T IS GREAT TO BE HERE. It is great to be in Pittsburgh for the twenty-fifth Sacred Music Colloquium organized by the Church Music Association of America. This meeting is not only an academic conference and spiritual retreat, but also a great time to hang out with old friends and meet new ones. In the coming few days, I will be posting a report at the end of each day for friends who are not able to participate the Colloquium this year.
ONIGHT, Dr. William Mahrt, President of the Church Music Association of America, delivered his welcoming speech at the dinner. He gave an introduction on what we will be doing at this Colloquium. He mentioned the three characteristics of Sacred Music from Pope St. Pius X’s Tra le Sollecitudini: Sacred, Beautiful and Universal. He told us that we are about to experience the sacredness and beauty of the Church’s music, especially Gregorian Chant and Classical Polyphony. The aim of the Colloquium is that the participants, who will experience the sacredness and beauty of Sacred Music, will go out to the world and make it universal.
In his speech, Dr. Mahrt also talked about the Liturgies that we will be participating this week. He mentioned about the Liturgy of the Hours, he said, “We must pray the Liturgy of the Hours as the Liturgy of the Hours”. Which means that we need to pray it throughout the day. Dr. Mahrt also said that we should reflect on the relationship between the Ordinary Form and the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. Masses will be celebrated in both Forms this week: once in English Novus Ordo, twice in Latin Novus Ordo and twice in Vetus Ordo.
FTER THE OPENING DINNER, we had the pleasure of hearing Dr. Ann Labounsky’s special recital on the newly-installed pipe organ in the Duquesne Chapel. The recital featured mainly French pieces, which is what Dr. Labounsky is known for, and ended with a wonderful improvisation on two themes (King’s Weston tune or “At the Name of Jesus”, and the simple tone Salve Regina) submitted by Dr. Mahrt. We ended the night with the Compline sung by almost two hundreds participants. It was truly a powerful prayer and moving experience.