Summer 2024 Courses
History and Principles of Sacred Music - May 27 to July 26: online, asynchronous July 27 and August 3: online, synchronous
Through a survey of the history of sacred music and reading of Church and papal legislation on sacred music, students gain an understanding of the principles which shape Western sacred music and the musical structure of the Roman rite. Special focus is placed on current documents which govern music in the Church. The course also features in-depth discussion of practical issues including the formation and management of sacred music programs in parishes, active participation, progressive solemnity, the use of instruments in the sacred liturgy, resources available for music directors and choristers, and other relevant topics. 3 credits or audit, limited to 20 students. 9 online, asynchronous weeks present materials on a week-to-week basis to complete at your own pace, then 2 days synchronous online, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. PDT. Taught by Dr. Jennifer Donelson-Nowicka.
Teaching Gregorian Chant to Children - July 1 to 5
This 5-day intensive course will present pedagogical techniques for teaching Gregorian chant to children and is ideal for Catholic schoolteachers, directors and teachers of religious education, directors of children’s choirs, and parents. Special emphasis will be placed on the Ward Method, a comprehensive music education method designed to teach sacred music to children. Other topics addressed will include resources for teachers, other teaching approaches, and the logistics of developing a sacred music program for children. 2 credits or audit, limited to 12 students. Synchronous online or in-person, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. PDT. Taught by Dr. Jennifer Donelson-Nowicka.
Introduction to Gregorian Chant - July 8 to 12
Serving as a systematic introduction to Gregorian chant, this course will cover neumatic notation, Gregorian modes, ear training and sight reading, vocal technique appropriate for singing chant, and Latin pronunciation. Special focus will be placed on rhythmic interpretation of the chant according to the classical Solesmes (Mocquereau) method. By the end of the class, students will have confidence singing from the Graduale Romanum, singing solfège and psalm tones, and some experience in conducting (chironomy). Additional topics introduced in the class include the history of Gregorian chant, rehearsal techniques for teaching chant to adult choirs, and an introduction to chant resources in English and Spanish. 2 credits or audit, limited to 20 students. Synchronous online or in-person, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. PDT. Taught by Dr. Jennifer Donelson-Nowicka.
Advanced Seminar in Gregorian Chant: Historical Notation Survey & Manuscript Study - Mornings, July 15 to 19
For students who have taken Introduction to Gregorian Chant and who sing Gregorian chant on a regular basis, this seminar offers a chronological survey of historical notation systems for plainchant from the ninth through the seventeenth centuries. Through study of manuscript and print sources, students will develop the ability to identify and distinguish between notational families, to understand the forces which led to developments in notation, and to read with facility the neumes and other markings in several of the most important chant sources. 1 credit or audit, limited to 15 students. Synchronous online or in-person 8 to 11:30 a.m. PDT. Taught by Dr. Charles Weaver.
Advanced Seminar in Gregorian Chant: Chants of the Mass Proper - Afternoons, July 15 to 19
Beginning with an overview of theories of the “properization” of the Mass, this course will introduce students to the chant genres and texts sources which are appointed for the Eucharistic liturgy. Students will trace salient patterns that emerge from the repertory and which offer special insight into the mysteries of the faith, the liturgical calendar, and the nature of the liturgical action itself. Special emphasis will be placed on understanding the relationship between text and music. 1 credit or audit, limited to 15 students. Synchronous online or in-person, 12:30 to 4:00 p.m. PDT. Taught by Dr. William Mahrt.
Choral Institute - July 22 to 26
Spend a week singing masterpieces from the Church’s choral repertory with a chamber choir of excellent singers, directed by a master conductor. In between rehearsals, instructional sessions will develop your abilities to direct a great choral rehearsal as students explore various methods of teaching new music, group vocal pedagogy, and tricks for addressing common problems encountered in developing an excellent choral sound. Special attention will be paid to teaching rehearsal techniques capable of evoking the most beautiful result within a liturgically demanding schedule. Gems of the choral repertoire which buttress the musical shape of the Roman rite and can be taken home for use with parish choirs will be covered in discussion and rehearsal. 2 credits or audit. In-person only, 9 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Taught by Prof. Christopher Berry and Dr. Jennifer Donelson-Nowicka. Enrollment is limited to 32 students in a balanced distribution of SATB voice parts. A recording portfolio must be submitted in the application process. See FAQ for more details.
Composition Seminar: Counterpoint & Choral Composition Workshop - July 22 to 26
For composition students with formal training, this intensive seminar in music composition is focused on the development of facility with species counterpoint. Class exercises and daily assignments will be accompanied by the opportunity to workshop polyphonic works students have written for parish choirs in light of intensive counterpoint study. Time will also be devoted to an exploration of the aesthetic characteristics of music suitable for liturgical use, form and tonal harmony (as needed), and compositional techniques which facilitate the singing of works by parish choirs. 1 credit or audit. In-person only, 1:30 to 4 p.m. PDT plus two private lessons and one group composition workshop in the mornings. Taught by Dr. Frank La Rocca. Space limited to 5 students. A portfolio of 3 pieces must be submitted in the application process.
Advanced Seminar in Gregorian Chant: Semiological Performance Practice - Mornings, July 29 to August 2
For students who have taken Introduction to Gregorian Chant or who sing Gregorian chant on a regular basis. Beginning with a presentation of the notations of St. Gall and Loan, students will prepare chants for performance through a process of textual, melodic, modal, and semiological analysis. A discussion of the nuances of the chant will follow individual preparations and singing of the chant. Other topics discussed include some of the similarities between this method of performance and the classical Solesmes method, and the theological importance of chant in the Mass of Office. Enrollment in the course presumes familiarity with reading chant notation, and before arriving in class, students should have read Dom Cardine’s Gregorian Semiology. 1 credit or audit, limited to 15 students. Synchronous online or in-person 8 to 11:30 a.m. PDT. Taught by Dr. Edward Schaefer.
Advanced Seminar in Gregorian Chant: Conducting (Chironomy) - Afternoons, July 29 to August 2
For students who have taken Introduction to Gregorian Chant and who sing Gregorian chant on a regular basis. Focused on the rhythmic system of Dom André Mocqureau, this seminar on chironomy will develop students’ abilities to conduct Gregorian chant with sensitivity, artistry, and ease. An in-depth study of the fundamental principles of Mocqureau’s method will help students learn to navigate particularly difficult passages in conducting. The presentation of various rehearsal techniques for parish choirs will also undergird each course session. 1 credit or audit, limited to 12 students. Synchronous online or in-person, 12:30 to 4 p.m. PDT. Taught by Dr. Jennifer Donelson-Nowicka.