October 1517, 2020

The Church Music Association of America is proud to invite you to join us in our first Sacred Music Boot Camp. Following on the success of our recent Virtual Colloquium and the feedback we received from participants, the CMAA is offering some of the basics of Sacred Music in our upcoming three- day program, again using the Zoom platform. This virtual program offers opportunities for learning,  listening, and interacting with some of the best minds and musicians in the Catholic world today!

The CMAA Sacred Music Boot Camp will be primarily focused on instruction in topics related to chant and the Catholic sacred music tradition, lectures and daily night prayer. During the three days, you’ll be able to participate in all these sessions via your home computer using the Zoom app. At the end of each breakout session there will be a short question and answer session.

Boot Camp Highlights

  • Saturday Morning Mass for the intentions of our generous donors
  • Daily Breakout sessions on a variety of topics: on the hierarchy of the sung liturgy, chant directing, organ basics, reading chant notation, starting a chant schola, building a sacred music budget, the history of Sacred Music after Vatican II and more.
  • Daily Spiritual Reflections provided by our chaplain, Rev. Robert Pasley.
  • Night Prayer (Compline)
  • Questions and Answer sessions after each Breakout

General Registration Information

Credit card or PayPal payment must accompany registration.
You may register online at the CMAA Shop website: ONLINE REGISTRATION

Download our Attendee Guide: ATTENDEE GUIDE


Thursday, October 15
  • 5:00 pm (ET) Welcome and Spiritual Reflection – Rev. Robert Pasley
  • 5:40 pm – 6:55 pm (ET) The Hierarchy of the Sung Liturgy: When and What to Sing – Rev. Michael Connolly (Spanish) (1 hour)
  • 5:40 pm – 6:55 pm (ET) The Hierarchy of the Sung Liturgy: When and What to Sing – Dr. William Mahrt (English) (1 hour)
  • 7:15 pm – 8:30 pm (ET) How to Read Square Notes – Jose Ballon (Spanish) (1 hour)
  • 7:15 pm – 8:30 pm (ET) How to Read Square Notes – Dr. Lucas Tappan (English) (1 hour)
  • 8:50 pm – 10:05 pm (ET) How to Start a Chant Choir – Jose Ballon (Spanish) (1 hour)
  • 8:50 pm – 10:05 pm (ET) How to Start a Chant Choir Edward Atkinson (English) (1 hour)
  • 10:20 pm (ET) Night Prayer – Dr. Nathan Knutson, Pennsylvania
Friday, October 16
  • 5:00 pm (ET) Spiritual Reflection, Rev. Robert Pasley
  • 5:40 pm – 6:55 pm (ET) Style and Function of Gregorian chant – Dr. William Mahrt (English) (1 hour)
  • 7:15 pm – 8:30 pm (ET) The Basics of Conducting Chant – Dr. Jennifer Donelson-Nowicka (1 hour)
  • 8:50 pm – 10:05 pm (ET) The Role of the Organ in the Liturgy: When and What to Play + To Accompany Chant or Not? (Dr. Horst Buchholz) (1 hour)
  • 10:20 pm (ET) Night Prayer (Mary Ann Carr Wilson, Jubilate Deo Choir, San Diego, CA)
Saturday, October 17
    • 10:00 am (ET) Holy Mass, Rev. Robert Pasley [live-streamed from St. John the Baptist Parish in Allentown, NJ]


  • 1:15 pm – 2:30 pm (ET) How Did We Get Here? The History of Sacred Music after Vatican II in the U.S. – Dr. Susan Treacy (1 hour)
  • 2:50 pm – 4:05 pm (ET) COVID-19 Research and Risk Mitigation in Choral Singing, Dr. Jennifer Donelson-Nowicka (1 hour)
  • 4:25 pm – 5:40 pm (ET) Building a Music Program Budget – David Hughes (1 hour)
  • 6:00 pm (ET) Night Prayer (Dr. Horst Buchholz, St. Louis, MO)



Edward Atkinson

Edward Atkinson is the Director of Sacred Music at Christ the King in Milwaukie, Oregon, and has spent 19 years as a church musician. He is currently working in the Archdiocese of Portland to implement Archbishop Sample’s pastoral letter on sacred music, “Sing to the LORD a New Song.”

He recently conducted the Saint Ambrose Schola Cantorum in recording their first album “Restoration” which can be heard on Apple Music, Spotify, or partially on YouTube. In 2020, Edward wrote and produced the freely available video series What is Catholic sacred music?, to educate lay Catholics on sacred music in a friendly, low stakes, conversational style.

Edward received a PD and MM from Indiana University, a BM from Mercer University, and has received 17 competitive music awards in the last 13 years.

Edward will offer a breakout session on How to Start a Chant Choir in English.

Jose Ballon

Jose Ballon Vasquez will present two breakout sessions in Spanish: How to Read Square Notes and How to Start a Chant Choir, both in Spanish.

Jose Ballon Vasquez serves as the Choirmaster for the Traditional Latin Mass Community of Miami Florida, where he established the Schola Miamiensis. A graduate of Florida International University with a B.M. in Music Education, his main focus of study has been sacred music and popular music.

In 2013, Jose started out as a singer for the Schola Cantorum of St. Francis and St. Clare under the direction of Dr. Jennifer Donelson–Nowicka, where he received an immersive experience into Gregorian Chant and other Catholic Sacred Music. During his time at Florida International University, he studied choral conducting under Dr. Kathryn Longo, and jazz voice under Dr. Lisanne Lyons.

Jose has also performed with the Miami Collegium Musicum under the direction of Dr. Donald Oglesby, and the Choir of the Cathedral of St. Mary under the direction of Mr. Gustavo Zayas.

In 2016 he established a second Schola Cantorum at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, where they sing for a Sung Mass in the Extraordinary Form every month. Earlier this year, he had the honor of participating as a moderator in the Virtual Sacred Music Colloquium organized by the Church Music Association of America.

He currently lives in Miami, Florida with his family.

Dr. Horst Buchholz

Dr. Horst Buchholz, Vice President of the Church Music Association of America, will present an organ breakout session on When and What to Play + To Accompany Chant or Not?


Horst Buchholz is Director of Sacred Music at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis and the Archdiocese of St. Louis, as well as Artistic Director of ProArte Saint Louis. Prior to coming to St. Louis, Dr. Buchholz had served as Organist and Choirmaster at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Denver, Colorado and Trinity Cathedral in Cleveland.

Buchholz studied organ and sacred music in his native Germany at the Berlin College of Church Music and graduated with degrees and diplomas in Church Music and Music Pedagogy from the University of Arts in Berlin. His organ teachers have included Heinz Lohmann, Peter Wackwitz, and Rudolf Heinemann. Among his conducting teachers were Martin Behrmann, Uwe Gronostay, and Erich Bergel. After receiving his teaching certificate in Music Theory and Composition from the University of Arts in Berlin in 1989, Dr. Buchholz continued his post-graduate studies in the United States, where he received his Doctor of Music degree in conducting from the Indiana University School of Music.

As a chorus member and assistant with the Berlin Philharmonic Chorus, he worked with and performed under such eminent maestros as Claudio Abbado, Seiji Ozawa, Kurt Masur, Lorin Maazel, and Herbert von Karajan. Dr. Buchholz’s other accolades and accomplishments include his service as Music Director of the Denver Philharmonic Orchestra, organist and guest conductor appearances with the Colorado Symphony, and Opera Colorado, as well as with orchestras and operas in Mexico, Japan, Korea, and several European countries. He has performed in major cathedrals and concert halls around the world. In 2009, The Denver Philharmonic named him Conductor Laureate.

As a music educator, Dr. Buchholz has served as a member of the organ faculty at Cleveland State University; Associate Professor of Music and Director of Schola Cantorum at St. John Vianney Seminary (Denver); Assistant Professor of Conducting, Director of Orchestral Studies, and faculty member of organ and church music at Lamont School of Music at the University of Denver.

Dr. Buchholz is married to the soprano Dr. MeeAe Cecilia Nam, who is currently on the faculty of Eastern Michigan University.

Rev. Michael Connolly

Fr. Michael Connolly is a priest of the Archdiocese of New York. Growing up in St. Augustine Parish in Ossining, New York, Fr. Connolly sensed his priestly vocation from a young age.

Fr. Connolly graduated from Fordham University in 2014 with a B.A. in Philosophy. He then began priestly formation and Theology studies at St. Joseph’s Seminary, Dunwoodie. As a seminarian, Fr. Connolly served St. Joseph-St. Thomas-St. John Neumann Parish, Staten Island, and St. Elizabeth Parish, Washington Heights, for two summers.

While serving St. Elizabeth Church, Fr. Connolly participated in two parish mission trips to the Dominican Republic. As a Transitional Deacon, Fr. Connolly served the parish of St. Charles Borromeo-Resurrection-All Saints in Harlem, New York.

Fr. Connolly is now the Parochial Vicar at St. Columba Parish in Hopewell Junction. Fr. Connolly cherishes his memories of singing with the Seminary Schola Cantorum for Holy Mass and various concerts, even touring France and singing in Paris’s Notre Dame Cathedral. In July 2019,

Fr. Connolly had the honor of celebrating the Sung Spanish Mass for the CMAA’s annual Colloquium. Fr. Connolly is grateful to the CMAA and excited to present the Spanish language breakout session, “The Hierarchy of the Sung Liturgy: When and What to Sing.”

Dr. Jennifer Donelson-Nowicka


Jennifer Donelson-Nowicka will present a breakout session on Chant Conducting and also another session on COVID-19 Research and Risk Mitigation in Choral Singing.

Jennifer Donelson-Nowicka is an associate professor and the director of sacred music at St. Joseph’s Seminary (Dunwoodie) in New York, where she also teaches sacred music courses in the St. Cecilia Academy for Pastoral Musicians.

She has co-edited Mystic Modern: The Music, Thought, and Legacy of Charles Tournemire, published by the Church Music Association of America (CMAA). Her publications also include articles in the New Catholic Encyclopedia, Sacred Music, Antiphon: A Journal for Liturgical Renewal, the proceedings of the Gregorian Institute of Canada, the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars Quarterly, the Adoremus Bulletin, and Liturgy in the Twenty-First Century (Bloomsbury/T&T Clark).

She was the sometime president and is currently a board member of the Society for Catholic Liturgy, serves on the board of the CMAA, is the managing editor of the CMAA’s journal Sacred Music, and serves on the Archdiocese of New York Music Commission. As academic liaison of the CMAA, she has organized and presented papers at several academic conferences on Charles Tournemire, the work of Msgr. Richard Schuler, and the role of Gregorian chant in pastoral ministry and religious education; she was a co-organizer of the Sacra Liturgia USA 2015 conference in New York, and presented papers at the Sacra Liturgia conferences in New York, London, and Milan. Donelson-Nowicka was recently named as a Consultant to the USCCB’s Committee on Divine Worship.

Donelson-Nowicka received her DMA in piano performance at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she studied piano with Paul Barnes, Mark Clinton, and Ann Chang in addition to her organ studies with Quentin Faulkner. She received her undergraduate degree in vocal music education and North Dakota State University, where she studied piano with Dr. Robert Groves and conducting with Dr. JoAnn Miller.

Having studied Gregorian chant at the Catholic University of America and the Abbey of St. Peter in Solesmes, for six years Donelson-Nowicka served as a co-organizer of the Musica Sacra Florida Gregorian Chant Conference, and has given chant workshops in dioceses, parishes, and monasteries across the U.S. and Europe. She is a regular member of the faculty at the Church Music Association of America’s annual Sacred Music Colloquium. Before coming to Dunwoodie, Dr. Donelson-Nowicka served on the faculty at St. Gregory the Great Seminary in the diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska, and at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, where she taught music theory, music history, piano, and directed the university chorale.

As a choral conductor, Donelson-Nowicka has directed collegiate, semi-professional, amateur, monastic, and children’s choirs. She currently directs the Schola Cantorum of St. Joseph’s Seminary and the Metropolitan Catholic Chorale. She also regularly teaches Gregorian chant to the contemplative sisters at the Monastery of St. Edith Stein in Borough Park, Brooklyn (Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matará [SSVM]), and has also given extended workshops to the Benedictine monks of Silverstream Priory in Ireland (County Meath) and the Benedictine nuns of Priorij Nazareth Tegelen in the Netherlands. Additionally, she teaches chant to children using the Ward Method at the Colm Cille Club (Pelham, NY) and Immaculate Conception Children’s Schola Cantorum (Sleepy Hollow), and she recently joined the faculty as a music teacher at the Cardinal Kung Academy in Stamford, Connecticut.

Dr. Donelson-Nowicka is currently working on a project to adapt the Gregorian chants of the Mass proper for the Spanish language. She also co-hosts a weekly podcast with Peter Carter entitled “Square Notes: The Sacred Music Podcast.”

David Hughes

David Hughes will present a session on Building a Sacred Music Budget. He is a composer, conductor, and organist who is in international demand as a recitalist and an instructor of Gregorian chant.

Hughes is currently Organist & Choirmaster at St. Patrick’s Parish and Oratory in Waterbury, Connecticut. He served for thirteen years as Organist and Choirmaster at St. Mary’s Church in Norwalk, Connecticut, where he developed a program of seven choirs, including the professional St. Mary’s Schola Cantorum, the volunteer St. Mary’s Choir, and the St. Mary’s Student Schola, a comprehensive program of musical education for children.

He directs Viri Galilæi, an ensemble of men from the tristate New York area who gather weekly to sing Vespers and medieval polyphony from facsimiles of original manuscripts.

Hughes is Director of Music at St. John Fisher Seminary in Stamford, Connecticut, and serves as a consultant to several parishes in Connecticut looking to expand their musical programs. He is Director of Music for the Roman Forum’s annual two-week Summer Symposium at Lake Garda in Italy, where he directs a choir for daily Masses, a large volunteer choir for nightly Vespers, and coordinates performances and recitals with local groups. He was named Chant Instructor for St. Benedict’s Abbey in Still River, Massachusetts, which he visits every few weeks for musical consultation with the monks.

He travels frequently to give workshops, clinics, and recitals in North America, South America, and Europe; this past season had workshops and recitals in Canada, Italy, and Ecuador. He is currently completing, with librettist Richard Munkelt, an opera based on the life of Gaius Gracchus.

Dr. William Mahrt

Photo courtesy of Rene Zajner

William Mahrt is Associate Professor and Director of Early Music Singers in the music department at Stanford University, President of the Church Music Association of America, and editor of Sacred Music, the oldest continuously published journal of music in North America.

Dr. Mahrt grew up in Washington state; after attending Gonzaga University and the University of Washington, he completed a doctorate at Stanford University in 1969. He taught at Case Western Reserve University and the Eastman School of Music, and then returned to Stanford in 1972, where he continues to teach early music. Since 1964 he has directed the choir of St. Ann Chapel in Palo Alto, which sings Mass and Vespers in Gregorian chant on all the Sundays of the year, with masses in the polyphonic music of Renaissance masters for the holy days.

His research interests include theory and performance of Medieval and Renaissance music, troubadours, Machaut, Dufay, Lasso, Dante, English Cathedrals, Gregorian chant, and Renaissance polyphony. He has published articles on the relation of music and liturgy, and music and poetry. He frequently leads workshops in the singing of Gregorian chant and the sacred music of the Renaissance.

He will present two breakout sessions on these topics: Chant (details forthcoming), and The Hierarchy of the Sung Liturgy: When and What to Sing.

Rev. Robert Pasley


Father Robert C. Pasley, KCHS, is the Chaplain of the Church Music Association of America and has been a member of the CMAA since his ordination. He is a priest of the Diocese of Camden, New Jersey. Fr. Pasley will share Spiritual Reflections each day, and will offer Holy Mass on Saturday morning.

Because of his association with Msgr. Richard Schuler, he was introduced to the Sacred Music Colloquium and has attended most of the colloquia held since their foundation in 1990. During the tenure of Msgr. Schuler, he was privileged to be the celebrant at orchestral masses at St. Agnes Church in St. Paul, Minnesota. He also serves on the faculty at the Colloquium and has served as Vice President and a member of the board of directors of Sacred Music magazine.

Born on November 20, 1955 in Woodbury, N.J., Father Pasley received a B.A. in Philosophy from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Philadelphia, an M.A. in Dogmatic Theology from Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary, Emmitsburg, and an M.A. in Education from Seton Hall University. He was ordained by the Most Reverend George H. Guilfoyle in 1982. After ordination, Father Pasley was stationed as an assistant priest in parishes throughout the diocese. In 1992, he was assigned to teach high school. He taught for eight years and during that time became Vice Principal for Academics at Camden Catholic High School.

On October 13, 2000, he was appointed Rector, by Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, of the newly established Tridentine-rite Parish of Mater Ecclesiae, Berlin, N.J. (materlatin.org). Mater Ecclesiae was the first diocesan-run Extraordinary Form parish in the United States. Mater Ecclesiae has a full music program of chant, polyphonic masses, and music based on the principles given by the Church for sacred music. Along with Dr. Timothy McDonnell, Fr. Pasley established the annual Mass of Thanksgiving on the Feast of the Assumption. This Mass, a grand event for the Delaware Valley, features some of the greatest orchestral masses ever composed for the sacred liturgy. Some mass settings that have been used for the Assumption Mass are Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, the Missa Septem Dolorum of Carl H. Biber, Schubert’s Mass in Bb Major, and Mozart’s Missa Brevis in C Major.

Finally, Father Pasley is a Knight Commander of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem and a 4th Degree Knight of Columbus.

Dr. Susan Treacy

Dr. Susan Treacy, a member-at-large on the CMAA’s board of directors, will present a breakout session on: How Did We Get Here? The History of Sacred Music after Vatican II in the U.S.

Susan Treacy, Ph.D., is Professor of Music Emerita at Ave Maria University, from which she retired in July of 2019. Prior to AMU, she taught at Franciscan University of Steubenville, Luther College, and Emory University, where she was a Mellon Faculty Fellow in the Humanities.

Dr. Treacy holds the Ph.D. in historical musicology from the University of North Texas; her B.Mus. and M.Mus. degrees are from Oberlin Conservatory and the Manhattan School of Music. Her main research interests are in Catholic liturgical music and in English devotional song of the sixteenth-eighteenth centuries.

Recent activities have included the release of a compact disc (Chants of Palm Sunday and Eastertide, with the AMU Scholæ Gregorianæ), a chapter, “Gregorian Chant,” in Alcuin Reid, ed., T&T Clark Companion to Liturgy (London, 2016), 239-57, and “Joseph Bonnet as a Catalyst in the Early Twentieth-Century Gregorian Chant Revival,” in Donelson and Schloesser, eds., Mystic Modern: The Music, Thought, and Legacy of Charles Tournemire (Richmond, VA: 2014), 11-21.

In addition to her scholarly writing, Dr. Treacy is a regular contributor to the Saint Austin Review (StAR) with her column Musica Donum Dei. She was on the editorial committee of The Adoremus Hymnal (1997) and is currently on the Board of Directors of the Church Music Association of America (CMAA).

For 2009-2018 Dr. Treacy was co-organizer and organizer of the Musica Sacra Florida Gregorian Chant Conference, which drew chant enthusiasts from all over Florida and beyond, and at which she gave workshops on Gregorian chironomy, square notation, and Church documents on sacred music.

Her Gregorian chant textbook—A Plain and Easy Introduction Gregorian Chant (Cantica Nova Publications)—has been lauded as “the best instant resource for Gregorian chant available in English” (Bruce Ludwick, Director of Music at Saint Paul Cathedral, Birmingham, AL). At Ave Maria University Dr. Treacy taught music history, art song literature, sacred music courses, and Gregorian chant; in addition, she directed the Women’s Schola Gregoriana and the Men’s Schola Gregoriana.

Dr. Lucas Tappan

Lucas Tappan again joins us for the Sacred Music Boot Camp faculty and will be presenting a breakout session on How to Read Square Notes. 

He graduated in 2004 from Benedictine College in Atchison, KS—where he studied organ with Fr. Blaine Schultz, OSB, and Dr. Ruth Krusemark—earning degrees in Theology and Music. He earned his Master of Music in Church Music (organ performance) in 2009 from the University of Kansas and in 2014 was granted a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Church Music (choral conducting) from the same institution. His teachers included Michael Bauer (organ), James Higdon (organ), and Paul Tucker (choral conducting).

In 2008, Dr. Tappan arrived at Most Pure Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Topeka, KS, and three years later founded the Most Pure Heart of Mary Schola Cantorum, an after-school choir program in the tradition of the EUROPEAN CATHEDRAL CHOIR SCHOOL. In 2012, he was privileged to spend six weeks observing the training of choristers at the Madeleine Choir School at the Cathedral of the Madeleine in Salt Lake City, Utah—an experience that has greatly shaped the way he trains choristers.

In January of 2016, the MPHM Schola Cantorum traveled to Rome to sing at St. Peter’s Basilica—joining the Sistine Chapel Choir—alongside several other children’s choirs from the Americas and Europe for the first CHILDREN’S FESTIVAL FOR EPIPHANY, sponsored by the Fondazione Pro Musica e Arte Sacra. Dr. Tappan lives in Kansas with his wife and four children.

Breakout Sessions

Breakout sessions will be offered Thursday – Saturday on a range of various topics.
Complete listing of Breakout Sessions, including descriptions


The CMAA is dependent on donations for scholarships. If you are interested in sponsoring a musician, priest or seminarian’s attendance, please write to us at programs@musicasacra.com or make a donation to our Annual Fund. No amount is too small. All scholarship donations are applied directly to scholarships. If making a donation to the Annual Fund, you can also specify that your donation is to be used for scholarships. To make a donation to the Annual Fund, please use this form or make an online donation:

Scholarship Assistance may be available for persons of limited means. To apply for a CMAA Workshop scholarship, please send us an email at programs@musicasacra.com as soon as possible, describing your financial need and interest in the program.


All registrations must be made online using either a credit card or PayPal.

Choose from the various options on our online shop page:

  • Basic Registration: (no charge)
    Allows access to the daily Spiritual Reflections by our chaplain Rev. Robert Pasley and the daily Night Prayer. Our Saturday Mass will be live-streamed on YouTube for all to attend.
  • Workshop Registrations
    Choose the days you would like to attend and register for each day at a cost of $10/day.
  • Spanish Sessions
    On Thursday, October 15, three extra sessions will be offered on 1) The Hierarchy of the Sung Liturgy: When and What to Sing – Fr Connolly (Spanish), 2) How to Read Square Notes, Jose Ballon (Spanish), and 3) How to Start a Chant Choir, Jose Ballon (Spanish). These sessions will be completely in Spanish. These sessions are offered free of charge.

Cancellation: No refunds of registration fees will be offered.

Please note that all participants are expected to adhere to our CMAA Code of Conduct.

Join the CMAA

Helpful Links

Curious about the Sacred Music from previous CMAA events? Listen to some of the sound files from previous years at this website: http://recordings.musicasacra.com/
Or watch this video documentary about the Sacred Music Colloquium when it was held at Loyola University in 2009 (50 min.)

Or watch this more recent video which was aired on EWTN’s Extraordinary Faith program from our 2015 Colloquium in Pittsburgh, PA at Duquesne University (28.31 min.).

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