"I will go in unto the Altar of God
To God, Who giveth joy to my youth"
Tridentine Community News by Alex Begin (July 19, 2015):
Sacred Music Colloquium 2015 Report
The Church Music Association of America held its 25th Annual Sacred Music Colloquium at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania June 29-July 4. Regular readers of this column may recall that this is one of the premier Latin Liturgy events of the year, with over 200 musicians participating.
The week was comprised of talks and opportunities for training, both in classroom format and one-on-one. Speakers included Fr. Jonathan Robinson, founder of the Toronto Oratory; Fr. Robert Pasley, pastor of North America’s first diocesan priest-led Extraordinary Form parish, Mater Ecclésiæ in Berlin, New Jersey; and Windsor’s very own Matthew Meloche, currently Music Director of Phoenix, Arizona’s Ss. Simon & Jude Cathedral.
Attendees could choose from several tracks. Some of the world’s most prominent Catholic music directors led breakout choirs specializing in chant or polyphony: John Robison, Music Director of St. Paul’s Choir School in Cambridge, Massachusetts (featured in Extraordinary Faith, Episode 2, and pictured with his class, below); Charles Cole, Assistant Music Director of the London Oratory and Music Director of the London Oratory School and London Oratory Junior Choir; Scott Turkington, globetrotting Gregorian Chant instructor; and David Hughes, Music Director of St. Mary Parish in Norwalk, Connecticut (the latter three are all featured in upcoming episodes of Extraordinary Faith). Private instruction on the organ was available from Dr. Ann Labounsky of Duquesne University and Dr. Paul Weber of St. Martin of Tours Parish in Louisville, Kentucky. All of these instructors are experienced with the Extraordinary Form.
The major liturgies of the week were held at St. Paul Cathedral, a grand edifice in pristine condition, still containing a splendid High Altar, four Side Altars, and a Communion Rail. A Latin Mass in the Ordinary Form was celebrated ad oriéntem at the High Altar on Thursday, followed later in the day by Vespers in the Extraordinary Form. On Friday, a Solemn High Requiem Mass in the Extraordinary Form was offered (photo below), followed by Absolution at the Catafalque. At each of these liturgies, three to five choirs, each led by the aforementioned music directors, sang portions of the music. One choir was located in the choir loft, while the others were scattered around the church (see photo below). A particularly stirring moment was when all five choirs joined together to sing the Dies Iræ during the Requiem Mass. Imagine 200 professional-caliber voices singing that piece.
Curious to see more? Our crew from Extraordinary Faith was present to film the major liturgies of the Colloquium. We also interviewed several speakers and guests. While in Pittsburgh we also shot segments at local historic churches and interviewed some prominent members of the Pittsburgh Tridentine Mass community. We expect to be able to produce two episodes from the content shot. The 2016 Sacred Music Colloquium will be held in St. Louis, Missouri. More information will be posted about that event as plans are solidified.
Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
- Mon. 07/20 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (St. Jerome Emiliani, Confessor)
- Tue. 07/21 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Holy Name of Mary (St. Laurence of Brindisi, Confessor & Doctor)