Llorenç Castelló, born in Barcelona in 1976, began his music studies at the Escolania de Montserrat, where he studied under Fr. Ireneu Segarra from 1986 to 1990.
He has the master’s degree in Music theory and bachelor’s degrees in Composition and Piano from the Centre for Higher Education at the Liceu Conservatory. He is a professor at the Music Education Department at the Autonomous University of Barcelona.
He was a founding member of the Capella de Música de Montserrat, the men’s choir that occasionally accompanies the Escolania. In 2009, he became Assistant Director of the Escolania de Montserrat and, in 2012, was appointed Director of the Capella de Música as well. In 2014, he took over as Director for the Escolania de Montserrat, where he carries on with the music tradition he received as a child, cherishing the centuries-long music tradition of Montserrat while also pursuing more modern music projects.
This is a hymn dedicated to the Virgin of Montserrat, popularly known as “Rosa d’abril”, in reference to the first line of the poem.
The Virolai was written by Fr. Jacint Verdaguer and published in 1880 in the programme of the arts and music contest held for the Millennium Celebration of Montserrat. In that same programme, a gold and enamel flabiol sculpture was to be awarded to the best musical adaptation of Verdaguer’s text.
On the 25th of April of that same year, Josep Rodoreda’s melody was declared the winner from among seventy other entries.
The choirboys sing the hymn every day at 13:00 h. You can watch it online by clicking on this link.
The Escolania specializes in the interpretation of music specifically from the Montserrat School, founded by the Monastery of Montserrat. This school has been and will always be linked to the choir. It is one of the most respected schools in Europe because of its tradition, identity, and uniqueness. Of all the composers who are a part of this school, highlights of the group include Joan Cererols (17th century), Anselm Viola and Narcís Casanoves (18th century), Àngel Rodamilans, Anselm Ferrer, and Ireneu Segarra (20th century).
In addition to the Montserrat School, the Escolania often plays Renaissance era polyphony (mainly T.L de Victoria and G.P. da Palestrina) and various authors of all ages (Mendelssohn, Brahms, Britten, etc.).
In their performances outside of Montserrat, the Escolania will often play Catalan folk music by various Catalan composers.
The Escolania regularly records its musical repertoire. In this section, you will find the latest recordings:
The Escolania collaborates with the Capella de Música de Montserrat, a men’s choir founded in 1997 and made up in large part by former Escolania choirboys. They accompany the Escolania when the repertoire calls for lower registers, in liturgical celebrations as well as concerts.
In addition to singing with the Escolania, the Capella de Música occasionally performs solo with its own repertoire of sacred music.
The current director of the choir is Llorenç Castelló.
The Escolania has a plan to create a new choir starting in the academic year 2023-24, which will be called the Escolania of Montserrat Chamber Choir. This new choir will be composed of young men and women who are at least 17 years old and pursuing music at the high school and/or university level, and it will be directed by Pau Jorquera. Its members, still in a formation stage, will be equally considered “escolans” and “escolanes,” they will dress in robes and surplices, and will have their names inscribed in the Escolania’s official book of vestments.
The new Chamber Choir will sing one weekend per month, in parallel with the current choir: when the Chamber Choir sings in Montserrat, the current escolans will have a day of rest. The new Choir will participate in the Sanctuary’s liturgy, like the Escolania habitually does. In this case, it is planned that on Saturday they will sing the Salve Regina, the Virolai, and the Vespers office, and on Sunday, the 11:00 Conventual Mass.
The young men and women that form the Chamber Choir will have the opportunity to sing in Montserrat’s liturgy and to achieve personal growth through varied means related to vocal technique, spiritual life, natural environment, or culture, by means of activities that are organized by people connected with the Escolania and the Benedictine Community.
Do you want to be part of the Escolania of Montserrat chamber choir?
If you are 17 or older and are studying music, if you study voice or sing in a choir, if the Musical, Natural, Spiritual, and partnership experiences that the EMCC call to you, write to us at email@example.com, and we will contact you to provide you the information you may need and to resolve any doubts you may have.
What is the EMCC?
-It is a new youth choir that belongs to the Escolania of Montserrat.
To whom is it directed?
-To young men and women who are at least 17 years old and are studying music.
What is the EMCC’s purpose?
-The EMCC covers the musical service (the musical and vocal accompaniment) in the Montserrat Basilica’s liturgy one weekend per month. Furthermore, the young men and women that form the choir will have the opportunity to achieve personal growth through varied means related to vocal technique, spiritual life, natural environment, or culture, by means of activities that are organized by people connected with the Escolania and the Benedictine Community.
When are rehearsals?
-The EMCC will only rehearse the weekends it is in Montserrat, beginning Saturday at 10:00 in the morning and lasting until Sunday at midday. There are not any planned rehearsals outside of the scheduled dates.
What is the schedule for weekends at Montserrat?
-The time frame we have planned is as follows:
– Morning: from 10:00 until 13:30 – Rehearsal, Salve, and Virolai
– Afternoon: from 15:30 until 19:30 – Formative activities, Rehearsal, and Vespers
The possibility to sleep in Montserrat and to eat meals within this schedule exists.
– Morning: from 9:30 until 12:30 – Rehearsal, Conventual Mass, Salve, and Virolai
What is the calendar of weekends?
-For the next academic course, 2023-2024, we have planned that the EMCC will be in Montserrat the following weekends:
2023 2024 9-10 September 20-21 January 11 September (morning)
3-4 February 23-24 September 16-17 March 14-15 October 27-28 April 4-5 November 25-26 May 9-10 December 29-30 June
Will we wear a robe and surplice?
-The EMCC is a liturgical choir made up of escolanes and escolanas that, as occurs with all Montserrat escolanes, they will as such wear the robe and surplice from the start of the academic year and will have their names inscribed in the Escolania’s official book of vestments.
How much does it cost to sing in the EMCC?
-Singing in the EMCC is free. The singers will not pay any fees, and Montserrat Abbey will entirely cover the singers’ expenses for lodging and support.
What should I do to join the choir?
-First of all, you should write an email to firstname.lastname@example.org introducing yourself and explaining to us what seems most relevant to you. We will contact you and we will meet in order to hold a small audition with the director of the Choir and have a conversation with the prefect of the Escolania.
When will auditions be?
-Auditions will be held May 27th and June 3rd, 2023 (both dates are Saturdays) during either the morning or afternoon at the Escolania of Montserrat.
What are the requirements to be able to perform the audition?
-The training requirements are the following: the ability to read music, experience in choir singing, and sensibility towards the Christian religion; those who are pursuing voice studies will be seen favorably.
Inici de curs 2019-2020
50 anys de concerts a l’Escolania de Montserrat
Sota la vostra protecció-Sub tuum praesidium
Gira per Alemania+ 42
Oració a la Verge de Montserrat
Gira per China+ 37
Vivancos’ El cant dels ocells
Angelus ad pastores (Washington Concert)
El Rossinyol (Washington Concert)
El cant dels ocells
Bernstein’s Psalm 23