NEW conference in the field of sacred music has just been announced. Hosted by St. Joseph’s Seminary (Dunwoodie) in Yonkers, NY, the topic of the gathering will be “Gregorian Chant in Pastoral Ministry and Religious Education.”
The format of the conference will include keynote speakers (still TBA), presentations, panel discussions, concerts, and liturgies with distinguished children’s and parish choirs.
What will the subject matter of the conference include? According to the published description, the two-day workshop will address several pastoral questions:
What role does the Church’s treasury of sacred music play in contemporary pastoral ministry and religious education? How does one build a sacred music program of excellence which serves as an integral part of the sacred liturgy and is also effective both in drawing souls to Christ and forming people in the Catholic faith? This national conference will bring together clergy, seminarians, scholars, musicians, teachers, and Catholic school administrators to consider the place of Gregorian chant and excellent choral music in the life of the Catholic Church in America today.
The especially pastoral approach being taken by the organizing committee is similar to the spirit underlying the St. Cecilia Academy for Pastoral Musicians, another effort based at Dunwoodie that serves the Archdiocese of New York and beyond. The practical approach will make this experience accessible to anyone interested in introducing the beauty of chant in a parish setting. The event has been conveniently scheduled on a Friday and Saturday, enabling priests and liturgical musicians to participate without interfering with Sunday obligations.
The call for papers to be presented at this conference has been published. More details are available on the conference website. Paper proposals are due by October 24, 2016.