Friday, September 22, 2023

“The Musical Shape of the Liturgy: Celebrating the Life & Work of William P. Mahrt” – Conference in Menlo Park, California, Nov 7-9

The Catholic Institute of Sacred Music cordially invites you to a timely and fitting conference celebrating the immense contributions of Dr. William Mahrt of Stanford University, who serves also as the president of the CMAA, the editor of the CMAA’s Sacred Music journal, and the publisher of NLM.
The Musical Shape of the Liturgy: Celebrating the Life and Work of William P. Mahrt
November 7–9, 2023
St. Patrick's Seminary, Menlo Park, California
More information and registration are available here.
Having devoted his life and scholarly activity to the study and praxis of the Roman rite and its music, Dr. William Mahrt has made his work a touchstone for countless scholars and active church musicians. His insights into the characteristics of the various forms of Gregorian chant have elucidated the nature of the chant as something integral to the sacred liturgy, and the nature of the sacred liturgy itself. His exposition of the nature of beauty and its embodiment in Catholic sacred music, liturgical gestures, symbols and architecture has served as an important guide in the Church’s understanding of the purpose of artistic beauty in divine worship. His work with the polyphonic masters of the Renaissance has illuminated the performances and scholarship of many choirs and students, and his devoted direction of the St. Ann Choir and Stanford Early Music Singers remains a pillar in the practice of sacred music in the United States.
On the occasion of the 150th volume of Sacred Music, which Dr. Mahrt has edited since 2006, and on the establishment of a new chair in sacred music at St. Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo Park in his name, as well as the 125th anniversary of the founding of St. Patrick’s Seminary, the organizing committee is very pleased to announce a conference entitled “The Musical Shape of the Liturgy: Celebrating the Life and Work of William P. Mahrt.”
The conference is open to all, and will feature presentations and lecture recitals by nearly forty scholars from around the country, covering a wide variety of topics within the Church’s treasury of sacred music, nearly all of which Dr. Mahrt has likewise written about with his typically insightful prose and genuine love of the music.
The four keynote spekaers of the conference are:
  • Dr. Joseph Dyer – “De Hierusalem exeunt reliquiæ – Music for the Dedication of the Church of Santa Prassede (Rome)”
  • Sr. Maria Kiely, O.S.B. – “O quam metuendus est locus iste (Gen. 28, 17): the Spiritual Foundations of Liturgical Prayer”
  • Dr. William Mahrt – “Dynamic Parallelismus Membrorum”  
  • Dr. Kerry McCarthy – “Low Style and High Style in Catholic England”
The other topics are:
  • Dr. Alison Altstatt – “Children in Anna von Buchwald’s Buch im Chor: Pedagogical Lessons from a Fifteenth-Century Convent”
  • Dr. Erick Arenas – “Mozart’s Requiem and Eighteenth-Century Liturgical Music Aesthetics Between the Church and the Concert Hall”
  • Fr. Brian T. Austin – “Music and Text in the Twelfth-Century Dulcis Iesu memoria
  • Br. Mark Bachmann, O.S.B. – “A Portrait of a Church Musician drawn from the Holy Rule of St. Benedict”
  • Jacob Beaird – “Chanting the Face of God: Iconography, Arvo Pärt, and James MacMillan”
  • Alex Begin – “Regional Music Team Buildling”
  • Dr. Horst Buchholz – “From The Old World to The New World: How Sacred Music in the U.S.A. was Shaped by European Composers “
  • Dr. Kevin Clarke – “The Pipe Organ in the Mass in Pre- and Post-Reformation England”
  • Kevin Faulkner – “Fulfilling Messiaen’s Prophecy, Resurgence of Chant and the Work of Charles Tournemire”
  • Duane Galles – “Canonical Aspects of Organ Care, Repair and Rebuilding”
  • Br. John Glasenapp, O.S.B. –  “Authoritative Problems: The Challenge of Chant History”
  • Dr. Jane Schatkin Hettrick – “Reforming Music and Liturgy in Catholic Worship around 1780 in Austria:  Prescriptions for Congregational Hymns”
  • Dr. William Hettrick – “Cantus Firmi in the Sacred Works of Johann Herbeck (1831–1877)”
  • Dr. Christopher Hodkinson – “The Ordo Cantus Missæ at Fifty
  • David Hughes – “Eucharistic Piety in the Earlier and Later Renaissance: The Agnus Dei in the Sixteenth Century”
  • Dr. Aaron James – “On the Legacy of Morales: Musical Shapes in the Polyphonic Magnificat”
  • Dr. Deborah Kauffman – “Music for the ‘Ceremonie du Sacre d’un Evesque’ at Saint-Cyr”
  • Christina Kim – “The Musical Shape of Exequies”
  • Dr. Ann Labounsky – “Jean Langlais: Servant of the Church”
  • Bruce Ludwick – “Shaping the Liturgy through Music: A Cathedral (or Parish) Journey”
  • Crista Miller – “Wonderful Splendor: A Survey of Newer Chant-based Organ Works”
  • Steven Ottományi – “Native Language Isochrony and the Rhythm of the Gregorian Chant”
  • Dr. John Pepino – “Louis Bouyer’s assessment of Sacrosanctum Concilium: retrieving the liturgical intent of Vatican II”
  • William V. Riccio – “One Man’s History of the Revival of the Traditional Mass (1963–Present)”
  • Dr. Jesse Rodin – “How Josquin Makes Chant an Engine of Invention”
  • Dr. Joseph Sargent – “The Magnificats of Bernardino de Ribera (c.1520-80)”
  • Roseanne Sullivan – “The Remarkable Sixty-Year Survival of Prof. Mahrt’s St. Ann Choir” 
  • Dr. Christoph Tietze – “Teaching Solfège to Children through Square Notation”
  • Dr. Edward Schaefer – “Chant and the Theology of the Mass”
  • Dr. Charles Weaver – “Dom Mocquereau and Music Theory”
  • Mary Ann Carr Wilson – “Melisma and Meditation: The Graduals of Advent”
Sung Lauds, Mass, and Vespers
Of course, the event will be anchored by the celebration of the sung liturgy, beginning with Vespers on Tuesday, and presenting Lauds, Mass, and Vespers on Wednesday and Thursday. Archbishop Cordileone will celebrate the opening (Tuesday) Vespers.
If you’re available to come early, we’ll have rehearsals on the morning and afternoon of Tuesday, Nov. 7th, to prepare the sung offices and Mass for Wednesday. Led by Dr. Mahrt and a team of other conductors (Horst Buchholz, Jennifer Donelson-Nowicka, and David Hughes), singers will prepare the chants of the liturgies, as well as the Byrd Mass for Four and motets by Ciprianus (Sicut Cervus), Isaac (Beata Viscera), and De la Rue (O Salutaris). In order to sing for the liturgies, you must be present at all the rehearsals on Tuesday and select the “Sing with St. Ann Choir + friends” option at registration. 
The registration fee includes several meals, and hotel options are provided as a convenience to attendees to find affordable accommodations nearby. Please see the registration page for more details. 
Conference Sponsors
  • The Catholic Institute of Sacred Music at St. Patrick’s Seminary
  • The Church Music Association of America
  • Stanford University Department of Music (Alexander Lecture)
  • The St. Ann Choir
  • The Benedict XVI Institute for Sacred Music and Divine Worship
Registration for the event is $225. No clergy or student discounts are available, and the registration fee is non-refundable, though event insurance is available for purchase to registrants through the registration platform. The registration deadline is October 16th. 

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