Chanters keep medieval music alive

The hum of low-pitched voices is soothing. “Me ma ma ooh moo” sounds come from voices warming up. A Gregorian chant choir practices in the choir loft of Holy Cross Catholic Church every Monday night. The chanting, in Latin without musical accompaniment, began with monks. Songs were learned orally to accompany Catholic Masses and other ritualistic Christian services in the western world. It first was notated in the 10th century. “I do this because of the beauty of it,” says Nicholas Haggin, the director who started the local choir called Schola Cantorum in fall 2005. “I know that the same music I am singing was sung generations before and generations before that back in the 9th century.”