Mar 15, 2007

Revitalizing Liturgical Music — Recovering the Sacred

Online Edition – March 2007

Vol. XIII, No. 1

Revitalizing Liturgical Music — Recovering the Sacred
Church Music Association of America Colloquium 2007: "Six Days of Musical Heaven"

Gregorian Chant has been called the most beautiful music this side of heaven. But as Pope Benedict XVI and the Second Vatican Council have emphasized, it is also integral to Catholic liturgical life and should be heard and experienced with wide participation in every parish. The Church Music Association of America (CMAA) is working to bring about this ideal with its Sacred Music Colloquium, June 19-24, 2007, to be held at the Catholic University of America, Washington, DC.

“The greatest need of liturgy today is the restoration of the sense of the sacred”, writes CMAA President William Mahrt. “Music has a principal role, since it expresses that sense of the sacred and sustains it through time.” Dr. Mahrt teaches music history at Stanford University and is editor of CMAA’s journal, Sacred Music.

The colloquium, entitled “Six Days of Musical Heaven” will feature:

• Extensive training in Gregorian chant and the Renaissance choral tradition by a world-class faculty
• Choral experience with large choir singing sacred music of the masters such as Palestrina, Victoria, Byrd, Tallis, Josquin, and many others
• Daily liturgies with careful attention to officially prescribed musical settings, held in the Crypt Church of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
• Sung propers for 11th and 12th Sundays in Ordinary Time, Requiem Mass for deceased members of the CMAA, Mass for Saint Aloysius Gonzaga and/or Saint Paulinus, Bishop and Confessor, and a Votive Mass for the Blessed Virgin Mary
• Rehearsals in the spacious facilities at Caldwell Hall on the CUA campus
• Training for priests in the sung Mass
• Organ recital and Ward Method pedagogy demonstrations
• Composers’ Forum

Participants will also receive packets containing all the music, including chant and polyphony.

The faculty for the colloquium will include Dr. Mahrt; Horst Bucholz, conductor of the Denver Philharmonic Orchestra; Amy Zuberbueler, Director of the Ward Center, San Antonio; Scott Turkington, organist and choirmaster in Stamford, Connecticut; Kurt Poterack of Christendom College; David J. Hughes, organist and choirmaster in Norwalk, Connecticut; and Father Robert Skeris, longtime officer of CMAA who teaches music at CUA.

The primary focus of the colloquium is instruction in chant and the Catholic sacred music tradition, participation in chant and polyphonic choirs, nightly lectures and performances, along with daily celebrations of liturgies in both English and Latin.

Attendance is open to anyone interested in improving the quality of music in Catholic worship. Professional musicians will appreciate the rigor of the instruction, while volunteer singers will enjoy the opportunity to study under an expert faculty. Attendees also benefit from fellowship with musicians who share their love of the liturgy of the Church.

Growing awareness and appreciation of chant and its solemnity has generated particular excitement about the conference this year.

Registration information for the 2007 colloquium (along with other CMAA resources) can be found at



The Editors