Church Music Association of America

Upcoming Church Music Events

The CMAA is pleased to post information about your sacred music event. Contact us for details. See the forum for more church music events. If you are thinking of organizing a workshop, here are some practical suggestions, including a link to information on how to create your own online registration form.

Winter Chant Intensive 2015 and “Sing the Mass”

Presenting Two Courses in One Venue:

2015 Winter Chant Intensive and “Sing the Mass,” a Course for Priests, Deacons, and Seminarians, at the Cathedral of SS Simon and Jude in Phoenix, Arizona, January 5-8, 2015

Cathedral outside 002The Chant Intensive lives up to its name: though no previous experience with chant is required, beginners and intermediate chanters should be prepared for full immersion from the start. You will learn or review how to read and fully navigate all aspects of traditional Gregorian notation (square notes).

The course will also address correct Latin pronunciation, the sound and mystery of the eight Church modes,

Read more ...

Conference in St. Louis October 23-25

Flyer for conference: Musica Sacra St. LouisThe fifth annual Musica Sacra St. Louis conference will explore “The Beauty of the Mass Ordinary” and “English Language Adaptations of the Mass Propers”. Instructors include Dr. William Mahrt, Associate Professor of Music at Stanford University; and Dr. Horst Buchholz, Director of Sacred Music, Archdiocese of St. Louis.

The conference is open to all who have an interest in the history and application of music in the liturgy; music directors, choir directors, singers, liturgists, priests and deacons, religious, seminarians, etc.

For more information, click on the image, or grab the flyer, or read more at the Archdiocesan Office for Sacred Music, or call 314-614-7702.

Reminder: Gregorian Institute of Canada colloquium August 22-23

Various publications in the past few years attest to a growing interest in the office of Compline, including Kenneth Peterson’s Prayer as Night Falls: Experiencing Compline and The Song of Prayer: A Practical Guide to Learning Gregorian Chant. These, and other resources, will be part of a Paraclete Press table at the August 22-23 Gregorian Institute of Canada colloquium, itself dedicated to the office of Compline.

In addition to chant, workshop sessions will also introduce lesser-known but beautiful Compline-oriented polyphonic works, including a Salva nos by Palestrina. For more information about the colloquium, held in Regina, Saskatchewan, see The registration deadline is August 15, 2014.

Minneapolis: Chant Intensive for High-Schoolers

Chant expert Scott Turkington is preparing a summer chant program for high-school students in July. Here’s the news:
Gregorian Chant Intensive

Fiftieth Anniversary of the CMAA

The summer of 2014 . . .

marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Church Music Association of America and its journal Sacred Music. This will be the focus of celebration at Colloquium XXIV  in Indianapolis, June 30–July 6, 2014.

It is not as if this were a new society, even then, far from it. It was an amalgamation of the Society of St. Cecilia (1874) and the Society of St. Gregory (1913). In view of the importance music played in the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy from the Second Vatican Council, church musicians of the two societies saw the need to join forces to take advantage of the directions the council had indicated for the integration of the treasury of sacred music with substantive participation of the people in the sacred action: the great heritage of Gregorian chant and classical polyphony should enhance the participation of believers in the action of Christ in the Mass, and this should form a precedent for the composition of new sacred music. And so at a meeting in late September 1964, at Boys Town, Nebraska, members of these societies together established the CMAA as a continuation of their groups.

Soon after, new directions in Catholic Church music emerged that were not entirely in accord with the prescriptions of the council: the use of styles borrowed from popular music and so-called “folk music”

Read more ...

Get Graduate Credit for Colloquium or Chant Intensive

Did you know you can receive graduate credit through Duquesne University’s summer music program for participating in the 2014 Sacred Music Colloquium or summer Chant Intensive?

See the complete listing of all Duquesne’s summer program’s credit courses here.

  • Details on credit for the summer Chant Intensive, taking place June 9 through 12 at Duquesne in Pittsburgh
  • Details on credit for the 2014 Colloquium, set for June 30 through July 6 in Indianapolis

Get complete details on the summer Chant Intensive. Registration ends May 1.

Get complete details on the Colloquium. Early-bird registration (with significant price discount) ends March 31.


Chant Intensive… What will you learn?


Perhaps you are wondering why you should attend a Chant Intensive course.

Here is the goal of the course:

To develop the theoretical and practical skills necessary for Gregorian chant performance. As a participant in the Chant Intensive course, you will understand basic Gregorian chant theory according to the Solesmes and other methods, and be able to transfer this knowledge from the written page to live performance as a singer or conductor in liturgy.

This course is where you can learn how to be an effective singer and/or conductor of chant for your own program wherever you live. Since Vatican II, it is not so easy to find a chant expert in your hometown. Learning the finer points of singing and/or directing chant is a lonely goal if you don’t happen to be lucky enough to have a teacher near you. This course allows you to gain the knowledge you need to either sing in a schola or start your own chant group as a director. Whether you just want to be able to sing the new English Missal chants effectively or you want to work toward the goal of singing the Latin propers from the Graduale, this course is for you.

While offering much information about the theoretical concepts, the course is geared toward live performance of chant. You will learn:

1. Reading the four-­line staff ● Clefs ● Principles of Solfege ● Basic Neumes ● More complex neumes ● Bar lines

2. Introduction to Chant Rhythm ● Solesmes Method­ history and application ● Principles of Arsis and Thesis ● The Ictus ● Counting ● Alternative approaches ­ Semiology overview

3. The Gregorian Modes ● Basic Modal structure: Finals, Dominants, Ranges ● The Major Modes ● The Minor Modes

4. Mass Ordinaries ● The Kyriale ● Mass settings in English

5. Mass Propers ● The Gregorian Propers ● English Alternatives

6. The Art of Psalmody ● Antiphonal singing ● Pointing the Psalms

7. Chant Hymns ● Singing the Divine Office

8. Mass preparation for June 12, 2014 (Duquesne University Chapel, 5:00pm) ● Ordinary of the Mass (Mass TBD) ● Propers for the Solemnity of Pentecost

Textbooks include the Gregorian Missal (Solesmes) and the Parish Book of Chant (CMAA).

If you have put off making the trip to take this course in the past, make this the year for intensively studying chant. Registration for Summer Chant Intensive is still open, so register today. The dates for this year’s Summer Chant Intensive are June 9-12, 2014. The course will be held again at Duquesne University, in Pittsburgh. For more information about the instructors and details regarding registration, visit this page.

Details about college credit through Duquesne University’s music department are available here. If you have other questions, write to us.


Colloquium XXIV Preliminary Schedule is Here!

We’ve posted the Preliminary Schedule of events for Colloquium XXIV, to be held in Indianapolis, IN June 30 – July 6, 2014. Registration is open. Find more information about the event and plan to join us! We’ll be celebrating the 4th of July together, including the city’s wonderful fireworks display viewed from the 9th Floor of the hotel on the pool deck.



Christ Church Cathedral – Indianapolis

Announcing Sacred Music Colloquium XXIV

June 30-July 6, 2014
Indianapolis, Indiana


You are invited to experience the Sacred Music Colloquium, the largest and most in-depth teaching conference and retreat on sacred music in the world. Our 2014 program offers new and expanded opportunities for learning, singing, listening, and interacting with the best minds and musicians in the Catholic world today!

Read more here.

Chant Workshop in Tuscaloosa, March 14-15, 2014


March 14-15, 2014

733 James I. Harrison, Jr. Parkway East
Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35405

Workshop is in parish hall behind church.

For Whom: General public, especially those with musical and liturgical interests.

What: Introduction to chant. Reading Gregorian notation.
The parts of the Mass (Ordinary and Propers).
Introduction to singing the Ordinary of the Mass in English and Latin.
Chant hymns and chant resources.

Optional extra:
Singing Mass propers at 5:30 p.m. Mass on March 15th.

When: Friday, March 14, 1:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 15, 9:00 – Noon
(Optional extra: Afternoon session from 1:00 to 3:15 and singing at 5:30 Mass.)

Chant Mistress: The workshop will be presented by Arlene Oost-Zinner, director of the St. Cecilia Schola Cantorum in Auburn, AL. She has served as director of programs for the Church Music Association of America since 2006. She has taught chant at all levels for the CMAA’s Sacred Music Colloquium, the CMAA Chant Intensive, and at workshops around the country. She completed her studies in Gregorian chant at the Catholic University of America, and has participated in master classes under leading chant masters of international reputation. She has written for the Catholic Answer, Crisis, Homiletic and Pastoral Review, Inside Catholic, and other publications. She is the composer and editor of the Parish Book of Psalms (CMAA, 2012) and translator & editor of Words with Wings (CMAA, 2012).

Cost and Registration: Registration is a snap. Just call or e-mail Deacon Adrian Straley at (205) 553-5296 or At sign-in, pay $10.00 by cash or check (payable to Adrian Straley) for all materials & Saturday lunch. Space is limited, so sign up now.

More information on events is at our past events archive page.

Church Music Association of America