Director Leon Griesbach conducts the Psalterium Institute Chamber Choir in the Chapel of the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, at evening prayer and a concert in Lewiston. Submitted photo

Leon Griesbach, the founder and director of the Psalterium Institute in Lisbon Falls, plans to offer educational opportunities for high schoolers and adults with little to no experience singing.

His Group Singing course is an introduction to basic note reading, ear training and foundational vocal technique.

Classes started Sept. 27. All classes will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Nov. 15 at Holy Trinity Church Hall at 67 Frost Hill Ave. in Lisbon Falls; no prior experience is required.

Griesbach wants to bring sacred music alive in a visceral way that touches the heart of singer and audience alike. The voice is central to the mission, but so is the atmosphere in which the music is heard and performed, according to a news release from Griesbach.

Within the evening and night prayers of the church, the institute is dedicated to creating an inspiring event which engages all senses, opening participants to the possibility of a full-body experience, and not just an intellectual journey.

Griesbach is the former director of music at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland and at the Pontifical North American College in Rome, where he directed a 45-voice choir that performed regularly at St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. He directed a small schola for a private gathering in the Sistine Chapel and other ancient churches of Rome.


Soon after returning stateside, he started an institute of Catholic sacred music after forming a chamber choir and a boy choir. Over the past year, his two choirs made nine liturgical and concert appearances in churches throughout central and southern Maine, to singing a repertoire of sacred music from Gregorian chant to twentieth-century works.

The Magnificat Choir for girls is now the third choir to rehearse and perform under the auspices of the institute.

The cost is $10 a class; register at the door or online at All interested singers for any of the three choirs are invited to audition for the spring semester by appointment.

For more information regarding classes and other activities at the institute, visit


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