Charles Culbreth

Dear Friends of Chant Cafe,

I just learned that one of our bloggers and one of the kindest men I’ve ever known, Charles Culbreth died yesterday. He was a unique musician – with a church career that ran from contemporary folk Christian to chant. It is my understanding that he was also an inspired music educator who taught many children and young people the joy of music. No one who ever met Charles forgot him.

Let us not forget him now. Please remember him in your prayers.

See You in Chicago? Come to the CMAA Colloquium!

There is still some time and still some places available for singers who want to have a ripping good time singing chant and polyphony, networking and hanging out with lovers of sacred liturgical music, working with some of the “best of the block” in the field, and taking their own skills and experience up to another level.

From June 25 to June 30, 2018, there will be beautiful music at the lakeside campus of Loyola University, with  Masses celebrated in the Madonna della Strada chapel. Extraordinary Form, Ordinary Form, Latin and English, and now Spanish! Head over to the CMAA website and see all the opportunities to sing music you love.

If you’re a beginner at singing, fear not! The basics of chant are taught and there is a special choir to introduce you to the intricacies of polyphony. There’s no “karaoke choir” here. Instead you have a chance to work on skills with a welcoming community. Everyone was a beginner once upon a time; the best of us remember it!

Put the kitchen remodel on hold, see if the car won’t hold out one more year, whatever! Come to Chicago and discover the joy of great liturgical music that YOU are a part of.

Your spirits will be lifted and your faith strengthened. What more do you want?

See you at Loyola in June!

Extended Early Registration for CMAA Courses at Duquesne

Yes, this is much better than turning up an old Easter egg under the sofa.

The reduced rate for the excellent CMAA courses this summer at Duquesne has been extended to April 14th!  So this would be a good time to get off the fence, register, and save some bucks.

You can find all the information and registration over at the CMAA web pagesdevoted to these courses.

Improve your own knowledge of chant, study with a monk of Clear Creek Monastery, or learn secrets of working with children. All courses taught by experts to congenial classmates – do come!

Sacred Miscellany

Lovers of Sacred Music are cordially invited to visit my blog at sacred miscellany for a taste of Great Saturday Lamentations from the East. Better yet, subscribe to the blog and never miss a moment of interesting and beautiful sacred a cappella music.

CMAA Summer Courses 2018

Take advantage of early registration and save some bucks!

Come to one of these courses and get smarter!

There’s a course here for everyone interested in chant – look at the choices:

The famous Chant Intensive, taught this summer by the inimitable David Hughes
Clear Creek Monastery’s Laus in Ecclesia – Level One taught by Br. Mark Bachmann from Clear Creek

Want to bring chant to children? How about:

Ward I*- That All May Sing, taught by Scott Turkington
Ward II* – Intermediate – taught by Wilko Brouwers

All courses  take place June 18-22 at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. Details and registration at the CMAA web pages for the courses.

Early registration ends March 31st!!! Get in on the savings now!  

*NB – These courses do not have official Ward accreditation and are not affiliated with the Center for Ward Studies.

Gregorian Festival in Watou, Belgium

Watou Festival photograph

If you are finding the month of May lacking in entertainment, why not consider this festival of Gregorian chant scholas and choirs.

International Gregorian Festival of Watou

You might find the site a bit tricky to navigate since much of it is Dutch (Flemish). However, even if travel isn’t in your plans, it’s nice to know what others are up to in the sacred music world.

Interestingly, this festival always has a South Korean presence. And if you visit the site of the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music, you will find a considerable number of Korean students. What is the relationship there? Is chant more popular than guitar music in Korean Catholic circles? And why are the singers predominantly women? Why does life present so many questions?

Get Ready for the 2018 Summer Colloquium!

Make your plans now to join dedicated singers, directors, and conductors at Loyola University in Chicago for this year’s Colloquium, June 25th to 30th.

  • There will be a distinguished faculty. 
  • There will be beautiful Masses in the splendid Madonna della Strada chapel! 
  • Couses in chant for beginners to advanced. 
  • A choice of polyphony choirs. 
  • Plenary speakers of note.
  • Breakout sessions on topics pertinent to the musician and lover of sacred music.
  • A chance to share strategies, successes, and ideas with colleagues at meals.
  • Reasonable rates for dormitory housing (with a hotel option for those who prefer it) 
  • Theory and practice meet here in six wonderful days.
  • An opportunity to step into a wholehearted immersion in the best music of the Latin Rite.

Better than my words, watch this video:

Why am I talking about this in February?

Early registration for the Colloquium ends on March 1st.

Why register now? You’ll save money, of course!
Pay in full now for early registration and you save $50.
If you’re a member, you’ll also get your $50 member discount.
Do the math.

And of course, if you’re not a member, you should be!

Visit the Colloquium pages for all the information on courses and choirs, meal plans and lodging, registration, and more.

We look forward to seeing you in the Windy City in June 2018!


Music Games for Geeks

Stop wasting your time with Solitaire or Death of the Galaxy (I just made that one up)!

Sharpen your ear and/or your smarts with Theta Music Trainer. I like to think I’m a pretty smart cookie. Well, I’m tuning up my rusty interval recognition – and feeling like the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz.

There are a zillion games and a wonderful way to take a break from whatever you’re really supposed to be doing and still be able to justify it.