Grant to Help Grow Sacred Music at Notre Dame

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Margot Fassler is director of the Sacred Music at Notre Dame program. Margot Fassler is director of the Sacred Music at Notre Dame program.
SOUTH BEND -

A $1.6 million grant from Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment Inc. will support a University of Notre Dame program it helped launch five years ago. The Sacred Music at Notre Dame initiative connects graduate students with local churches throughout the region for internships to establish children's choirs.

The first donation from Lilly Endowment in 2012 led to the launch of the Notre Dame Children's Choir, which is now called the Sacred Music Academy and includes more than 300 participants in multiple choirs. SMND Director Margot Fassler says "the work we have been able to do through our initial grant from the Lilly Endowment has been nothing short of astounding. It has surpassed our greatest hopes and dreams for our students and for building the lives of the churches in our communities, in Indiana and throughout the United States."

The program is set to move to the new O'Neill Hall, which is part of the $400 million Campus Crossroads transformation around Notre Dame Stadium on the South Bend campus. The most recent round of funding, the school says, will help the academy reach even more children. The program is set to start a partnership with the South Bend Community School Corp. involving a new gospel choir.

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