Thomas Mudd’s “Let Thy Merciful Ears”

Wondering about the variety of music at the CMAA Summer Colloquium?  Here’s a little gem that’s on the repertoire list this year.  An added benefit of this YouTube video is the lovely church in which it was recorded.  Enjoy watching and listening now.  If you’re already on board for Colloquium XXIV, this will whet your appetite.  If you’re still in the “thinking about it” mode, why not register?

Is the Chant Intensive for Me?


This is a fair question.  Will you be embarrassed by your ignorance or bored among the newbies?  The answer is “Neither!”

If you’re a beginning or intermediate singer of Gregorian chant, you will both enjoy and benefit from these intensive days of theory and practice.

As a beginner, your feet will be set on the straight path of notation, modes, and rhythm.  And you’ll leave with confidence in your own ability to sing and help pass on the traditions of Western plainchant.

An intermediate singer will be able to fill in gaps in knowledge and praxis.  Great on notation but not so hot with solfege?  A good sight singer but weak on the classic Solesmes methodology (and thus easily intimidated by mention of the “ictus”)? 

Most importantly, the instructors are there for YOU!  There’s always enough time for questions.  Meals are moments for sharing experiences and learning with your fellow students.  And best of all, lots and lots of chants to sing – first to learn and then to refine. And you’re singing with people who love chant as much as you do.

It’s intense; it’s fast-paced – and it’s wonderful!  So register today for this powerhouse chant experience!

Summer Chant Intensive Book Special!

If you register for the Summer Chant Intensive at Duquesne by March 31st, you’ll get a FREE copy of the Parish Book of Psalms!  A book that is the perfect way to move reluctant choirs and congregations forward to better music for the Mass.

Quantities are limited, so acting now will secure not only your place at the Chant Intensive but a super resource as well.

Go here to register!

While we’ll be posting more reasons to attend the Intensive, we didn’t want to delay letting you know about this last-minute opportunity!

Down to the Wire for the Special Book Promotion!

Indeed, this is the very last day, very last evening on which your paid early registration for Colloquium XXIV will not only save you money on the best week of your musical summer.  Indeed, this is your last chance to include a FREE copy of Dr. William Mahrt’s The Musical Shape of the Liturgy.

Think about it – money saved and a new book to enjoy!  But remember, the offer ends at midnight tonight!
Make haste!  Go here now!!

If you’ve already benefited from this offer, accept our thanks and congratulations.

Early Registration Won’t Last Forever!

Are you on the fence about the XXIV Summer Colloquium?  Well, if you hop off on the right side, you can save some lettuce for your Easter basket with Early Registration

$60 in fact – and that will buy a lot of chocolate bunnies.  Or it’s money you put toward another cool chant book at the Colloquium.

Yesterday was the Ides of March – not a good day for Julius Caesar.  However, you can make today a good day for you and sacred music wherever you live by registering for the Summer Colloquium in Indianapolis.

But you only have until March 31st.  And my experience is that the second half of the month always goes by faster.  So do it today – and you don’t have to think about it tomorrow.

Join us – and all the lovers of chant, polyphony, great organ music, and fellowship that make this a wonderful week! (And did I mention the 4th of July fireworks?)

St. Bridget’s Day

I can’t let this day pass without a song in praise of the Mary of the Gaels, beautifully performed by Claire Roche.

If the video doesn’t appear for some mysterious reason, head over to YouTube and search for Gabhaim molta Bride – I give praise to Brigid.

The Uninvited Guests at Your Choir Rehearsals

If you have 15 people in your choir, chances are that you should set out 30 chairs. 

Those empty chairs are for the “uninvited guests” who come along each week with your singers.  They are the little ghostly voices chattering away at them – while you’re talking, while they’re singing.  All the while they are scolding, correcting, intimidating, offering up memories of past mistakes – sometimes bringing even the most talented individuals to the point of melodic paralysis.  And seriously limiting the effectiveness of your direction and your singers’ abilities and happiness.

What’s a director to do?  You can’t undo the damage of a failed jury exam, an ill-tempered high school choral director, a missed note during last Christmas Eve’s solo, a mother who always pointed out how your sister was the one who could really sing, etc.  No, you can’t shoo other people’s ghosts away. They can be quite powerful and there are very few musicians who don’t carry at least or two around.

Sometimes we get so used to our ghosts’ constant grumbling and kvetching that we just assume they are regular background noise.  And the noise can get so loud that we don’t hear what’s really happening in terms of direction or our own vocal production.

What you can do is remind your singers of their existence and corrosive influence on their happiness and their singing. 

Devise a gesture that will let each choir member chase them away, scoot them out of the choir room or toss them out of the loft.  Tell those ghosts to be gone! Be imaginative, be a little physical.  If nothing else, laugh them away for the moment.  If you do this on a monthly basis, it will clear the air of those infernal spirits.

Then enjoy a rehearsal with the “real” folks in the choir!  (And don’t forget to chase your own ghosts away as well.)