Such was the importance of the Pope’s choir that it attracted leading choristers from all over Europe, including Guillaume Dufay, Josquin des Prez, Cristóbal de Morales, Jacob Arcadelt, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina and Gregorio Allegri.
Today, the choir that the Pope has entrusted to maestro Massimo Palombella is made up of 20 professional singers, chosen from all round the world. The treble section, the Pueri Cantores, is made up of 35 boys aged between 9 and 13, who are selected through auditions. There is a school set up expressly for them, the Schola Puerorum, where as well as the usual school curriculum, the boys can pursue their passion for music and develop their talent professionally.
The choir’s day is made up of study and practice, with daily rehearsals, so that the singers can transform the written note into sound, and can understand the text and its musical tempo, and bring it to life, and achieve a level of emotional involvement that goes beyond mere aesthetics.