We are grateful to the hundreds and hundreds of guests who came to the first Advent & Christmas concert of the St. Patrick’s Seminary Schola Cantorum. It was a beautiful event, adorned through the hard work of the seminarians who sang well and welcomed the community into our home with Christ-like hospitality.
The Catholic Institute of Sacred Music’s director, Dr. Jennifer Donelson-Nowicka, recently appeared on Ave Maria radio’s “Notes from Above,” discussing some beautiful recordings of chant and basics for understanding sacred music at parishes.
Mondays, September 25 & October 2, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m., PDT
Join us for two Monday evenings as Dr. Donelson-Nowicka explains how to chant the Psalms according to the Gregorian psalm tones.
You’ll study the anatomy of a psalm tone, the relationship between the tone and the mode, as well as the relationship between the tone and the antiphon. The workshop will focus on how to point the text (put the correct notes on the correct syllables) according to the required accentuation patterns and preparatory syllables. Dynamics and tempo considerations for the phrasing will also be addressed. Sessions will present the texts sung in Latin.
Techniques for Teaching Gregorian Chant to Your Parish Choir
Mondays, October 16 and 23, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m., PDT
Are you looking to refresh your pedagogical techniques so that your parish choir feels confident and enthusiastic about singing Gregorian chant? Join Dr. Donelson-Nowicka as she covers different teaching techniques to start a new chant with your choir, help them feel more confident on the melodic intervals in the melody, and have a strong sense of the phrasing in the piece.
Solfège 101: Solfège Basics & How to Use It to Learn and Teach Basic Chants
Mondays, October 30, November 6, and 13, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m., PDT/PST
Designed and paced for absolute beginners to solfège, and presenting teaching models for those music directors who teach chant novices, this series will cover the basics of solfège, focusing on major-mode patterns familiar to the modern ear. Attendees will learn drills for improving their ability to use the solfège syllables to sight-sing and audiate (hear the music in their minds). Exercises will be applied in easy chants within the repertoire that are accessible to new singers of chant.
Dear friends of the Catholic Institute of Sacred Music,
It’s been an amazing first summer!
Almost 100 students joined us from around the country, Canada, Japan, and Mozambique, as well as from the Bay Area here in California.
28 students in our auditioned, mixed-voice choir sang for Lauds, Mass, and Vespers daily in our Choral Institute, accompanied by improvisations at Mass by Organ Improvisation students mentored by Dr. Christoph Tietze.
Dr. Frank La Rocca’s Composition students premiered short works for parish choirs, sung by the students of the Choral Institute
Students presented strategic plans for their parish music programs they produced in Parish Sacred Music Program Management
Introduction to Chant students sang Lauds daily, as well as a Votive Mass of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus, all while preparing to sing and conduct three chants for their final exams with Dr. Donelson-Nowicka
Chironomy students each prepared and directed a complete chanted Mass Ordinary and Proper for their final exams
Gregorian Rhythm students presented two different interpretations of chants to their class with Dr. Charles Weaver
Students in History and Principles of Sacred Music wrapped up over two months of study and discussion, turning in their term papers and final exams
After an intensive study of the History of the Roman Rite with Fr. Nicholas Schneider, students turned in a series of concise essays, exercising their scholarly abilities to summarize and synthesize what they learned
After a masterful seminar studying and singing Chants of the Divine Office with Dr. William Mahrt, students have turned in their final exams
Wrapping up two months of intensive Latin study with one of the finest Latinists in the world (Dr. John Pepino), students demonstrated their knowledge of the language in the Psalms
Student teachers, trained in the first level of the Ward Method, gave teaching demonstrations to their fellow students in Dr. Donelson-Nowicka’s class
We can’t wait for next summer!
In the meantime, we hope you’ll be able to join us for in-person and online workshops, lectures, and seminars, as well as our first conference this upcoming November!
Dr. Jennifer Donelson-Nowicka, Director, Catholic Institute of Sacred Music
Our inaugural public lecture and concert series came to a close with a concert by Karen Clark (contralto) and Jonathan Dimmock (organ/organetto, baritone) entitled “The Marriage of Heaven and Earth: Medieval Reflections Music of St. Hildegard of Bingen, Pérotin, and St. Martial Ms.”
We are please to bring you a complete recording of the concert.