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The choir

On September 3, 1977, Johan Goethals founded the choir "Sanguis Christi" in the Basilica of the Holy Blood. He led the choir for 43 years full of dedication and enthusiasm. In 2020, this choir was disbanded in the midst of the corona crisis.

Shortly afterwards, Sebastiaan Inghelbrecht was asked by the Noble Brotherhood to set up a new singing group - named "Vocal Ensemble Sanguis Christi".

Because of the corona measures, this ensemble is currently limited to a quartet consisting of a soprano, an alto, a tenor and a bass. After corona time, the ensemble would like to expand to a minimum of 8 members.

Cantor Sebastiaan Inghelbrecht

Sebastiaan Inghelbrecht obtained a Master's degree in music from the renowned Lemmens Institute in Leuven in 2003. From April 2003 to August 2012 he was the organist at the Basilica of the Holy Blood.

He then became a teacher of solfege, accompaniment and composition at the Academies of Aalter and Damme. In the meantime, he also remained very actively involved in all kinds of projects as an organist, choral conductor and composer. In November 2016 his "Requiem" premiered in Bruges.

Since 2018 he has been affiliated with the Basilica of the Holy Blood again, but now as the basilica cantor. In 2020 he founded the new "Vocal Ensemble Sanguis Christi" at the request of the Noble Brotherhood, over which he is the musical director.

The organ

The organ-culture in the Basilica of the Holy Blood has existed for a much longer period than people suspect. As early as the 16th century we find organs and organbuilders in the accounts of the Noble Brotherhood of the Holy Blood. In the archives we find several organbuilders who either repaired or built a new organ during the 16th, 17th and 18th century.

Important names are: Lauweryns Veldam, Jan Waghers (16th century), Crespin du Bois, Boudewijn Ledou (17th century).

In 1751 Isabelle Claesman, daughter of Baron Van Male, donated a new organ, built by the renowned organbuilder of Bruges, Andries Jacob Berger (1712-1774). This valuable instrument was destroyed (or disappeared anyway) during the French Revolution.

The Brugean organbuilder Hooghuys built a new organ in 1836. It is placed on a new rood-loft against the west facade. Unfortunately it had to be removed to enable the placement of a new glass window. Rood-loft and organ were demolished in 1854 and sold to chaplain Slock from Roeselare.

In 1923 the Chapel of the Holy Blood is elevated to a Basilica. For this important occasion the organbuilder Jules Anneessens from Menen was given the commission to build a new organ. This late romantic instrument was placed in the Basilica in 1925.

In the course of history the organists of the Basilica usually played the organ of the Cathedral of Saint Donatius (now disappeared) as well.

An organ service is performed monthly since autumn 2012.

Organist Eric Hallein

Eric Hallein has been the organist at the Basilica of the Holy Blood since September 2012. He is also the artistic director of the Orgelkring Adriaen Willaert, which organizes concerts in the Bruges region, see: www .organassociation-adriaenwillaert.com . In addition to his Master degree in Music specialization organ, he also obtained the Higher Diplomas for harpsichord and chamber music. He studied at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels and the Conservatory of Maastricht.

In 1981 Eric Hallein became a Laureate of the Horlait-Dapsens Foundation. As a concert organist he has performed in most countries in Europe as well as in South Africa, the United States and Vietnam. He made several recordings for Belgian radio, Spanish radio and Polish TV. He also realized the CDs: "Symphonic organ music from Flanders", "Flor Peeters Organworks" and "Organ sounds from the Brussels Conservatory" with music by Lemmens, Widor, Tinel and Jongen.

From 1981 to 1996 Eric Hallein taught Practical Harmony at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels and also for a short time at the Royal Conservatory of Ghent. He was also a music teacher at the Academies of Ieper, Menen and Roeselare, where he was also harpsichord and piano accompanist.

Please, support us in the restoration of the Jules Anneessens organ!

The organ has been playing weekly during services for over a hundred years. No wonder then that parts of the organ are in need of restoration. To improve the sound quality, the Brotherhood would also like to add a few new timbres, such as Basson-Hautbois 8, Quinte 3, Fourniture, Violoncelle 8 and Viole 4.

Do you want this beautiful organ to remain playable? Please support this heritage project with your donation.

Address: Burg 13, 8000 Brugge

Bank account:
IBAN BE53 7440 7770 3053

Mention: donation - organ basilica

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