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.

Jan 7-11, 2013: Winter Chant Intensive in Macon, Georgia

Presenting the 2013 Winter Chant Intensive at St. Joseph Catholic Church in historic Macon, Georgia. January 7-11, 2013.

The 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 get go. 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; Psalm tones and their applications; questions concerning the rhythm of plainsong, and more.

The CMAA Winter Chant Intensive is intended for beginning and continuing students and all who love and appreciate the central role that chant plays as the prayerful song of the Roman Rite – not only at cathedrals and Basilicas but also in every parish. The conference will both train and inspire toward the goal of continuing the renaissance of sacred music in our time, both in the ordinary and extraordinary forms of the Mass.

This year’s venue is beautiful St. Joseph Catholic Church in Macon, Georgia.  Stroll back into time and enjoy the southern hospitality of Reverend Allan J. McDonald (who many of you know from his popular blog, Southern Orders, and elsewhere) and spend a a week singing and praying in this stunning and revitalized parish…situated right in the middle of Macon’s historic district, a spot largely untouched by the destruction of Civil War cannons.

Read more here

Announcing Sacred Music Colloquium XXIII

For the second year in a row, the CMAA Sacred Music Colloquium will be held at the beautiful Cathedral of the Madeleine, home of the famed Madeleine Choir School, in Salt Lake City, Utah. The dates are June 17-23, 2013. Details and registration information forthcoming.


Tournemire Conference Call For Papers

The Aesthetics and Pedagogy of Charles Tournemire:

Chant and Improvisation in the Liturgy

October 21-23, 2012


The Church Music Association of America

in collaboration with

Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

and the Pittsburgh Chapter of the American Guild of Organists


The Church Music Association of America will hold a conference exploring the legacy of Charles Tournemire as an improviser and teacher of improvisation on October 21-23, 2012 on the campus of Duquesne University in Pittsburgh and at neighboring Pittsburgh churches.  The conference seeks to explore the aesthetic, liturgical, theoretical, and technical principles of Tournemire’s improvisations and teachings on improvisation, the use of Gregorian chant in organ improvisation, the role of organ improvisations in the Catholic liturgy, and pedagogical approaches to teaching organ improvisation. 

The conference will include liturgies, opportunities for the study of improvisation at the organ, discussion groups, and recital programs and papers relating to the conference theme.  Papers presented will be considered for publication in a collection of essays following the conference. 

The conference committee welcomes proposals for papers and recital programs. 

The deadline for proposals is June 1st, 2012.  Notification of acceptance will be given by June 22nd, 2012.

Proposals must be submitted via email to Jennifer Donelson at: jd1120@nova.edu

Please note that the conference begins on the evening of Sunday, October 21st and submissions will be scheduled only on Monday and Tuesday, October 22nd and 23rd

For paper proposals (30 minutes plus 10 minutes for questions), please send an e-mail including:

1.      Title and Abstract (250 word maximum)

2.      Your name and affiliation

3.      Your phone number and email address

4.      Bio (250 word maximum)

For recital proposals (25 or 50 minutes in length), please send an e-mail including:

1.      Selections to be included on the program (including title, composer, and length of each selection.)  Programs incorporating improvisations must include a description of the improvisation to be played (theme[s] used, length, and, if applicable, a stylistic description.)

2.      A 100 word abstract (for lecture recitals only)

3.      Your name and affiliation, as well as the name and affiliation of each additional performer if applicable

4.      Your phone number and email address

5.      Your bio (250 word maximum)

6.      A brief bio of each performer/ensemble included in the recital program (100 word maximum)

7.      One or two recordings in mp3 format which demonstrate a recent performance.  The selections need not necessarily be recordings of the pieces proposed for the conference recital program, but they should be representative of the style of the pieces submitted for consideration (e.g. a proposal including an improvisation should include a recording of an improvisation.)  File size limit: 10 MB.

8.      Performance space requirements (instrumentation, configuration, need for music stands and chairs, etc.)

Paper topics arising from the theme include, but are not limited to:

1.      Aesthetic, liturgical, theoretical, and technical principles employed in Tournemire’s improvisations and teachings on improvisation

2.      Tournemire’s use and adaptation of Gregorian chant

3.      The works and styles of other composers that influenced Tournemire’s improvisational style

4.      The influence of Tournemire’s style and/or use of Gregorian chant on other improvisers/composers

5.      Explorations of Tournemire’s pedagogical treatises

6.      French liturgical praxis and organ-building principles that shaped Tournemire’s improvisational style and pedagogy

7.      The influence of the work of the Benedictine Monastery at Solesmes on Tournemire’s improvisations and those of other composers/improvisers from the late nineteenth century to today

8.      The influence of Tra le Sollecitudini, other early twentieth century documents, and liturgical trends on the work of Tournemire, his contemporaries, or more recent organists

9.      The relationship between L’Orgue Mystique and Tournemire’s organ improvisations

10.  The principles of chant-based improvisations in the Catholic liturgy as modeled in the work of Tournemire, and the future of chant-inspired improvisations in the Catholic liturgy

11.  The role of the organ improvisation in the Catholic liturgy

12.  Pedagogical principles and traditions of teaching organ improvisation

13.  The place of Charles Tournemire in the French symphonic and improvisational traditions

14.  The nature and qualities of sacred music in the Catholic liturgy as exhibited in Tournemire’s improvisations

Recital programs arising from the theme include, but are not limited to:

1.      Performances of transcriptions of improvisations, especially those of Tournemire

2.      Organ improvisations on Gregorian chant or related to the French symphonic tradition

3.      New compositions based on or inspired by Gregorian chant for use in the Catholic liturgy

4.      Lecture recitals

5.      Pedagogical demonstrations of current pedagogical traditions and approaches, or the incorporation of examples from relevant improvisation treatises

6.      Any combination of the above, or incorporating other complementary compositions and styles

Papers will be 30 minutes in length followed with a 10 minute period for questions. 

Recital programs may be either 25 or 50 minutes in length.  Performances will take place at the Church of the Epiphany, Heinz Chapel, or Calvary Episcopal church.  If submitting a recital program for compositions other than those for organ, recitalists must provide all performing personnel (e.g. choir, string ensemble, etc.)  No piano, musical instruments (other than organ), or sound amplification will be available for the recitals, except for a microphone for the presenter speaking during the recital if requested.  Submissions may include a venue request, but there is no guarantee that the request will be accommodated.

The official language of the conference is English.

Presenters must register for the conference ($100) and will be responsible for their own expenses.

Questions regarding the conference may be directed to Jennifer Donelson via email or phone:


          (954) 262-7610

The conference website is available at: www.musicasacra.com/tournemire, with lodging, travel, and meal information.  Registration will be available after the submission review process has been completed.

Winter Chant Intensive 2012

2012 Winter Chant Intensive January 4-6, 2012, at St. Mary’s Seminary in Houston, Texas. Sponsored by CMAA Houston. Full immersion classes for men and women; culminating in an OF, chanted Mass on Friday. Read more.

Colloquium Schedule Posted

The schedule for the Sacred Music Colloquium is now posted.

New Orleans in January 2011: Chant Intensive

The CMAA’s Winter Chant Intensive is in New Orleans: January 3-7, 2011. All details here.

2010 Chant Practicum at Houston Cathedral

Presenting the CMAA Fall Practicum: Gregorian Chant at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in downtown Houston, Texas. The dates are October 21-23, 2010.

This educational and liturgical event coincides with the installation of the new Martin Pasi Opus XIX Pipe Organ, which will be used to accompany the liturgies during this event.

The Practicum features chant instruction by chant legend Scott Turkington, Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, Charleston, SC (Beginning Chant for Men); renowned scholar William Mahrt, Stanford University and president of the CMAA (Advanced Chant for Men and Women); Arlene Oost-Zinner, CMAA and St. Cecilia Schola (Beginning Chant for Women); Rev. Robert Pasley, Pastor, Mater Ecclesia (Training for Priests, Deacons, and Seminarians); Jeffrey Tucker, Managing Editor, Sacred Music; Author Sing Like a Catholic (Lecture).

Read more

Pittsburgh is for Composers

As has become custom, the Colloquium in Pittsburgh will feature a new music reading session on Saturday, June 26, 2010. If you have a piece of music you would like to submit for possible performance by the group at large at the session, please send it to newmusic@musicasacra.com in PDF format (limited to 15 pages) by May 15, 2010. Your submission will be published in the New Music Session 2010 packet. You must be a registered participant of the Colloquium in order to have your work included. There is a $20 submission fee, payable via paypal or by check to our programs office: CMAA Programs, 166 North Gay St., #19, Auburn, AL 36830.

Chant goes south for the winter

In the best possible way. This year’s Winter Chant Intensive will be held in beautiful and historic Charleston, SC. The dates are January 4-8, 2010. The host venue for the classes and the closing Mass is the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. As always, the course is limited to fifty participants and it sure to fill up quickly.

Pilgrimage Novena begins today – Friday, September 18

Please remember to start saying the Novena in Honor of the Immaculate Conception this Friday, September 18th. We will conclude the Novena in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel in the Upper Church of the Shrine on Friday and Saturday, September 25 and 26th.

Also, please be advised that the EF Mass on Saturday, September 26 is a Votive Mass for the Blessed Virgin Mary and is not intended to fulfill your Sunday obligation. Please take this into consideration when making your plans for the weekend. We will have a list of Mass times at the Shrine and neighboring churches available at the Pilgrimage for those of you coming from afar.

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

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