Thursday, May 20, 2021

Announcing the Catholic Sacred Music Project

The Catholic Sacred Music Project is a new initiative which aims to provides professional musical development for current and future leaders in Catholic sacred music, through an intensive encounter with great choral works, conducted by leading artists in a festival format. The project aims to increase the artistic and professional commitment to cultivating great music for the Catholic liturgy. This initiative is sponsored by St John the Baptist Parish in Allentown, New Jersey, in association with Mater Ecclesiae Parish in Berlin, New Jersey.
Choral rehearsal and performance are at the heart of the festival. The works chosen this year center on the unique genius of the British choral tradition, but also draw on Continental styles, both historical and modern. Plainsong is given its rightful prominence in the cycle of liturgical propers. The festival’s centerpiece, the Mass in G Minor by Ralph Vaughan Williams, is an emblem of this paradigm of renewal in tradition, a work clearly grounded in Vaughan Williams’ modal idiom of the early 20th-century, but with affective roots in the tradition of liturgical polyphony of earlier periods. Other highlights in the repertoire include the Ave Maria and Ave Maris Stella by Scottish composer Sir James MacMillan, one of the program's faculty. The preparation and performance of these and other works at Mater Ecclesiae’s annual Solemn Mass for the Assumption are the primary objectives of the festival.
The daily cycle of rehearsals will be punctuated by opportunities for fellowship and camaraderie, as well as several program features aimed at deepening the experience of great liturgical music. These opportunities include daily Mass (Ordinary Form), daily chanted Compline (Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms), daily communal meals, discussions and Q&A with the faculty.
For more information, and to apply, see the project’s website:

More recent articles:

For more articles, see the NLM archives: