Schola Cantorum Brings European Classical to Syracuse

Schola Cantorum, an early music vocal ensemble, has been performing European classical music since 1975. Catering to a unique niche of classical music, the cantorum performs compositions from the Medieval, Renaissance, and early Baroque eras.

Schola brings traditional technique and style straight from the Middle Ages to the Syracuse area. Barry Torres, Schola’s founding and present Music Director, formed the cantorum as the community based successor to an early music collegium at Syracuse University.


Barry Torres pursued his love of traditional music at Syracuse University, where he studied composition and music theory. Torres served 25 years as Director of Music Ensembles at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York. At St. Lawrence, he taught singing and 16th Century performance practice in addition to directing the Laurentian Singers (St. Lawrence’s 28-member select choir), the University Chorus, and the Gospel Choir and Band. Torres has showcased his passion for music in the Orchestra of Northern New York, with NYS Baroque, and Sonare.

Every season, Schola presents three or more vocal ensemble concerts, as well as smaller early music ensembles.

Schola performing in 2009

Since 1983, Schola Cantorum has hosted their Summer Workshop for Singers, where singers have the opportunity to expand their repertoire and develop skills specific to early music ensemble singing. In 2024, Dr. Kristina Boerger will be the director of the singers workshop. From July 25 to the 28, participants will practice the mutual attentiveness that allows singing without a conductor. Dr. Boerger specializes in elements of quality vocal production: loose and relaxed onset of sound, well-defined, resonant vowel formation, crisp consonants, and precise, speech-oriented declamation.

The workshop is held primarily for amateurs aged 16 and up. Participants must be able to learn music and to sing in time, and in tune, from a score to attend the workshop. More information is available at the following link. For more information on classical events in your area, a link to the NYS Music classical section is available here.

A video of a previous year’s workshop performance is available below.

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