Join us for three topics, each with their unique audience!

Register here for access.

Chironomy Basics
Mondays, January 29 and February 5, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m., PST

Would you like to develop conducting skills for Gregorian chant that help your choir sing better and discover the nuances of phrasing that make the chant beautiful? Join Dr. Donelson-Nowicka for two one-hour sessions to cover the basics of directing chant (chironomy) according to the “Old Solesmes” method developed by Dom André Mocquereau. The first session will outline the theoretical basis for the method in practice through targeted exercises which help singers and directors understand the structure of some sample chants, and then develop a physiological basis for the conducting gesture from an understanding of the architecture of the examples. The second session will cover more sophisticated gestures which elucidate for singers the musical shape of more difficult chants. Tips on structuring rehearsals to meet the demand for learning quickly to sing in the liturgy will be discussed, as well as warm-ups and teaching techniques which develop singers’ awareness of nuances in conducting.

This workshop topic is an excellent introduction to the course content of Advanced Seminar in Gregorian Chant: Conducting (Chironomy) that will be offered in the Catholic Institute of Sacred Music’s Summer 2024 Term.

Tra le Sollecitudini – Directed Reading Group
Mondays, February 19, and 26, and March 4, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m., PST

Led by Drs. William Mahrt and Jennifer Donelson-Nowicka, participants will make an in-depth study of this important document which was seminal for the twentieth-century renewal of sacred music and the Liturgical Movement. Starting from the history and development of the document, the nuances of each of the motu proprio’s articles will be discussed in its historical, liturgical, musical, and canonical contexts. The evolution of the legislative status of various articles will be discussed, especially in light of dubia submitted in response to the legislation, as well as the documents of Pius XII and Vatican II.

This workshop topic is an excellent introduction to the study of legislative documents on sacred music, a study which can be furthered in the Catholic Institute of Sacred Music’s Summer 2024 Term course “History and Principles of Sacred Music.”

Introduction to Chant: Spirituality, Reading, and Style
Mondays, April 8, 15, 22, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m., PDT

Serving as an entry point for professional and amateur musicians alike, each session of this workshop topic will begin with a reflection on the spirituality of Gregorian chant, and what the chant can teach us about praying the sacred liturgy. Participants will then move through the basics of reading neumatic notation (square notes), prepped with some exercises which develop healthy vocal technique for singing chant. The modality and style of the chant will also be addressed.

Appropriate for new singers of chant, or those who wish to develop their teaching of new singers, this workshop topic will serve as a sort of mini-retreat for spiritual refreshment and professional development.