"They have a number of talented musicians with good voices, and as the archbishop said, they like to sing and they worship well," she said.
"One young man told me that he felt the Holy Spirit buzzing in his soul while he joined the choir in some chanting during the concert. I was especially delighted to see that so many men want to learn Gregorian chant and classical sacred choral music, and help bring the Latin Mass to San Quentin," Wu said after the concert.
Gallagher said she heard another man tell the choir: "I really don't want to be in (prison), but if I have to be in here, I want to be in here listening to music like that."
After the concert, Cordileone told Gallagher that through the music, he saw the inmates "lifted up to God by sacred beauty and given new hope."
"The Benedict XVI Institute teaching choir is clearly fulfilling an important need in ordinary parishes but also for those at the margins of society," Cordileone added.
The large turnout and positive response to the concert showed Williams that "the men at San Quentin have a hunger for beauty and prayer. The concert by the Benedict XVI Institute was clearly enjoyed by those who attended. They also appreciated the support and presence of Archbishop Cordileone who has made it a point to visit the prison often."
The schola has been positively received by a number of different parishes and groups throughout the diocese that have expressed interest in learning sacred music, Gallagher said.
There's something about Gregorian chant and polyphony "which for many many people just blows them away, just blows them up towards heaven," Gallagher added.
Gallagher said she has often found that even for the most trained musicians, chant and sacred music is a new and powerful spiritual experience.
She added that sacred music also has an effect that seems to transcend typical ideological boundaries when it comes to the liturgy, and that it especially resonates with younger to middle-aged audiences who are tired of the so-called "liturgy wars."
"I think this has a reach that gets beyond the normal ideological categories and that a lot of people are hungry for," Gallagher said.
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"We like to say if you're being brought closer to God by the Mass that you're experiencing, bless you, we're not trying to take that away from anyone that's being well fed. But there is a hunger out there that is not being fed, and it's exciting to watch the interest (in sacred music and chant) unfold."