About this blogger:
Richard J. Clark is the Director of Music of the Archdiocese of Boston and the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. He is also Chapel Organist (Saint Mary’s Chapel) at Boston College. His compositions have been performed worldwide.
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“So, as in delirium a man talks in a long-forgotten tongue, now—when her heart is rent—the Catholic Church drops twenty centuries without an effort, and speaks as she spoke underground in Rome, and in Paul’s hired house, and in Crete and Alexandria and Jerusalem.”
— A non-Catholic describing the “Hagios O Theos” of Good Friday in 1906

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New England Catholic Choral Festival & Mass • 2019
published 11 January 2019 by Richard J. Clark

T’S NEVER just about the music. Singing liturgical music from the great rich heritage of our Roman Catholic faith is about something else: nurturing faith through the Sacred Liturgy.

If you are not familiar with the American Federation Pueri Cantores choir festivals, I urge you to explore this opportunity which is open to any young singers. Girls and boys (grades 4-12) are welcome to sing in the New England Choral Festival and Mass. This festival is not reserved for an exclusive club of singers. Rather it is wide open to those hoping to learn more about our rich heritage of Roman Catholic sacred music from Gregorian Chant to sacred music of the present day. The festival culminates with hundreds of students combining as one choir singing for the Mass. This takes place in a nurturing, positive, and joyful environment!

As the rehearsal accompanist and organist for last year’s Festival in Boston, I can attest to this wonderfully positive environment. (As an adult, even I greatly enjoyed it and could learn from it!) Cardinal Seán Patrick O’Malley was last year’s celebrant and homilist which added to a marvelously faith filled experience. (My hope is to host the 2020 New England Festival at the newly renovated Cathedral of the Holy Cross. Stay tuned.)

HIS YEAR’S New England Festival will take place Saturday, April 6, 2019 from 11am culminating with Mass at 5:15 pm • St. Mary’s Church, 12 William St., Newport, RI 02840. The church is gorgeous, and interestingly is the site of the wedding of President John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy.

Download information, Schedule, registration, repertoire, etc. here:
PDF Download • New England Catholic Youth Choral Festival and Mass • 2019.

You can also download the Public Domain music for the festival here. Recordings made available to make this process much easier.

WHY PARTICIPATE?

“Participation in Pueri Cantores can be a formational and transformational experience through the Liturgy for both choristers and conductors.” (Pueri Cantores website)

Offer your singers a combined worship experience with Catholic school and parish youth choirs from all around the region and network with your conductor colleagues

Teach accessible, historically balanced repertoire from the great treasury of Catholic sacred music that can be incorporated into your choir’s repertoire

Receive advanced conducting training from one of the leading Catholic conductors in the nation

School conductors whose choirs participate will be offered 8 Professional Development Credits by AFPC, corporate partner of the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA)

I urge all educators, conductors, and parents to consider taking part in this one-day experience. Its joy may resonate for years to come.

HIS YEAR’S clinician will be Dr. Steven R. Seigart, conductor, organist, and composer based in the NYC area. An extraordinary talent, he is currently the Director of Music at The Church of Saint Joseph in Bronxville, NY, where he directs five choirs, founded the period-instrument Orchestra of Saint Joseph, and oversees the St. Joseph Concert Series.

We hope to see you there!

Soli Deo gloria