The Singing Nuns

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The Singing Nuns' music has taken them far from their Washington state home over the years, but never far from their religious roots. They have been recording albums since 1980, mostly Gregorian chants…
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The Singing Nuns' music has taken them far from their Washington state home over the years, but never far from their religious roots. They have been recording albums since 1980, mostly Gregorian chants and Catholic hymns. They also have recorded Irish tunes and several Christmas albums.

The religious sisters belong to the Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen in the Spokane area. Unlike some nuns, who wear everyday styles of clothing like non-religious women, they are always garbed in their blue habits. In addition to their musical performances and recordings, the order of nuns helps run St. Michael's Academy, a school that teaches kindergarten through 12th grade. They also manage a bookstore, print shop, and mail order business.

The women of the religious order embarked on a path of singing and recording as a way to help raise funds to pay bills. Membership of the singing group has changed over the years, usually depending on which sisters were free from other duties to devote time to the musical endeavor. They gave their debut concert in 1979 and soon made a television appearance. The following year, they embarked on two tours and recorded their debut album, O Bambino, which was devoted to the Christmas season.

In 1981, the Singing Nuns made great headway in their new singing career. They were featured on the Merv Griffin Show and appeared in concert at Disneyland. They also appeared on a regionally televised Christmas special. The following year brought even more exposure and saw them touring more than a dozen states, including Hawaii, and singing at the World's Fair, which was held in Knoxville, TN. They continued touring for several more years, and even appeared in a nationally televised John Deere commercial in 1987.

Over the following years, they continued to record more albums and perform live at places that included the Irish Cultural Festival and the National Home and Garden Show, both in Cleveland, as well as several Victorian Country Christmas events in their home state. In 1997, they made another commercial, this time for a local Spokane television station. By 2000, the sisters were traveling to Calgary, Alberta, Canada, for the Home and Garden Show. Closer to home that year, they appeared at the Spokane Opera House.