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Dominican seminarians reach a large audience teaching chant on YouTube

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In less than a year they’ve produced over 100 video lessons, viewed nearly half a million times.

When Dominican Brothers Stefan Ansinger and Alexandre Frezzato started their YouTube channel, OPChant, in late 2019, they wanted to share their love of Gregorian chant, one of the oldest forms of music developed in the Catholic Church. They had no idea at the time, but they had embarked upon the most widely-received public initiative of the Dominican Order in Switzerland in over 50 years

OPChant is an educational YouTube channel created and maintained by two Dominican seminarians. For nearly a year they’ve been producing short videos that teach singers of all levels to perform and appreciate the traditional music of the Catholic Church: Gregorian chant. Singing in the original Latin text, these two scholars wish to share the beauty of the music that led them to discern their vocations.

In a promotional video produced by EWTN, featured above, Ansinger said:

“This tradition presents the revelation of our Church, the tradition of our Church, in a beautiful manner. So, the texts that we actually sing are from the Holy Scripture and from the tradition of the Church. So, by singing these texts we are presenting the truths and the beauties of our faith.”

In just 11 months, the two Dominican seminarians have already increased their fanbase to nearly 20,000 followers who have viewed their catalog of more than 100 educational videos nearly 500,000 times. Their success comes from a variety of factors, from the excitement that these two charismatic young friars bring to the music to their dedicated performances, which help educate through excellent diction and tonal accuracy.

The videos are immensely valuable as resources for those who wish to learn, better understand, or even just listen to fine Catholic chants. Each session is accompanied by a PDF copy of the sheet music, so that viewers can learn the chant while they follow along as they might do at Sunday Mass. Their lessons are made even more approachable by the joy that Ansinger and Frezzato so clearly take in their work, which is ever-present on their channel.

It is perhaps this enthusiasm that has garnered the pair so much attention. In a press release, they note that 54 media outlets in 17 countries and regions around the world have produced articles, short videos, or radio programs with and about the brothers since they began their efforts. The fact that a channel for teaching medieval sacred music in Latin has attracted so much attention makes their achievements all the more remarkable.

OPChant produces at least one video per week, but sometimes they’ll put out as many as two or three, when their schedules allow. With over 1,000 years of wonderful Gregorian chant in the Catholic songbook, they could keep their current pace for decades to come without ever running out of source material for their fine lessons.

Visit OPChant’s Youtube page, or their website to learn more about the traditional Catholic musical genre Gregorian chant.

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