VER the last few years I have been volunteering my time to help the FSSP apostolate in Los Angeles organize the Sacred Music Symposium. I have spoken to many Catholics in the process of accepting participants into the Symposium, and what I found quite striking was how many of them had either been suddenly thrust into a position of starting a choir, or could see it looming clearly on the horizon. I was astonished to realize that the renewal of the traditional liturgy and of authentic sacred music is a very real thing, and that it is developing rapidly all over America (indeed, all over the world).
In every parish there will always be that one person who is the most capable of starting a choir. Usually it’s someone who has had some musical training in the past or has a natural talent for music. They are not necessarily a highly qualified individual with a music degree, but they have a deep and abiding love for the Holy Mass and for beautiful music. They are the ones who end up in the trenches, so to speak, trying to gather up people and teach them to sing for the Mass – with little to no resources.
That is why this year’s Symposium (June 15 -June 19 in Los Angeles) is going to be particularly useful to all of us who are in the “trenches”. This year’s focus is on making your volunteer choir sound absolutely stunning. You will be trained in useful rehearsal techniques and you will be given real world advice for improving your choir. This is the kind of information you will be able to put into immediate use at your parish upon your return home.
But lest you think that this is only for directors of new choirs, rest assured that even if you are a seasoned music director, you will come away with excellent methods of improving your choir, even if they are already doing well. Dr. Horst Buchholz, Dr. Alfred Calabrese, Maestro Kevin Allen, and others will be present to share their professional secrets with you.
If you want to improve your volunteer choir, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org to request an application (please be sure to include a phone number where we can reach you).
And if you aren’t sure that the Symposium is for you, you may witness for yourself the fruits of past Symposiums. Allow me introduce you to one of my singers, Karen (age 19), who has been attending the Symposium with me every year since she was 15. Here she was, just yesterday morning, training the next generation of singers. Incidentally, music is a family effort – Karen and four of her siblings all sing in our Schola! This is just one small example of the abundant fruits of attending the FSSP Sacred Music Symposium.
If you are one of those people who is tentatively stepping up into the role of leading a choir, be strong and carry on. You can absolutely do this, and we want to help you! Learn all about what to expect at the Symposium by visiting ccwatershed.org/symposium.