Thursday, April 29, 2010

CIEL-UK Announces Annual High Mass and One Day Conference

The Annual Pontifical High Mass and One-day Conference takes place this year on Saturday, 29 May. As last year, the venue for our Mass is at the London Oratory, 232 Brompton Road, Kensington, London, SW7 2RP. We are most grateful to Fr. Ignatius, the Oratory Provost, in allowing use of the superb Oratory Church again this year.

The Mass will be a Pontifical High Mass starting at 11 am. Of course, the rite will be the “Old Mass”, according to the Missale Romanum of 1962. But in a departure from previous Annual Masses (which it is hoped will prove to be popular) Mass will be sung in plainchant, facilitating the participation of the congregation in song. It is also hoped to include a motet composed by James MacMillan.

Once again the choir will be directed by Patrick Russill, Director of Music at the London Oratory. Patrick will be known to many Friends, but those who do not know about him will be interested to learn more.

We are most fortunate that the Head of Choral Conducting, Royal Academy of Music and Chief Examiner, Royal College of Organists, who was invited in 1987 by the Royal Academy of Music to found Britain’s first conservatoire church music department supports our Annual Mass. The conservatoire was further developed in 1997 to provide the first UK specialist postgraduate choral direction course in the United Kingdom. This course now attracts students from around the world. Patrick is in demand as a visiting teacher at major European conservatoires and has been Visiting Professor of Choral Direction at the Leipzig Hochschule für Musik und Theater since 2000. He made his Royal Festival Hall organ recital debut in 1986 and has since played in Europe, Asia and throughout the UK.

His scholarly writing includes important articles on early Tudor liturgical organ music, Howells’s Latin church music and Dupré’s Vespers of the Blessed Virgin of 1920. He was Musical Editor of the acclaimed Catholic Hymn Book (1998) and contributed the chapter on Catholic Germany to The Cambridge Companion to the Organ (1999).

In 1993 Patrick Russill was made an Honorary Patron of the Herbert Howells Society in recognition of his research and rediscovery of the early Latin music of Herbert Howells written for Westminster Cathedral. He is an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music and an Honorary Fellow of both the Guild of Church Musicians and the Royal College of Organists – the highest accolade of each institution.

Patrick is of the opinion that this Mass will be an exceptional musical and liturgical event.

The Conference will take place in the afternoon in St Wilfrid's Hall at the Oratory at 2.30 pm and the proceedings will be chaired by Lord Gill. Entry will be £5.

Our principal speaker is Dr James MacMillan CBE. Dr MacMillan will present a lecture on Liturgical Music pre- and post-Vatican II.

Our second speaker is Very Rev. Richard Duffield, Provost of the Birmingham Oratory.

Father Duffield is now Actor (postulator) of the Cause of John Henry Cardinal Newman. Most will know the beatification of Cardinal Newman is expected during the Holy Father’s visit to the UK next September. Fr Duffield will make a short address on the status of Cardinal Newman’s cause. Fr Duffield took up his new post as Provost of the Birmingham Oratory in early February.

The afternoon will conclude with Solemn Benediction in the Little Oratory, followed by a reception in the Little Oratory.

Nicole Hall’s “Granny” books will be offered for sale by Peter Hall at this time.

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