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?

One Reply to “Gregorian Festival in Watou, Belgium”

  1. Mary Jane,

    When I was a graduate music student at Michigan State University in the 1980's and 90's, there were many students from South Korea. From what I heard, this was pretty standard in music schools across the US. The Koreans love music in general and want their children to get a good education in the States. I don't think that it is specifically about the state of Sacred Music in Korea, but I could be wrong.

    As for why so many women, I am not sure. Since many of them were piano performance majors, as they were when I was in grad school, a waggish music professor used to say that this was due to canny Korean parents. They knew that their daughters weren't very likely to become professional soloists. Such training however would make them excellent after dinner entertainment for a wealthy Korean businessman's clients. In other words, it made their daughters more marriageable. He used to call it "Finishing School for Korean Young Ladies." OK, maybe its a bad joke, but that is what he used to say!

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