The Church Music Association of America is pleased to announce the second Winter Sacred Music Workshop for Chant and Polyphony. This five-day workshop offers participants the opportunity to study chant and polyphony with outstanding directors Scott Turkington and Nick Botkins.

Experience the beautiful liturgies of Memorial of St. John Neumann (January 5) and Epiphany (January 6)  at the Cathedral of St. Paul in Birmingham, AL. The liturgy on January 5 will be celebrated in the Ordinary form; the liturgy on January 6 will be celebrated in the Extraordinary form and will combine the lovely sacred music from chant and polyphonic traditions.

Experience Morning and Night prayer, training in chant and polyphony, and shared meals with fellow musicians on the cathedral grounds.

Join participants for an Early Music Concert, with the local group Highland Consort on Wednesday evening (January 4) at the cathedral.

Chant Courses

When you come to the Winter Sacred Music program, you will need to choose a chant choir for your participation during the week. There are few joys greater than singing in a well-prepared Gregorian chant choir. Although there is always a little tweaking after the first day, i.e. singers moving up or down a level, most people find it relatively easy to choose.

Many returning attendees to the CMAA events find themselves advancing from a fundamentals/refresher choir to the advanced. Some attendees may choose to attend a fundamentals/refresher course in order to learn teaching techniques for beginners from the conductors, even though their level of chant singing is on a higher level than most attending a fundamentals/refresher course.

Each participant should choose one of the chant courses:

Fundamentals and Refresher Course for Men and Women (Director, Nick Botkins) This course in Gregorian chant is intended for chant beginners or for those with some background in chant, but without the opportunity to sing it on a regular basis. Participants will learn how to read the four line staff, the names of the neumes, and how to navigate the intervals with solfege. Rhythm will be introduced. This group will sing the Mass ordinaries, as well as some of the less difficult Mass propers for the liturgies.

Intermediate to Advanced Course for Men and Women (Director, Scott Turkington) This course is intended for intermediate or advanced singers who sing chant regularly. The bulk of the more difficult Chanted Mass Propers for the liturgies will be sung by this choir, as well as the chanted Mass ordinaries.

Polyphony Courses

Being part of a polyphonic choir is one of the many highlights of the CMAA events. Note that there is no sign-up or pre-registration for either of the choirs. Simply arrive at the rehearsal of your choice on Monday. If the conductors find they have too many sopranos or too few tenors, for example, a little shifting around may occur from choir to choir on the first day.

But as a matter of good choir etiquette, conductors ask that you not bounce from choir to choir. Five days of rehearsal is not much time to develop an ensemble sound, and the deadlines of performing in liturgy loom delightfully throughout the week.

Each participant should choose one of the polyphony courses:

Beginner/Intermediate Motets (Director, Scott Turkington)

This choir is designed to introduce and improve on the critical vocal and musical techniques necessary for singing polyphonic music. Singers will learn how to carry a part on their own, independent of other sections, and without accompaniment. Members of this choir will learn rhythm, pitch, and vocal production. The choir is designed for novice to intermediate singers who would not yet benefit from the more advanced choir, but it might also be useful for directors who wish to see how a master goes about teaching less-experienced singers to make beautiful music. Repertory information to be forthcoming.

Intermediate/Advanced Polyphony (Director, Nick Botkins)

Because of the larger amount of repertory this choir will sing, it is recommended that intermediate to advanced choral singers with more experience in singing unaccompanied pieces choose this choir. Repertory information to be forthcoming.

Breakout Sessions

Dr. William Mahrt (Board President of the CMAA and Associate Professor at Stanford University) will speak during three breakout sessions during the week. The topics will be:

Tuesday, January 3, 2017: “The Differences in Style Between Kinds of Gregorian Chant”
Wednesday, January 4, 2017: “The natural and supernatural ordering of the liturgical year.”
Thursday, January 5, 2017: “The Beauty of the Liturgy and Why It Matters”

Useful Links

Winter Sacred Music 2017 Schedule
NEW!! Repertory
Please note that all music needed for the course will be provided in the printed music book. You are not required to have your own copy of the Graduale Romanum for the course.
Conference Hotel
Registration Form
Online Registration and Payment
Cathedral of St. Paul Website
Instructions for Priests, Deacons and Seminarians
NEW!!! Conference Music Book

Winter Sacred Music will begin at 12:00 pm on Monday afternoon, January 2nd, and will conclude on Friday, January 6th, with the closing Mass at 1:00 pm in the Cathedral of St. Paul.

Registration Information

Mail-in and online registration can be completed now. To To register by mail and pay by check, download and complete the registration form and mail to CMAA, PO Box 4344, Roswell, NM 88202. The discount code for members has been sent to our member list by email. Please contact Janet Gorbitz or call 505-263-6298 for questions about your member discount code if you have not received it.

Register online here

Tuition includes all sessions and materials as well as meals as described in the schedule. You will receive all course materials including the Parish Book of Chant upon arrival. The week’s events will culminate with Mass at the Cathedral at 11:30 a.m.

Registration (deadline: December 8, 2016) for CMAA members is $325, including nonrefundable deposit of $75. Non-member price is $375. Early registration for Seminarians is $200. Payment must be made in full by December 8th to receive this rate.

Space is limited for this course, but late registrations will be accepted if space is available after 12/8/16. The late registration fee is $50 for members or nonmembers, $25 for Seminarians.

Conference Hotel

HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS are available at the Tutwiler Hotel (Hampton Inn and Suites), 2021 Park Place, Birmingham, Alabama, 35203, Tel: 1-205-322-2100. Rooms are available at the special conference price of $119 per room per night, plus tax, for single or double rooms, up to occupancy of four per room. Make your reservation before December 8th, 2016 to get the special group rate. Please mention “Church Music Association of America” if calling the hotel directly to make reservations.

Amenities include:

  • complimentary wireless high speed internet access in all guest rooms
  • discounted valet parking at $16 per day (discounted from $24/day)
  • complimentary hot breakfast served daily from 6am – 10am
  • complimentary airport transportation services and local shuttle
  • a full service restaurant and bar, offering room service, lunch and dinner
  • a business center
  • onsite fitness center
  • and the Suite Shop (onsite shop for last-minute purchases).

This hotel is 0.4 miles from the Cathedral, so guests can plan to either walk or take the hotel shuttle to and from the daily activities. The hotel shuttle can also provide transportation to local area shopping centers and restaurants.

To register for hotel accommodations at this special rate, mention “Church Music Association of America” when making your reservation. Link to hotel reservation page.

The hotel is 100% smoke-free.


Requests received in writing at the CMAA Office (by mail or email) by December 15th will receive a refund less the nonrefundable $75 deposit. Refunds will be processed after the Winter Sacred Music course has concluded. Any requests for cancellation after December 15th will only be processed if a replacement from the waiting list is able to take your place. We expect this course to fill quickly, so don’t delay.


Botkins4Nick Botkins, Director of Sacred Music / Master of the Choirs of the St. Francis de Sales Oratory in Saint Louis, Missouri joins us for the 2017 Winter Sacred Music course.

At the Oratory, he has established a well-developed sacred music program. Under his direction, the Oratory Choir and scholas prepare sacred music for nearly 100 sung Masses per year. The choral repertoire encompasses centuries of music including over 100 polyphonic Mass settings and nearly 50 orchestral Masses.

In September 2015, the Oratory Choir released their debut CD “O Lux Beatissima.” The CD includes the first commercial recordings of Max Filke’s Missa in honorem beatae Mariae Virginis for choir and orchestra, as well as the premier recording of John Osterhagen’s Tantum Ergo; written for and dedicated to the Oratory’s Ladies’ Schola.

On August 5th, 2014, he directed the American debut of Jan Dismas Zelenka’s Missa Gratias Agimus Tibi for the Priestly Ordinations conferred by His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke. In December 2015, he conducted the American Debut of Zelenka’s Litaniae Lauretanae, ZWV 149 for choir, soli and orchestra.

He is also founder and director of the ICRSP’s Sacred Music Camp held annually in Maple Mount, Kentucky. Now in its seventh year, children and young adults from around the U.S.A. and Canada attend the week-long camp to study Gregorian Chant, polyphony, vocal technique, Latin, and musicianship.

Since 2009 Nick has been the Chapel Organist for the Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters. In 2011, he edited the English Kyriale for the new translation of the Mass; this Kyriale is now used by all of their English-speaking houses throughout the U.S. and England.


turkington1Scott Turkington, Organist and Choirmaster of Holy Family Church and Holy Family Academy in Minneapolis, MN, joins us for Winter Sacred Music.

Prior to joining the staff at Holy Family in 2013, Turkington served as principal organist and choirmaster of the Roman Catholic Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Charleston, SC. Until 2010, he served as organist and choirmaster for the Roman Catholic Basilica of Saint John the Evangelist in Stamford, Connecticut, where he conducted a choir in a program of weekly polyphonic Mass settings and Gregorian chant. Before accepting the position at St. John’s in 1998, he was Assistant Organist and Conductor at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. While at the National Shrine, he played for over 500 services each year, and appeared on live national television dozens of times.

He has been Music Director at the Church of the Covenant in Boston; Music Teacher and Organist at St. Paul’s Choir School in Harvard Square, under Theodore Marier. A native of Minneapolis, he studied music at the University of Minnesota, the Boston Conservatory of Music and The Catholic University of America. His former teachers include Heinrich Fleischer, Phillip Steinhaus, and George Faxon.

In frequent demand as an organ recitalist, he has played innumerable recitals in the Northeast, having made his New York debut at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. He has performed for a national convention of the Organ Historical Society, and is a featured performer on the Organ Historical Society’s compact disc, Organs of Baltimore. In 1994, his choir performed for Pope John Paul II at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

He is editor of A Gregorian Chant Masterclass by Theodore Marier, published by the Abbey of Regina Laudis in Bethlehem, Connecticut. This book and its companion CD feature the Stamford Schola Gregoriana and the nuns of Regina Laudis, both conducted by Turkington.

mahrt1William Mahrt will be providing breakout sessions for attendees during the week.

Dr. Mahrt is Associate Professor and Director of Early Music Singers at the Center for Medieval and Early Modern Studies 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’s 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.

jerabekRev. Fr. Bryan W. Jerabek, J.C.L.
will serve as celebrant for the liturgies for the event. He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Birmingham in Alabama on June 7, 2008 at the Cathedral of St. Paul. His first diocesan assignment was as Parochial Vicar (Associate Pastor) at Holy Spirit Parish in Huntsville, Alabama, with care also for the Hispanic community, and additional service as Associate Chaplain and Religion Instructor at John Paul II Catholic High School. During his three years in Huntsville he eventually became Chaplain of the high school, and served for a time also as Assistant Vicar for Hispanic Ministry on the diocesan level.

In 2011, Bishop Robert Baker assigned him to further studies in Rome, Italy, to pursue an Ecclesiastical License in Canon Law (J.C.L.). Fr. Jerabek enrolled at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross and lived at the Casa Santa Maria residence for American priests in Rome during that time, completing the degree in June of 2014.

As of July 1, 2014, he became Administrator of St. Barnabas and Holy Rosary Parishes in Birmingham, with care also for the Hispanic community at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, and duties in the Diocesan Marriage Tribunal. Effective July 1, 2015, he was named Pastor of both St. Barnabas and Holy Rosary, all other assignments continuing as previous. Fr. Jerabek has been named as rector for the Cathedral of St. Paul in Birmingham, AL effective July 1, 2016.

In his free time, Fr. Jerabek enjoys traveling (especially to see his niece and nephews), photographing churches and sacred art, studying languages, visiting friends, and sharing the faith online through his blog,

Organ Console MeBruce Ludwick, Jr.
will serve on the faculty as the organist for the Winter Sacred Music course. He is Director of Music and Organist at the Cathedral of Saint Paul in Birmingham, Alabama. Mr. Ludwick manages a liturgical music program composed of the semi-professional Cathedral Choir, Men’s Schola, Ladies’ Schola, Childrens’ Schola Cantorum, and cantor corps.  He organizes, plans, and provides music for all parish liturgies and serves as director of music for all diocesan liturgies at the cathedral. He was formerly Director of Music and Organist at St. Gabriel the Archangel Church in St. Louis, Missouri.  While in Austin, Texas, he was organist at St. Mary Cathedral for the Extraordinary Form Mass and evening Mass (featuring classical guitar and organ).  Ludwick has served Roman Catholic, Disciples of Christ, Episcopalian, and Church of the Brethren congregations in Missouri, Texas, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania, and has concertized in these states as well.

Ludwick received the Master of Music in Organ Performance with Emphasis in Sacred Music at the University of Texas at Austin where he studied with the late Gerre Hancock, Organist and Master of the Choristers Emeritus, St. Thomas Church, 5th Avenue. He earned the Bachelor of Music in Organ Performance and Music Education from West Virginia University as a student of William Haller. Other organ study was with the late David Craighead and Alan Lewis; his conducting study was with Kathleen Shannon and James Morrow.

Ludwick was faculty for the 2011 and 2013 Musica Sacra St. Louis conferences, and served as conference organist for the same gathering in 2012.  He was organist for the 2011 priestly ordinations of the Archdiocese of St. Louis at the Cathedral-Basilica of St. Louis and the 2011 “Christmas at the Cathedral” concert series.

Ludwick is a member of the Executive Committee of the Birmingham chapter of the American Guild of Organists, and served on the Executive, Programming, POE, and Nominating Committees for the St. Louis chapter as well.  He maintains membership in the Organ Historical Society, of which he was an E. Power Biggs Fellow in 2001, and the Church Music Association of America, among other professional affiliations. He maintains a special interest in Gregorian chant, early music, and children’s music for the Catholic liturgy.  A native West Virginian, he lives in Birmingham with his wife, soprano Erin (Montalto) Ludwick, and sons, Joseph, Peter, and Thomas.


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