Musica Sacra Florida Reg. Deadline This Friday!

A liturgical and musical renaissance in Florida? Many, including myself, were dubious about it. 
When I moved to Ft. Lauderdale six years ago to take an academic position, I was moving from a vibrant diocese to a place that felt dead, like it had nothing to offer for the Catholic serious about his faith, and serious about the revitalization of Catholic culture and liturgy—very few young adult activities, a tiny, nearly-unknown Latin Mass community, very few priests interested in cultivating sacred music and reverence in the liturgy. Indeed, many have suffered for their faith in our state, as elsewhere. 
But, that was six years ago – barely after Summorum Pontificum had been promulgated.
As is the case in many other dioceses and states, the gentle example of Pope Benedict XVI inspired many, including seminarians and priests, and the Holy Spirit has prompted the hearts of many to rediscover and help revitalize the Church’s traditions and liturgy. But there is still much to be done—the impact of the new liturgical movement has still touched only a small percentage of parishioners in the pews in our state. 
One of the initiatives in Florida which has made a difference in bringing about the start of a renewal is the annual Musica Sacra Florida Gregorian Chant conference. 

For the past six years, sacred musicians from all over Florida and elsewhere in the U.S. and Canada have been coming to study the Church’s sacred music. Since our first conference at Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, we’ve held the annual conference at Ave Maria University in Ave Maria, Florida. We’ve had a great time connecting with others who love the Church’s liturgy, developing our chanting skills, singing the Divine Office together, and assisting at fully-sung Masses in both the new and old rite. The conference has spawned new scholas around the state, and connections which help make special liturgies and training for sacred music more widely available in the state.

This year, we’ve added a special track for altar servers and clergy to learn the assisting roles in the pontifical Mass in the extraordinary form of the Roman rite. Fr. Scott Haynes will be teaching a workshop on Thursday, May 15th and Friday, May 16th for all those desirous of learning this liturgy. Participants under the age of 18 accompanied by a chaperone are also welcome to participate (contact Susan Treacy for more details).
Also joining the faculty this year is Mr. Adam Bartlett, composer of the Simple English Propers and the Lumen Christi Missal. He will be presenting a workshop, with Mr. Jeffrey Herbert, on English chant and parish resources.
Other faculty include:
  • Mary Jane Ballou, D.S.M. – Cantorae Saint Augustine 
  • Jennifer Donelson, D.M.A. – Nova Southeastern University 
  • Jeffrey Herbert, CAGO/ChM – Saint Raphael Church, Englewood, FL 
  • Susan Treacy, Ph.D. – Ave Maria University

Special workshop tracks are available in:

  • Singing Gregorian Chant in English & a new parish music program, the Lumen Christi series
  • Gregorian Chironomy – How to conduct Gregorian chant 
  • Instruction for chant directors & aspiring chant directors on learning & teaching new chants 
  • Basic instruction on how to read Gregorian chant notation 
The conference also includes: 
  • Choice of scholae for beginning/intermediate (men & women), upper-level men, & upper-level women 
  • Missa cantata in the Extraordinary Form on Friday evening with chants provided by the Schola Cantorum of Saints Francis & Clare (Miami) 
  • Closing Missa cantata in the Ordinary Form on Saturday evening with English & Latin chants provided by conference participants 
If you’re interested in working for better liturgy and sacred music in your area, join us for this conference! It will give you ideas and inspiration, and help you make connections with other people working hard for the same goal. 
The setting of Ave Maria University makes the conference like a retreat – cheap housing on campus and a peaceful town to enjoy. The conference registration is $60, $15 for clergy, seminarians, and full-time students. 
The registration deadline is this Friday, May 2nd, 2014. More information is available at the conference website:
We hope you’ll be able to join us!