Chapel Pipes Back in Action
Inside Francis Hall, almost hidden from plain sight, there are doors to a completely different space. As you enter, the grandeur of QU’s chapel is impressive, even surprising. High ceilings and domes covered in biblical paintings, stained glass windows, intricate woodwork, pillars, and arches.
Originating from an idea in 1910 the Romanesque style construction of the St. Francis Solanus Chapel was completed in 1912 under architect Br. Anselm Wolff. The chapel interior was later renovated in 1955 under the direction of Rev. Thomas Brown Moore.
Something you don’t see until you turn to look back is the choir loft. There the organ is situated.
The pipe organ is made by Wicks and has two-manuals and seven-ranks. The current organ has been installed in the chapel for 71 years. However, it has not had a lot of use for many years. Instead a piano has been used for masses and recitals.
The organ remained untouched for some time, but one student has changed that.
Jesse Mose came to QU to study music. With a passion for music ministry and experience playing piano for masses, Mose ended up finding his place unexpectedly.
“Once (I) got to college, that was actually when I was introduced to the organ because I was going to start providing music for masses here,” Mose said. “One of the Friars took me up to the choir loft and showed me the organ and asked if I could play it. And I had never touched an organ before that and it was just a really cool experience. And I was like, you know since this was like one of the first instruments used in the Catholic church for masses I thought why not carry on that tradition.”
Mose has became the first organ performance major at QU. An adjunct professor gives Mose organ lessons each week. The rest of his classes fit into the music performance curriculum that QU offers. Mose is a recipient of the QU Virtuoso Music Scholarship.
Mose is just a sophomore in the classroom, but has also taken on the roles of coordinator of liturgical ministry and director of sacred music.
Mose started ministry as a church musician in 8th grade playing piano. While at high school Mose progressed to become the associate music director and then a student music director.
As part of his campus music ministry positions, Mose organizes music for masses and helps in the production and direction of music events. One recent event that Mose is co-directing is the Service of Nine Lessons and Carols.