of UST music students, alumni and guest artists performs sacred music of many styles and periods under the direction of Dr. Brady Knapp. It’s a joy to perform in the Chapel of St. Basil on campus, or in other Houston area churches for outreach concerts.

O Sacrum Convivium Sacred Music from the Chapel of St. Basil - album by University of St. Thomas - Houston University Singers

O Sacrum Convivium (2016)

On their first professionally labeled album, Dr. Knapp directs the University Singers in performing a sampling of chapel concert repertoire. Philip Johnson’s dynamic architectural design offers sublime acoustics, making it an extraordinary space for sacred music.

Listen to “Sicut cervus” 

A well-known motet by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, “Sicut cervus” is an ideal example of Renaissance counterpoint. 

 

December’s Rose, University of St. Thomas - Houston University Singers album

December’s Rose (2017)

On their second album, the University Singers present music for both Advent and Christmas. Featuring the rich acoustics of the Chapel of St. Basil, and the premier of David Ashley White’s anthem “Hodie Christus Natus Est,” this album makes an uplifting holiday gift.

Listen to “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” 

“O Come, O Come Emmanuel” is a Christian hymn for Advent and Christmas.

University of St. Thomas - Houston string ensemble Music majors perform​Set in the heart of Houston, Texas, the fourth-largest city in the nation, UST is surrounded by and contributes to a bustling and vibrant performing arts culture. Just a few award-winning venues and ensembles are:

  • Jones Hall 
  • Hobby Center
  • Houston Symphony
  • Houston Grand Opera

Houston supports some of the finest operatic, symphonic, choral and early music activity in North America, and it has become a cultural mecca for national and international performers of the highest caliber. Our city offers a bounty of professional performance opportunities for singers and instrumentalists.