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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A hymn verse need not be a complete sentence, but it must have completed sense as a recognisable part of the complete sentence, and at each major pause there would be at least a “sense-pause.” Saint Ambrose and the early writers and centonists always kept to this rule. This indicates one of the differences between a poem and a hymn, and by this standard most of the modern hymns and the revisions of old hymns in the Breviary stand condemned.
— Fr. Joseph Connelly

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Symposium 2019 • “Video Outtakes”
published 16 August 2019 by Jeff Ostrowski

82951 Sacred Music Symposium IKE EVERYBODY ELSE, I have my own personal struggles: spiritual, physical, financial, and so forth. I have bad days, like everybody else. But something I like to call to mind—which gives me joy—is the very special “week.” When I refer to “the week,” I’m referencing the Sacred Music Symposium, which is a very happy week that occurs each year. During difficult moments, I often recall the beautiful memories, bringing a smile to my face. Regarding this year’s Symposium, I wish I could express in a particular way my thanks to Andrea, Kevin, Richard, and Alfred for what they did. I’ve tried to express my gratitude to them, but I doubt they know how very special it was—happy memories I shall never forget.

God-willing, we will eventually post the professional audio recordings, as well as the marvelous testimonials from the participants. I say “God-willing” because we can never know the future; today might be my last day on earth. Only the Lord knows.

Until we get the professional recordings posted,
please enjoy the iPhone snippets below!

Maestro Clark, who just travelled across the entire United States, steps off his plane and begins rehearsing a brand new “Ave Maria,” written specifically for the First Mass of Fr. Luc Poirier, FSSP:


Dr. Calabrese rehearsing the Magnificat by Guerrero, in spite of the bells ringing:


Maestro Clark rehearsing part of the Benedictus shortly before the First Mass of Fr. Luc Poirier:


Dr. Calabrese rehearsing what is probably my favorite part of the Palestrina Kyrie, viz. the “Christe” section:


Friends from Las Vegas preparing to teach a course on multi-track recordings:


Dr. Calabrese rehearsing part of the Palestrina Kyrie:


Maestro Clark rehearsing part of the Palestrina Benedictus:


The theme of this year’s conference was “Roman Catholic Hymnody,” and in this clip we sight-read a hymn text by Fr. Dominic Popplewell, FSSP. The pieces in the Brébeuf hymnal are “simple”—for the average choir—but profoundly rewarding to sing:


Alongside the Sacred Music Symposium, Fr. James Fryar, FSSP, always runs an altar server camp with help from FSSP seminarians:


The Symposium is a place where literally anything can happen. Here are two famous church musicians just walking around talking:


This is a short excerpt from Dr. Calabrese’s conducting clinics, which are very much in demand:


After a long day of classes, rehearsals, Mass, Solemn Vespers, and so forth, we always closed with a beautiful setting of a hymn by Cardinal Newman. The sheet music will be available soon:


The Sacred Music Symposium has become the preëminent conference on Church music the world over. I can’t think of any other sacred music conference that approaches what we do. I think we gained this reputation by avoiding the “trap” into which too many conferences fall. We give valuable instruction the people can take home with them; we don’t just sing the entire time. That being said, we do an awful lot of singing:


Here’s a clip of participants walking to the Chapel to rehearse:


During Sacred Music Symposium 2019, we sight-read tons of SATB hymns from the Brébeuf hymnal. Here is an example:


A few photographs. The final one, where I am with a young lady in a yellow (orange?) shirt, was taken the very first day of the Symposium: