Capella Records to Release Frank La Rocca’s MASS OF THE AMERICAS in September

Cappella Records will release Frank La Rocca’s Mass of the Americas (Misa de las Américas), performed by the Benedict XVI Institute Choir and Orchestra, conducted by renowned international conductor Richard Sparks, on September 23, 2022.

The work extends the genre of the Missa solemnis: sublime staging of a traditional Latin mass for choir and orchestra. Listeners will discover a new masterpiece: a rich modern tapestry with serene Gregorian chants, folk melodies from 18th-century regions of Mexico, and florid praises in Nahuatl, the language spoken by Our Lady of Guadalupe in San Juan. Diego in 1531.

The Benedict XVI Choir’s debut recording features some of America’s finest singers, many of whom have been GRAMMY® nominees. Sung in Latin, Spanish and Nahuatl.

William P. Mahrt, editor of Sacred Music magazine, ends his extensive essay with “The variety, ingenuity, compositional skill, and liturgical relevance have made these compositions of The Mass of the Americas destined to be classics.”

Mass of the Americas is one of three planned releases on Cappella Records produced by multiple GRAMMY® award winner Blanton Alspaugh and the engineering team at Soundmirror. Soundmirror’s outstanding orchestral, solo, operatic and chamber recordings have garnered over 100 GRAMMY® nominations and awards, with releases on all major classical labels.

Mass of the Americas was released on a hybrid SACD in 2.0 stereo and 5.0 surround sound (DSM192K/24bit), recorded in DSD and downloadable to audio servers and devices. The accompanying booklet provides a detailed essay on the work, full texts used in the composition, composer’s notes, full translations and fine photographs. Cappella Records is distributed by Naxos USA.


“The crisp impressions are of luminous sacred introspection, transcendent effect, and jaw-dropping beauty,” American Record Guide reviewer Lindsay Koob wrote of Frank La Rocca’s debut CD, IN THIS PLACE. La Rocca’s career traced a path from the sternness of an academic modernist style through a period of sunny minimalist concerts to finding her voice in sacred choral works and music for the Roman Catholic mass. Of La Rocca’s “O Sacrum Convivium”, composer and organist Richard Clark wrote, “…rooted in tradition, it speaks with the authority of the ages but with the innovation of modernity. Steeped in the ‘Spirit, it is timeless’… continue on


Mass of the Americas is the first musical work commissioned by the Benedict XVI Institute for Sacred Music and Divine Worship. In 2018, His Excellency Salvatore J. Cordileone, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of San Francisco, noted the exact coincidence of two feasts that year: the Immaculate Conception and the celebration of the Guadalupana, the festive observance of Our Lady of Guadalupe. This inspired him to hold a liturgical observance uniting the two traditions, honoring Our Lady under both titles. For the occasion, he commissioned the composer Frank La Rocca to create music for a mass incorporating, in the manner of Renaissance paraphrase masses, traditional Mexican melodies, in particular “La Guadalupana”. He asked La Rocca to create with music what the Franciscan friars of the mission era had designed with church architecture: both respecting Catholic sacred traditions and reflecting the contributions of the local culture… continue on


Richard Sparks is Principal Conductor of the Benedict XVI Choir and has a distinguished professional and academic career. He founded Seattle Pro Musica in 1973 and in seven seasons conducted more than 70 different programs with three ensembles. And in 1993 he founded Choral Arts Northwest, which he led for 11 years, releasing three CDs on the Gothic label. Both ensembles are still going strong… keep it up at

Cappella Records is the label operated by the vocal ensemble Cappella Romana. Founded in Portland, Oregon, in 1991, the company combines passion and scholarship in its exploration of early and contemporary music from the Christian East and West, both alone and in collaboration with peer artists and ensembles from around the world. entire. Its name refers to the medieval Greek concept of the Roman oikoumene (inhabited world), which encompassed Rome and Western Europe as well as the Byzantine Empire of Constantinople (“New Rome”) and its Slavic Commonwealth. Cappella Records has released over 25 tracks, including the recent Billboard chart-topping Lost Voices of Hagia Sophia and GRAMMY®-nominated Benedict Sheehan’s Divine Liturgy in English.

Comments are closed.