Father Cyprian Constantine, O.S.B., formerly Chairman of the Fine Arts Department at Saint Vincent College, has been named Academic Dean of Saint Vincent Seminary. He previously served as acting Academic Dean in 2001, and continues as choir director for the Seminary, a position he has held since 2003. He is a native of Boulder, Colorado, where he began the study of piano and violin at an early age.
Father Cyprian earned the bachelor of music education degree in 1971 at the University of Colorado, where he studied violin with Oswald Lehnert and organ with Don Vollstedt. He then entered Saint Vincent Archabbey, where he professed his final vows as a Benedictine in 1975. He earned the master of divinity degree from Saint Vincent Seminary in 1976 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1977. Father Cyprian received the master of music degree from Northwestern University in 1979, where he studied organ with Wolfgang Rübsam. Later, he returned to the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he received the doctor of musical arts degree in organ in 1992. While a doctoral student at the University of Colorado, Father Cyprian was organist/director of music at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Denver and served as organist/choirmaster and parochial vicar for Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church in Boulder.
He has served in a variety of posts: Director of Music for Blessed Sacrament Cathedral in Greensburg; instructor in music for Saint Vincent College and Seminary; Associate Director of Admissions and Financial Aid and Assistant Director of the Opportunity Program at Saint Vincent College. He directed the Saint Vincent Camerata for six years. The Camerata is a group specializing in the performance of Medieval and Renaissance vocal and instrumental music.
In 1982 he was chosen by the Benedictine Musicians of the Americas to participate in a study-tour of current liturgical music practices in European Benedictine houses. In 1985 he received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for summer research in Gregorian chant at Catholic University in Washington, D.C. The result of his study was Matins at Cluny for the Feast of Saint Peter in Chains, a reconstruction of the service from an 11th century Cluniac manuscript. This reconstruction was published by the Plainsong and Medieval Society of London.
In 1990 Father Cyprian was invited to serve as Secretary to the Abbot Primate of the Benedictine Order, headquartered at the Badia Primaziale Sant’ Anselmo, Rome, Italy. He was on loan to the Archdiocese of Denver from 1993 to 1998. There he was principal organist and associate director of music of the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, chaplain of the Benedictine Abbey of Saint Walburga, and was director of liturgy for the Archdiocese of Denver. He also served on the Music Commission of the Archdiocese and was one of the organizers of the local chapter of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians (NPM). He also served as an organizer and clinician at the national conventions of the NPM and the American Guild of Organists in Denver.
Father Cyprian has appeared many times as organ recitalist in the Saint Vincent College concert series, and in other series around the country: Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Pittsburgh; Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Harrisburg; the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C.; Whatley Chapel at the University of Denver, St. Paul’s and Our Savior’s Lutheran churches, Trinity Methodist and First Baptist churches in Denver; as dedicatory recitalist in Covington, Kentucky and Baltimore, Maryland. In the summer of 2000, he returned to Rome, Italy to perform in a concert series in the Basilica at Sant’ Anselmo. He has remained active as an organ recitalist, performing again at the Cathedral-Basilica in Denver, at Saint Benedict Church in Baltimore, and at Trinity Lutheran Church in Latrobe.
Having returned to Saint Vincent Archabbey in 1998, Father Cyprian was named principal organist, director of the Archabbey Schola, monastery Choirmaster and instructor in music for the monastery novices, and Assistant Professor of Fine Arts.