Brother Benet Shares His Love Of Music With Our Students
Brother Benet Myers is an alumnus of his church's children's choir, started piano lessons in 2nd grade and began playing the organ later on in elementary school, so music has been part of his life from a very young age. Now that he's a monastic junior and he's taking on more roles in the school, he's helping bring that music to our students.
A native of St. Marys, Pa., Brother Benet began feeling called to a religious vocation from a young age. He attended St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa., a Benedictine school near Pittsburgh. "I was serious about my vocation then, but it was not the right place for me," he says. "The monks there suggested that I look at Saint Louis Abbey." In the June after he graduated, he joined the community here, and he's been in St. Louis for almost 2 and a half years now.
Prior to joining the community here, his only time in St. Louis had been visits to the monastery to discern his vocation. As a result, he's spent some time getting to know his new home, visiting the Botanical Garden, taking organ lessons at the Cathedral Basilica, and "Ted Drewes, of course," he laughs. He is also taking philosophy classes at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary. Though he doesn't have much free time, he says he does enjoy watching "Downton Abbey" on TV when he gets the chance.
Brother Benet is helping with accompaniments and conducting in sophomore music classes this year, and though it's his first teaching experience, he says it's been going well so far. "I'm impressed by how eager the high school boys are to sing," he says. He's also been tasked with sharing reflections before school Masses on the music choices and their importance to the liturgy, particularly the Gregorian Chants. "I've undertaken several studies of the Gregorian Chant, including a conference on it this past summer at Duquesne University," he says. He conducts the Schola Cantorum of monks, faculty and students who sing at school Masses, and he shares monastery organist duties with Brother Dunstan.
In addition to Gregorian Chant, his other favorite musical genre is French organ music from the 19th and early 20th centuries, because of its basis in chant and Catholic ethos. He also enjoys the works of Bach, "The Master."
If you don't catch Brother Benet practicing the organ in the church or addressing the students before Mass, you can reach him by e-mail or at (314) 434-3690 ext. 388.