Sacred music rings through Salt Lake City cathedral during colloquium
By Laura Vallejo
Catholic News Service
SALT LAKE CITY (CNS) — Priests, nuns, seminarians and laypeople had opportunities to sing, learn and interact with the best musicians in the Catholic community from all over the world at the Church Music Association of America’s Sacred Music Colloquium.
Sessions were held at the Cathedral of the Madeleine in Salt Lake City.
It was the 22nd such colloquium presented by the association, which bills itself as the oldest organization in the United States dedicated to Catholic sacred music.
The event opened June 25 and ran through July 1. More than 200 attendees enjoyed six full days of activities, which culminated with a Mass at the cathedral, bringing together parishioners and colloquium participants to hear music from association members.
“They sing like angels,” said Mary Cohchran, a cathedral parishioner who was attending the Mass with her family. “We are all stunned by all this magic.”
“I didn’t know today we would hear this beautiful music, I am glad that we are here,” fellow parishioner Michael Leal told the Intermountain Catholic, newspaper of the Salt Lake City Diocese.
During the week, the colloquium participants gathered in rehearsals and classes to further their knowledge and enrich their parish music ministries.
“This colloquium has enriched me in all three senses: musically, spiritually and intellectually. Everything was perfect,” said Frank Merhart, who came from Virginia.
The colloquium’s primary focus was instruction in chant and the Catholic sacred music tradition. Activities included participation in chant choirs, daily and nightly lectures and performances, and daily celebrations of liturgies in both English and Latin.
Instructors included vocal pedagogist Cecilia Nam, who led a choir that was designed to introduce and improve on the critical vocal and musical techniques necessary for singing polyphonic music.
Horst Buchholz, a conductor with experience with both early choral music and the romantic repertoire, and his choir sang at a celebration of a Latin Mass June 29, the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul.
For the fifth year, William Mahrt presented a rendering of polyphonic vespers, focusing in the works of Orlando di Lasso.
During the colloquium’s closing liturgy July 1, Wilko Brouwers conducted portions of Claudio Monteverdi’s “Messa a quattro voci da Cappella (1650),” including the “Gloria” and the “Sanctus.”
“For me, these six days were like being in true heaven, I enjoyed every part of it as well as I learned a lot with all the rehearsals and organ performances,” said Miko Thum of Oklahoma.