The summer season is a great time for Catholic musicians to deepen their knowledge of sacred music and the liturgy, and to improve their skills and grasp of the Church's musical treasures.
This summer is sure to be full of many great sacred music events. I would like to draw your attention to two wonderful opportunities to study Gregorian chant with the Benedictines of the US:
First are the annual summer week-long seminars offered by the legendary Fr. Columba Kelly, OSB at St. Meinrad Archabbey in Southern Indiana. The workshops are entitled "Bringing to Life the Word of God in Song", and are offered in two parts. (See more information on Part 1 for beginners, and Part 2 for intermediate to advanced students).
Fr. Kelly's approach to Gregorian chant pedagogy is at once deeply sacramental and imbued with the liturgical theology of Pope Benedict XVI, while at the same time is built upon the best Gregorian chant research of the past 60 years.While he never hesitates to immerse his students in the vast riches of even the most complex chants of the Gregorian repertoire, he also has an eye to the realities of parish life and is an undisputed champion of English chant, which he has been composing for the past 40 years.
Dom Columba completed his doctoral studies in Gregorian Musicology under Dom Eugene Cardine in 1963 at the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music in Rome, and has tirelessly served the Church even through the most difficult moments in the recent history of liturgical music in the United States. He is a buried treasure that everyone who is serious about Gregorian chant should have the opportunity to study with at least once.
The dates for his seminars are July 2nd-6th for the first (beginner) session, and July 9th-13th for the second (advanced) session. The cost is $395 for one session, and $650 for both, which includes week long accommodations including a full meal plan.
You can register for either workshop here.
Second are the Chant workshops offered by Fr. Steven Concordia of St. Vincent Abbey in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. Like Fr. Kelly, Fr. Concordia was trained in Gregorian Semiology at the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music in Rome.
These workshops are also being given in two parts: Part One (for beginners) is being held from May 21st-25th, and Part Two (advanced) will run from May 28th to June 1st.
The cost for one session is $300, and the cost for both sessions is $450, plus room and board. St. Vincent College is also offering the possibility for college credit for one or both courses.
For more information see the brochure, and to register you can visit the St. Vincent College Sacred Music site.
Nathan Knutson, cathedral and diocesan director of sacred music, performing artist, father, lecturer on sacred music
Kathleen Pluth, S.T.L., hymn writer, catechist, and schola director, currently studying for the STD in Rome