Monday, January 19, 2009

Report on ICK chant workshop

Serious students of Gregorian Chant came from around the Midwest to the Shrine of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, where Canon Wulfran Lebocq, Choirmaster of the Institute of Christ the King’s International Seminary in Gricigliano, Italy, directed a Chant Workshop weekend from January 9-11. Based on the method of Solemses as taught by the late Dom Joseph Gajard, the workshop was designed as a series of classes and chant practices for the intermediate/advanced student with special emphasis on Gregorian rhythm, modality, and chironomy.

On Friday and Saturday, the nearly forty participants sang the Gregorian Propers and the Kyriale at a Missa Cantata celebrated by Monsignor R. Michael Schmitz, who emphasized in his sermons the spiritual dimension of Gregorian Chant: "Our life is like a melody which must be structured with God’s rhythm.” They also chanted a variety of pieces for Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament on Friday and Saturday.

On Sunday, the participants provided the Chant for a Pontifical High Mass celebrated at the Shrine by His Excellency, the Most Reverend Joseph N. Perry (video footage is currently being produced and will soon be available). After the Mass and the reception which followed, Canon Lebocq gave an introduction to Gregorian Chant for beginners, underlining its historical origins as well as the rudiments of solfeggio.

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