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.

Coffeehouse Polyphony

On Friday night of the Sacred Music Colloquium, we held a now legendary event in which people sight-read music, put on skits, and otherwise relaxed and had serious fun after a hard-working week. This small performance below features Michael Lawrence conducting Samuel Wesley’s “Si Iniquitates.”

Colloquium 2007: The Movie

Events in September

Be sure to check our events page for upcoming workshops in the Catholic music tradition. Two forthcoming in September:

  • Introduction to Parish Chant, Salinas, California, September 14-15, 2007, led by Kathy Reinheimer, at Madonna del Sasso Parish, 320 E Laurel Dr, Salinas, CA 93906.
  • Symposium on the Motu Proprio, Stamford, Connecticut, September 14-15, 2007, led by Scott Turkington.
  • Sacred Music Colloquium XVIII, Loyola University


    “Six Days of Musical Heaven”
    June 16-21, 2008 (Monday noon through Saturday evening)
    Loyola University, Chicago, Illinois
    Sponsored by the Church Music Association of America

    2008 Preliminary Schedule
    Register online or by mail
    Download the poster or brochure

    Gregorian Chant has been called the most beautiful music this side of Heaven. But as Pope Benedict XVI and the Second Vatican Council have emphasized, it is also integral to Catholic liturgical life and should be heard and experienced with wide participation in every parish. The Church Music Association of America is working to bring about this ideal with its Sacred Music Colloquium.

    We can’t be more thrilled about the location. Loyola University was founded as a Jesuit college in 1870. Its campus is located in a Chicago suburb (Evanston) that filled with lovely gardens, and sits right on Lake Michigan (our chapel is right on the lake!). It is a large university with 25,000 students and all facilities are modernized, yet it retains a retreat-like environment. Its staff is honored and excited to be hosting the Colloquium. The rehearsal rooms are spacious and glorious, and the dining halls are outstanding. The newly renovated chapel features soaring lines and live acoustics. The dorms are apartment-style, modern, and comfortable for everyone.

    But please know this: in 2007, the colloquium reached its capacity two months before the deadline. One reason for holding the Colloquium at Loyola is to accommodate more people. But even so, we must cut off registrations at a certain number. We have no idea when that number will be reached. But this conference has become the most in-demand sacred music gathering in the world, so you are well advised to register as early as possible.

    The primary focus of the Colloquium is instruction in chant and the Catholic sacred music tradition, participation in chant and polyphonic choirs, nightly lectures and performances, along with daily celebrations of liturgies in both English and Latin.

    Attendance is open to anyone interested in improving the quality of music in Catholic worship. Professional musicians will appreciate the rigor, while enthusiastic volunteer singers will enjoy the opportunity to study under an expert faculty. If you have never sung chant before, the colloquium will open a new world of beautiful sacred music to you, so you too are encouraged to attend.

    Attendees also benefit from camaraderie with like-minded musicians who share their love of the liturgy of the Church. Growing awareness and appreciation of chant and its solemnity has generated particular excitement about the conference this year.

    “The greatest need of liturgy today is the restoration of the sense of the sacred,” writes CMAA President William Mahrt of Stanford University. “Music has a principal role, since it expresses that sense of the sacred and sustains it through time.”


    “I still can’t get over the unforgettable experience of attending the Colloquium. It was a real eye-opener and has enriched me musically, spiritually and intellectually. The instructors were excellent! The food and entertainment were great! The Masses were heavenly! I am already looking forward to the next one and hope I could bring along more people to help in restoring the Church’s musical and liturgical treasures.” Edwin Fernandez

    “Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the wonderful work you all put into the Colloquium. This was my second year attending and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. The information was great, the conducting was amazing and the organization was fabulous. I had tears in my eyes several times during the Masses… I attended the colloquium last year as a volunteer musician at our parish and this year I attended as music director for our parish. I was hired three months ago and since then we have completely revamped our 11:30 Mass. Our pastor and I did a ton of education through bulletin inserts and preaching. I immediately formed a schola….”

    “It was a wonderful experience for me, truly six days of heaven, and I will never forget it. I particularly enjoyed the conducting class, and the polyphony rehearsals, the lectures and organ performances and improvisations, all the Masses, of course. In short, everything that I attended. I know that this success did not come without a tremendous amount of work on everyone’s part…” Dove Pierce

    “The CMAA Colloquium has now indisputably claimed a place among prestigious and well-run music conferences. You will certainly want to attend next year’s event – this was my first time, and the experience was overwhelmingly positive!” Gary Penkala, Cantica Nova Publications

    LODGING AND FOOD: The Loyola University dormitories are very comfortable and livable. They are designed in an apartment style and each room or set of two rooms has a bathroom (so no walking down the hall). They come with linens, pillows, soap, and shampoo in each bathroom. The dining hall is located directly across the street, and features a wide variety of American and foreign cuisine, prepared with care. For those who choose the day rate, you can stay in one of many retreat houses or hotels in the Chicago area, and pay for whatever meals you choose to eat on a per meal basis (at extremely reasonable prices).


    $675 for single room/full program including meals, and materials
    $575 for double room/full program, including meals and materials
    $360 tuition only, including materials (you can pay per meal as you choose)
    A deposit to reserve your spot is $75, with full payment due by May 15, 2008. Register first and then make your deposit here. For full payment, go here. You can also mail this registration form that includes your check or credit card number to: CMAA Colloquium Registration, 920 Sanders St., Auburn, AL, 36830.

    Some scholarships for Church musicians may be available. Write us with all relevant details, including your financial need. If you would like to assist a musician to acquire the skills and inspiration needed to restore sacred music to an honored place in Catholic liturgy, and earmark your payment to scholarships.

    If you need help posting these items, or have further questions, please write us.

    Music Training for Priests

    The sung Mass remains the normative form in the Roman Rite. Indeed, the Second Vatican Council said that singing the Mass texts ennobles the liturgy. But this is not the norm in most parishes. Many celebrants are ready to take the step, but they need training in the finer details and the confidence to begin.

    To provide this training is the purpose of “Missa in Cantu: A Seminar in the Sung Mass for Celebrants,” as sponsored by the Church Music Association of America and St. John Cantius parish in Chicago, Illinois. The dates are October 17-19, 2007, and the cost is $165 including meals. The location is St. Cantius, 825 N. Carpenter St., Chicago, Illinois. Registration Deadline: September 17, 2007. You can register and pay online at MusicaSacra.com/celebrant.

    The seminar includes tracks for the new and old forms of the Roman Rite. It is designed for celebrants who have never before attempted to sing the Mass, and also those who need to refine their abilities. This seminar broadens the full range of liturgical possibilities. Even for those who know no Latin, it is easier to learn through singing than merely speaking. And the seminar is open for those who are interested in observing the extraordinary rite, even if celebrating it isn’t yet viable.

    The seminar covers: the basics of common tones; singing the collects, readings, prefaces, and other parts of the Mass; the musical rubrics for the Roman rite; the integration of the celebrant, schola, and people; the literature and the wide range of options, vocal production and style; and much more.

    The faculty has many years of experience in training priests for the sung Mass. They are all specialists in the rationale, method, and liturgical management of the sung Mass: Fr. C. Frank Phillips, C.R., pastor of St. John Cantius; Fr. Scott Haynes, St. John Cantius; William Mahrt, Stanford University (President of the Church Music Association of America); and Scott Turkington, Stamford Schola Gregoriana (Gregorian Chant Master Class).

    The seminar begins at noon on Wednesday and concludes with lunch on Friday. Sessions take place at the parish and daily Masses will be celebrated in this splendid Church that has achieved national prominence for its multiplicity of liturgical forms and its vast musical program.

    Participants can also join the members of the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius and their parishioners for all of the hours of the Divine Office, the recitation of the Holy Rosary, Solemn Benediction, and the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in the Ordinary Form (in both English and in Latin, 1970 Missale Romanum), as well as in the Extraordinary Form (1962 Missale Romanum).

    They will be joined by several parish choirs, including the Cantate Domino Choir (girl choir), the Holy Innocents’ Choir (children’s choir), Schola Cantorum of St. Gregory the Great (men’s schola) and the Sine Nomine Choir and Orchestra (adult mixed choir and orchestra).

    For more information, go to MusicaSacra.com/celebrant, or write programs@musicasacra.com. You can also write CMAA Registration, 920 Sanders St., Auburn, Alabama 36830 or call 334-444.5584.

    Feast of St. Ann

    Training in the Sung Mass

    Colloquium Week!

    It is going to be a very exciting week in the history of the CMAA and sacred music generally. The largest colloquium in the program’s history begins in Tuesday, an event that was unexpectedly filled to capacity two months ahead. We hope that everyone benefits from it. Certainly many people have put long hours into the preparation, and we all look forward to it with joy.

    You are invited to attend our daily Masses at 10:30am at the Crypt Church of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C.. They begin in Wednesday. On Sunday, the Mass will be at 5:00pm at Old Saint Mary’s in Chinatown, and, on Sunday, the Mass will be at 10:00am in the Crypt Church.

    Study tour July 2008

    “Gregorian Chant in the Heart of the Alps – The Early Middle Ages” is the theme of a study tour to be led by Fr Robert Skeris to Switzerland, Italy and Germany from 21 July to 01 August 2008, with lectures, workshops and sung services. Twelve days, three- and four-star accommodations, some meals.

    Limited to 15 singers; music will be provided. Price $ 3016 plus taxes etc. Itinerary includes Island of Reichenau, Abbey Maria Einsiedeln, Stiftsbibliothek St Gallen, Konvent St Johann in Müstair, Stift Marienberg in Malles/Venosta.

    Also visits to sites associated with the ancestors of the CMAA : John B. Singen-berger’s church of baptism and Franz Xaver Witt’s grave in Landshut. Details : contact rskeris@sbcglobal.net.

    Sing With Peter Phillips in Rome

    From September 1 to 9, 2007, is an opportunity to be among 40 singers who will train in Rimini, Italy, with Peter Phillips, Ghislaine Morgan, Walter Marzilli, and Andrea Angelini, and sing at St. Peters in Rome. MusicaFicta has the details about repertoire, applications, and cost.

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

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