Sacred Music Colloquium

March 15, 2009


The CMAA’s annual Musica Sacra Sacred Music Colloquium at Loyola University in Chicago is quickly approaching. For more information on the Conference and to register, click here.

Here’s a brief video introduction to the conference:


Sacred Music Renewal in the Southeast:

Musica Sacra Florida Gregorian Chant Conference


On Friday, March 6th and Saturday, March 7th, over 30 participants and 3 faculty members gathered for the inaugural Musica Sacra Florida Gregorian Chant Conference, cosponsored by the Florida Chapter of the Church Music Association of America and the Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences at Nova Southeastern University.  Singers and directors came from the South Florida metropolitan area, as far north as New Smyrna Beach and Tampa, as well as from the west coast. 


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Friday evening began with a vespers service chanted by the conference faculty assisted by David Taylor, Maria Adriano, and Gustavo Zayas.  At the conclusion of vespers, Dr. Jennifer Donelson, music faculty member at NSU and conference host welcomed the participants to the conference.  The evening concluded with a lecture entitled “The Secret History of Gregorian Chant” in which Dr. Michael O’Connor traced major historical events that contributed to the development of chant from the 1st century through the 11th century including the hymn sung after the Last Supper by Christ and His apostles, the Edict of Milan, the fall of Rome, the rise of the Carolingian dynasty, the development of notation, and the contributions to pedagogy by Guido of Arezzo. 


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Saturday morning began with an 8:30 rehearsal in which participants were divided up into 3 choirs according to their familiarity with Gregorian chant and square-note notation.  Dr. Susan Treacy led the advanced women’s schola in learning the Introit antiphon Reminiscere from the Graduale Romanum and the Tract Commovisti from Chants abrégés, Dr. Michael O’Connor directed the advanced men’s schola which sang the Gradual Sciant gentes and the Offertory antiphon Meditabor, both from the Graduale Romanum.  Dr. Jennifer Donelson taught the beginning mixed schola, covering the basics of Gregorian chant notation and rhythm and the Communion antiphon Visionem from the Graduale Romanum.  All choirs sang the Mass Ordinary: Mass XVII. 


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Rehearsals on Saturday were punctuated by breaks and two talks.  The first, given by Dr. Jennifer Donelson discussed the history and role of the Gregorian repertoire in the Roman Catholic Mass, especially the introit antiphon and gradual.  Her discussion emphasized the opportunity to learn about the nature of individual parts of the Mass and the proper interior disposition corresponding to those parts through study of the origin and development of these parts of the Mass, as well as through familiarity with the Gregorian music of the Mass proper.  Later in the day, Dr. Susan Treacy presented an overview of papal and conciliar documents from 1903 to the present that deal with sacred music and the modern, practical use of the chant in the context of the liturgy.  She emphasized the importance of familiarizing oneself with all of the documents of the past century because the documents of Vatican II and Musicam Sacram themselves quote these sources.  She also gave an insightful overview of the idea of progressive solemnity and helpful thoughts for its implementation in the context of parish life. 


The day concluded with the Gregorian chant being presented within its proper liturgical context with a final Missa cantata at St. Michael’s church in Miami. 


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Throughout the day and in comments received after the event, participants remarked that they learned a great deal in each of the lectures and that they enjoyed learning the Gregorian repertoire for the Saturday Vigil Mass.  Others remarked that it was rewarding to be able to sing the Gregorian repertoire in the context of the Mass and that it was enjoyable to meet other people singing Gregorian chant from around the state.  At the end of the day, many of the participants commented that they would like to participate in a similar event again and hoped that the event would become an annual one.    



Photos 1-5, 7 courtesy of Patricia Taylor.

Photo 6 and 8 by Ana Rodriguez-Soto, courtesy of The Florida Catholic.

You are cordially invited to attend:

Vespers of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Friday, March 27, 2009

Beginning at 6 p.m. with the Angelus

Shrine of La Leche in St. Augustine, 27 Ocean Ave., St. Augustine, FL, 32084

Sung by the women of St. Augustine Scholae Cantorae.  For more information on the Schola, click here.

The next evening of recollection offered by the FSSP apostolate in the diocese of Venice will be on Tuesday, March 10 2009 at 6:30 PM in Sarasota. 

For more information, visit their website at:

The registration deadline is Friday, Feb. 27th. 

To register, or for more information, see this site:

To download the flyer or information packet, click on the “Detailed Schedule and Brochure.”

Registrations have been coming in!  We look forward to seeing you there!

Though the deadline for registration has already passed, I wanted to pass along the following information: 

Singing the Propers of the Mass: Why and How

DATE OF WORKSHOP: Saturday, February 21, 2008

 PLACE: St. Raphael Catholic Church

2514 Lee Boulevard, Lehigh Acres, FL 33971

 TIME: 9:30 am-2:00 pm

 COST: $15.00 per person

If you have any questions, please call Louise-941-486-4725

Presented by:

George Bagan, B.M., Lynn Kraehling, M.M., Timothy McDonnell, D.M.A., Susan Treacy, Ph.D., and the Diocesan Music Committee

Schedule for the Day: 

The Propers of the Mass are the sung parts of the Mass that change from week to week: the entrance song, the responsorial psalm, the Gospel acclamation, the offertory, and the communion. While these parts of the Mass all have texts that the Church has given to go along with the other readings of Scripture for a particular Mass, often only the texts for the responsorial psalm and Gospel acclamation are used. Both the Instruction on Music shortly after the Second Vatican Council and the instruction book for the present form of the Mass, the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM), encourage the singing of the proper texts, and so the purpose of this workshop is both to provide an understanding of these parts of the Mass and to provide access to resources, many of which are not widely known, that are practical for use at the parish level. The registration fee includes a substantial packet of information about the resources and how to acquire them. 

9:30-10:00 Registration / Prayer

10:00-12:30 Presentations and Panel Discussion

  • History of the Propers
  • Practice from the Second Vatican Council through the Pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI
  • Resources: Where to find them and how to use them (will include singing)
  • Present Liturgical Practice at Ave Maria Oratory, St. Raphael’s, and at other diocesan parishes

12:30-1:15 Lunch

1:15-2:00 Music meeting and the NPM chapter

Dr. Michael O’Connor and the Schola Cantorum of the Palm Beaches will be singing for two upcoming Masses in the extraordinary form in the Palm Beach Diocese. 

– March 1st, 2:00 p.m. – 1st Sunday in Lent at St Patrick Catholic Church in Palm Beach Gardens.  
View Map

– March 15, 2:00 p.m. – 3rd Sunday in Lent at St Christopher Catholic Church in Hobe Sound 
View Map

Both will be celebrated as a Missa Cantata.

Liturgical Roundup

February 18, 2009

Courtesy of writer Matthew Alderman at the New Liturgical Movement

No doubt our readers have already heard of the upcoming Gregorian chant workshop being put on by Musica Sacra Florida at the Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences at NOVA Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, the local chapter of the Church Music Association of America, but just in case you haven’t, here is a bit of info on this upcoming conference and also some of the other exciting liturgical events that have been occurring in the Sunshine State in recent months.

First, the chant conference is being held from March 6 to March 7, 2009, and will include sessions on the history of Gregorian chant, the liturgy and the Gregorian repertoire, Gregorian chant since Vatican II a choice of chant classes for beginning and advanced chanters. Vespers will be sung Friday, and the conference will close the following evening with a missa cantata at St. Michael’s Church in neighboring Miami. For more information, visit this site or contact Dr. Jennifer Donelson at jd1120 (at) nsu (dot) nova (dot) edu. Other presenters include Dr. Susan Treacy (Ave Maria), Dr. Michael O’Connor (Palm Beach Atlantic) and Mary Jane Ballou (St. Augustine Schola Cantorae). Registration is $35.00 and includes materials and insruction. The deadline is Friday, February 27, 2009.

This conference comes as the culmination of a long series of Tridentine masses, chant workshops, and more in Florida, enlivening a region that has in my experience been largely moribund in liturgical matters. This is extremely promising, and let us hope we can expect more in the future. A sampling:

In the Miami/Ft. Lauterdale area, September saw a Gregorian chant workshop at St. Michael’s in Miami, and December the first known Tridentine mass at the same parish since 1970. St. Michael’s, incidentally, is now the home of the priest who instigated a simple but handsome renovation at Visitation Catholic Church while he was pastor there, and which we chronicled here some time back. I am glad to see he is still doing exemplary work for the church’s liturgy.

In the West Palm Beach area, solemn vespers were sung at St. Patrick Catholic Church for the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception last year, as we reported previously here. This March, a missa cantata is planned for the same parish, on the first Sunday of Lent, sung by the Schola Cantorum of the Palm Beaches at 2:00 pm. Another will be on the Third Sunday of Lent at St. Christopher Catholic Church in Hobe Sound, also at 2:00. I am told one may become a solemn high mass, but this will depend on the availability of clergy to assist. For more information, see here.

Keep Reading

From the Parish Bulletin of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Jacksonville:The Adult Education Ministry will meet on Monday, February 23rd, at 7 p.m. in the Cody Center. The topic is “The Traditional Latin Mass and the Novus Ordo – The Two Forms of the Roman Rite.” The alternative form of the Mass is now more widely available as a result of Pope Benedict’s Motu Proprio (2007) to those who prefer the ancient usage.


 The two forms of the Roman rite are: the Ordinary Form (the Mass of Paul VI, 1969) in English or Latin, and the Extraordinary Form (known as the Mass of John XXIII, the Traditional (Tridentine) Mass, in Latin only. The basic differences and principal features will be contrasted in terms of prayers, music, vestments, mood, and rubrics. Both forms are equal, mutually enriching, and fulfill the Sunday obligation. “There is certainly a difference of emphasis, but a single fundamental identity that excludes any contradiction or antagonism between a renewed liturgy and the preceding liturgy,” Pope Benedict XVI. Come and enjoy a lively discussion.

The Florida Chapter of the Church Music Association of America is happy to announce:

Musica Sacra Florida –

Gregorian Chant Workshop
Sponsored by the Florida Chapter of the Church Music Association of America
in conjunction with the
Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences
at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale
Friday, March 6th – Saturday, March 7th, 2009

Detailed scheduled and brochure

This two-day workshop will present both beginning and advanced musicians with rehearsals and lectures 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, attendees will learn more about the history of Gregorian chant and its role in the liturgy as well as experience the chant in the context of both the Divine Office and the Mass. Beginning chanters will be introduced to the basics of notation and rhythm according to the 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 Gregorian chant in the life of the parish will also be discussed.

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

Registration fees are $35 and include the price of instructional materials and instruction. Participants are responsible for all their meals and housing during the conference. Payment is due upon arrival at the conference.

Pre-registration is required.
Deadline: Friday, February 27th, 2009




Contact Information :
Jennifer Donelson
(954) 262-7610 or jd1120 -at-

Susan Treacy – Ave Maria University, Ave Maria, FL
Michael O’Connor – Palm Beach Atlantic University, West Palm Beach, FL
Mary Jane Ballou – St. Augustine Schola Cantorae, St. Augustine, FL
Jennifer Donelson – Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, FL