Friday, April 27, 2012

Colloquium, The Movie

The presentation below is one of those media events that happens only once and will never be repeated, mainly because its brilliance rests most fundamentally with the delightful naivete of all of us who were involved in its making. We had no idea just how difficult such a task would be, or what the results might be when we started out.

The credit belongs entirely to Jeffrey Ostrowski who shepherded from the beginning. The goal was to do something, anything, to convey to the world just how exciting and thrilling the world of sacred music truly is. It was also designed to advertise and market the Sacred Music Colloquium (which this year run June 25 through July 1 in Salt Lake City).

It seems odd to use the language of marketing here since no one makes a dime from this event and the sponsoring organization runs on a shoestring budget. The truth is, however, that everything needs marketing at some level, something to convince people to interrupt the regular course of their lives and try something completely new.

This has been the great challenge in the world of sacred music. The problem in our parishes is not unknown. It goes something like this. Our music is not serious, not substantial, not liturgical, facts which drive off serious people and talented musicians; but without the serious people and talented musicians around, there is no real hope for improvement down the line. It becomes a vicious circle that digs a deeper hole every year.

The only way out is find people who have an ever so slight interest in doing something about the problem, training them to read and sing the chants of the faith, and inspire them to get to work in saving the liturgy and the world. It's not so easy to do this.

The Colloquium goes many steps beyond toward total immersion in heavenly beauty for a full week. Yes it is lifechanging. Every year the Colloquium has attracted more people. This year will be the biggest and best ever. I would suggest that nearly all progress in the Catholic musical arts in this country and beyond are due to this one event.

The really big change this year is that we have opened up the program on both ends: you can be a non-musician, non-singer, and not read a note, or you can be an advanced professional with a conservatory degree. Absolutely everyone can benefit. We wanted to reduce the intimidation element that keeps people away while always increase professional networking opportunities. We hope that we've done both.

So please consider joining us.

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