Singers from La Canada High School the featured guest choir for Mass at St. Mark's Basilica in Venice on April 1 at 6:45 pm

After landing only yesterday in Italy, the La Canada High School Concert Choir and Chamber Singers from La Canada, California, will sing High Mass at Saint Mark's Basilica in Venice on Friday, April 1, 2011 at 6:45 pm under the direction of Mr. Jeff Brookey.

The Patriarchal Cathedral Basilica of Saint Mark is the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Venice. It is the most famous of the city's churches and one of the best known examples of Byzantine architecture. It lies on Piazza San Marco adjacent and connected to the Doge's Palace. Originally it was the "chapel" of the Venetian rulers, and not the city's cathedral. Since 1807 it has been the seat of the Patriarch of Venice, archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Venice. For its opulent design, gilded Byzantine mosaics, and its status as a symbol of Venetian wealth and power, from the 11th century onward the building has been known by the nickname Chiesa d'Oro (Church of gold).
The original Saint Mark's was a temporary building in the Doge's Palace, constructed in 828, when Venetian merchants stole the supposed relics of Saint Mark the Evangelist from Alexandria. This was replaced by a new church on its present site in 832; the first St. Mark's Campanile (bell tower) dates from the same century. The new church was burned in a rebellion in 976, rebuilt in 978 and again to form the basis of the present basilica since 1063.
The spacious interior of the building with its multiple choir lofts was the inspiration for the development of a Venetian polychoral style among the composers appointed maestro di cappella at St. Mark's. The style was first developed by a foreigner, Adrian Willaert, and was continued by Italian organists and composers, Andrea Gabrieli along with his nephew Giovanni Gabrieli, and later Claudio Monteverdi.