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Musica Sacra Florida

7th Annual Gregorian Chant Conference

sponsored by the Florida Chapter of the Church Music Association of America (CMAA)

in conjunction with Ave Maria University

Friday, May 15 & Saturday, May 16, 2015

About the Conference:

This two-day workshop will present beginning, intermediate, and advanced musicians with workshops and rehearsals that will enrich their knowledge of Gregorian chant and its use in the Roman Catholic liturgy.

Led by a faculty of chant specialists from around the state and beyond, attendees will learn practical methods for teaching chant and introducing it into the parish, and experience the chant in the context of the Divine Office and the Mass.

Beginning chant singers will be introduced to the basics of notation and rhythm according to the classic Solesmes method.

Experienced chanters will learn new repertoire and advance their understanding of rhythmic and interpretive nuance. Resources and practical methods for the cultivation of English-language plainchant in the life of the parish will also be discussed.

This workshop is ideal for choir members, parish music directors, Gregorian schola directors, music students, teachers, parents, seminarians, priests, deacons, and anyone who is interested in learning about the heritage of sacred music within the Roman Catholic Church.


Registration fees are $60 ($15 for full-time students with ID and children) and include the price of instructional materials and instruction. Payment is made online.

Board Options:

Friday catered dinner: Estimated $30 (remit along with registration)

Other meals (on your own): For Saturday’s breakfast and lunch, conference attendees may eat at the AMU cafeteria or at restaurants in La Piazza, surrounding The Oratory of Ave Maria.

Room Options:

Overnight accommodations will be available at AMU’s Xavier Hall.

Participants may choose between the following room options for lodging.

Xavier Conference Center – Single occupancy


Xavier Hall – Double occupancy

($37.50 per person) $75

Please reserve Xavier Hall accommodations separately from your conference registration by downloading the PDF form at the following link: Accommodations form (PDF)

Pre-registration is required.

Deadline: Friday, May 1, 2015

Contact Information :

Susan Treacy at (239) 280-1668 or

Conference Faculty:

Mary Jane Ballou
Cantorae St. Augustine, St. Augustine, FL

Mary Jane Ballou, D.S.M., is the founder and director of Cantorae St. Augustine, a women’s ensemble dedicated to chant and polyphony. She has 35 years’ experience in sacred music and her specialty is a cappella music for women’s voices. She has taught workshops on chant for beginners, as well as serving on the faculty of the Church Music Association of America’s Chant Intensive and Summer Colloquia. She also performs professionally on the Celtic harp throughout the Southeast. An additional interest is the organ and vocal music of New Spain and Mexico and she performed works by 18th century women religious on a historic organ at the 2014 International Festival of Organ and Early Music in Oaxaca, Mexico. Her harp recordings are available online at CD Baby. Dr. Ballou also produces and hosts Classical Fan Club, a weekly radio show featuring music “off the beaten track” on Flagler College Radio, WFCF St. Augustine 88.5.

Father James Bradley
Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham (UK)

Father Bradley is a Catholic priest of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. He currently resides in Washington, DC, at Holy Comforter-Saint Cyprian Roman Catholic Church, and he is studying for the Licentiate in Canon Law at The Catholic University of America. Raised an Anglican, Father Bradley studied music at the University of Bristol after having sung as a boy chorister in the highly acclaimed choir of Winchester Cathedral. In 2010 he was ordained to the Anglican ministry, and served as Assistant Curate at Saint John the Baptist Church, Sevenoaks, Kent. During Holy Week of 2011, Father Bradley was received into full communion with the Catholic Church, along with the Vicar and about forty parishioners of Saint John’s. In May of that year Father Bradley was ordained to the Catholic diaconate, and in April of 2012 he was ordained to the sacred priesthood. Father Bradley writes a weblog, “Thine Own Service” (, where more information is available about him and the Ordinariate.

Michael Olbash
Saint Adelaide Church, Peabody, MA

An accomplished musician and a Catholic homeschooling father of four, Mr. Olbash holds degrees in sacred music from Harvard University (B.A., cum laude) and St. Joseph’s College (M.Mus.), as well as the Colleague and Choirmaster certificates from the American Guild of Organists, which awarded him both the Choirmaster Prize and the S. Lewis Elmer Award in 2012. He has presented lectures and seminars at the local, regional, and national level on a variety of topics such as conducting technique, Gregorian chant, and the liturgical use of handbells. He currently serves as the Organist & Choirmaster at St. Adelaide’s Parish in Peabody, Massachusetts, where he directs three scholæ in the singing of the weekly High Mass in the Extraordinary Form, as well as a Parish Choir and Treble Choir. He is the founding director of the Blackstone Valley Catholic Youth Choir, which released its premiere recording “Clothed with the Sun” in 2013 and completed a tour of Connecticut and New York in 2014. An advocate of sacred music for children, he serves on the Board of Directors for the American Federation Pueri Cantores, assisting the AFPC with choir festivals around the country.

Edward Schaefer
University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

Edward Schaefer has served the College of Fine Arts at the University of Florida as Associate Dean for Academic and Student Services since 2007. Prior to coming to UF, Dr. Schaefer chaired the department of music at Gonzaga University for 12 years, and he directed a choral program at Gonzaga that distinguished itself with invitations to perform at state, regional and national conventions of music educator and choral director associations – including at the national convention of the American Choral Directors Association. Schaefer holds a certificate in advanced leadership studies from Gonzaga University, the D.M.A. in liturgical music from The Catholic University of America, and M.Mus., M.S.M., and B.Mus. degrees from Southern Methodist University. Dr. Schaefer’s research is focused on Gregorian chant and the music of the Roman Catholic Mass. His research has led him to studies with various chant scholars in the United States and France and a seven-month sabbatical in 2001 as a member of Le Choeur Grégorien de Paris and a student at Le Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique, Paris. He has also published several works related to chant and the Liturgy, including Singing the Prayers and Readings at Mass (Priory Press, 2003), Catholic Church Music through the Ages: Balancing the Needs of a Worshiping People (Hillenbrand Books, 2008), “The Expressive and Formative Roles of Music: A Search for Balance in Liturgical Reform,” Antiphon 7:2 (2002), 21-36 and two recordings of chants for the Mass released in 2003 and 2005. Dr. Schaefer is a permanent deacon in the Catholic Church, and he directs the Florida Schola Cantorum, a small vocal ensemble that sings chant and polyphony.

Susan Treacy
Ave Maria University, Ave Maria, FL

Susan Treacy, Ph.D., joined the faculty at AMU after having taught at Franciscan University of Steubenville. She has also been a visiting professor at The Liturgical Institute, University of Saint Mary of the Lake, Mundelein, IL. Dr. Treacy holds a Ph.D. in historical musicology from the University of North Texas, a M.Mus. from the Manhattan School of Music, and a B.Mus. from Oberlin College Conservatory. Her research interests are in Catholic liturgical music and English devotional song, and besides having published scholarly articles, Dr Treacy writes a regular column, “Musica Donum Dei,” for the Saint Austin Review and is a contributor to Sacred Music. Dr. Treacy directs the Women’s & Men’s Scholæ at AMU, and while at Franciscan University she directed the Schola Cantorum Franciscana. She was a member of the editorial committee for the first edition of The Adoremus Hymnal and is on the Board of Directors of the Church Music Association of America.


Ave Maria University, 5050 Ave Maria Boulevard, Ave Maria, FL 34142

A downloadable campus map can be accessed here: campus map (PDF)

All events except the Masses are located in the Henkels Academic Building and the Bob Thomas Student Union, labeled 3 and 4 on the campus map.


Driving directions from Miami and Ft. Lauderdale
From I-75 take Exit 80 towards the North, and proceed 10 miles. At Oil Well Road, make a left turn (towards the west) at the Citgo station and proceed 5 miles. The entrance to the Ave Maria University campus (Ave Maria Blvd.) is on the right. The University’s Visitor Center is conveniently located in LaPiazza, approximately 3 miles north of the entrance.

If you are coming from the West Coast of Florida
Take I-75 to Exit 111 (Immokalee Road) and proceed east 10 miles to Oil Well Road. Turn right and proceed 10 miles. The entrance to the Ave Maria University campus (Ave Maria Blvd.) is on the left. The University’s Visitor Center is conveniently located in LaPiazza, approximately 3 miles north of the entrance.

From Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW)
Exit the airport and follow the signs to I-75. Proceed south to Exit 111 (Immokalee Road) and proceed east 10 miles to Oil Well Road. The entrance to Ave Maria (Ave Maria Blvd) is on the left. The University’s Visitor Center is conveniently located in La Piazza, approximately 3 miles north of the entrance. Turn right and proceed 10 miles. Ave Maria is on the left.

From Naples Municipal Airport, take Airport Road north 8.3 miles to Immokalee Road, then turn east and travel 11.6 miles to Oil Well Road. Turn right and proceed 10 miles. Ave Maria is on the left.


Free parking is available on campus and in the town of Ave Maria. See the campus map for parking lot locations.

Registration Form

Registration for this event is now closed.