About this blogger:
A theorist, organist, and conductor, Jeff Ostrowski holds his B.M. in Music Theory from the University of Kansas (2004), and did graduate work in Musicology. He serves as choirmaster for the new FSSP parish in Los Angeles, where he resides with his wife and children.
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The “Nova Organi Harmonia” demanded from each of us an unusual commitment; we have dedicated to it the best of our energies. Would it be, therefore, presumptuous on our part to be satisfied with the result and to expect its welcome reception in the musical world?
— Msgr. Jules Van Nuffel (circa 1940)

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GoFundMe Campaign • Needing Scholarships!
published 10 March 2017 by Jeff Ostrowski

O CURSE THE DARKNESS is easier than lighting a candle. Many good Catholics want to restore sacred music to our churches, but don’t know how. This post is not really aimed at church musicians—who often live paycheck to paycheck. It’s geared toward Catholics searching for a worthwhile place to invest money—in this case, helping Catholic musicians who can’t afford to attend the Sacred Music Symposium. (Part of Lent is “almsgiving”—not just fasting.)

We’ve never used “GoFundMe” before, but let’s try it:

    * *  GoFundMe • SYMPOSIUM SCHOLARSHIPS 2017

This 2-minute video has footage by James & Mikio Sheehan:

From a Seminarian in Los Angeles:

REETINGS AND THANK YOU SO MUCH for this wonderful service to the West Coast, especially the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. As a former participant, I was personally enriched and tremendously benefited from my time spent at the Symposium. In particular, my prayer life has grown deeper as I meditate on the music we spent many hours preparing to sing. There were so many moments when I felt beautifully aware of the presence of God working in and through my voice and words. Even more, I developed a much more refined sense of Sacred Tradition and the beauty of Gregorian Chant. Our instructors were extremely knowledgeable and completely opened up the music for us. Furthermore, the workshops helped me to develop my skills as a choir leader. Some of the skills I developed even allowed me to adapt music for a particular feast that same summer.

All of this was possible for me to experience because of the generous donations of people who contributed to the Sacred Symposium. As a Seminarian, I do not have the means to pay for such an occasion as the Sacred Symposium so I am indebted to these generous donors for allowing me to be enriched by this wonderful event. Now that I have experienced it, however, I believe it is all the more necessary that I continue to develop my new found skills. One particular area that I can improve which the Symposium will help is the ability to make rehearsal videos and other reference materials for choir members. This will greatly improve rehearsals and help the less experienced singers progress faster.


From a 12-year-old girl:

Y NAME IS _______ and I am twelve years old. I started singing in the FSSP.la Choir when I was ten. Since then, I have come to learn a lot about Sacred Music, and I love singing it. St. Augustine said, “When you sing, you pray twice.” Sacred Music has thought me how profound prayer is. During Mass, when singing, one can feel the adoration and reverence that God deserves.

Last year, I had my first opportunity to participate in the 2016 Sacred Music Symposium, and what a wonderful experience it was!  I had the opportunity to meet such wonderful people like Dr. Calabrese and Dr. Buchholz and the many wonderful singers who attended the Symposium. I was inspired by their talent and knowledge of Sacred Music. There were techniques provided on how to improve your vocals, by warming up and helpful information for music directors.

This year the Symposium has returned and I am very much excited to participate once again. I hope to expand my knowledge in Sacred Music and its history as I have come to treasure it. Participating in this year’s Symposium I hope to learn more skills that will help me as a young choir member and, God willing, one day a music director or an organist for the Church. I am so very grateful to those who generously provide scholarships for this Sacred Music Symposium.

Our campaign will end on 25 March 2017, the feast of the Annunciation, which was also the birthday of St. Jean de Brébeuf (1593AD).  We are trying to raise $2,500.