Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Winter Chant Intensive: Spots Remain

There are 15 spots remaining for the Winter Chant Intensive, January 5-9, 2009, to be held on the gorgeous (and warm) campus of the University of San Diego. This is not a demonstration program or a seminar of lectures. This is a hands-on conference in which you will be practicing and singing--under the direction of Scott Turkington--from morning to night.

As such, this teaching session that could mark a major change in your life. Its purpose is to bring singers from knowing nothing about chant into a level of knowledge that will allow them to become leaders of scholas in parishes, or just top-level singers of the propers for Mass (ordinary and extraordinary form). This model here offers far more than a conventional weekend workshop because it is designed to create a permanent presence of Catholic music in Catholic parishes (and cathedrals).

Pastors: send your singers! Singers: take the initiative! It doesn't matter if you are young or old, rich or poor, whether your parish is big or small, or if you are an existing and paid music director or not. Chant is universal music and the call to make it central to our lives is a universal call.

So many parishes now see the need for Gregorian chant to be the foundational song of Catholic life. It offers a way forward out from the endless struggles over music, precisely because it is the practical way to realize the goals of holy, universal, and beautiful music. But the major problem is how to get from here to there. What we need are people who can lead scholas and inspire them day to day -- parish programs that are self-sufficient and integrated with liturgical life at all levels.

The last chant intensive this past summer did precisely this. Many new scholas were formed and are now thriving. This can happen again. It does require the courage to take the step and the humility to have a teachable spirit. Today might be the day to take the step.

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