Sunday, 29 April 2007

Conference of Catholic Directors of Music

Sunlight streams into the Clergy House library, illuminating the discussions of the Directors of music from the Catholic Cathedrals and Dioceses of England, Wales and Ireland. This is the second annual study day organised by the Master of Music, Martin Baker (standing talking mid-left) and the Precentor, Thomas Wilson.

This is wonderful initiative for several reasons. Firstly, now is a good time to access where Catholic music is, and to consider what its role should be, especially in the light of recent documents from the Holy Father and imminent new translations of the Missal. Secondly, it is an opportunity to share practice, and highlight problems. Many Directors of Music are working without strong financial or administrative support - it is good to see how we can assist each other. Thirdly, it is an opportunity to formulate a strategy to encourage good music in the Church, from seminaries to schools. Many of the initiatives adopted here at Westminster to support parish music are echoed in other dioceses (notably Leeds), and these should be made more widely available.

A report on the discussions will be published soon, and I shall report further.

6 comments:

Joe said...

An initiative like this is very welcome. Thanks for sharing.

As it happens I was in the Cathedral on Friday and Saturday this week. I was curious about two things I noticed.

Firstly, there was a partly-deflated pink balloon dangling above the canopy of the Blessed Sacrament Chapel. I wondered to which of the Holy Father's liturgical concerns, this was responding! Or maybe a sop to the SORs!!

Secondly, while once again admiring the new mosaics in the chapel of my patron Saint, I noticed that Cardinal Hinsley's galero has been moved away from the bracket above his tomb to a more central position in St Joseph's chapel. Just curious why that would be so: it seemed to break the connection between the hat hanging above the tomb until it finally crumbled - which might not be too long, given its present state!

Very much enjoy reading your blog. It brings so much of the Cathedral to life.

Administrator said...

I'm trying to get rid of the wretched balloon, which has been in the chapel for two weeks now. Unfortunately, it is difficult to position steps underneath it.

For this reason, I have always resisted requests from groups wishing to make use of balloons in the Cathedral; the reuslt is always a disaster!

The galero of Cardinal Hinsley was mistakenly re-hung by the mosaicists in St Joseph's chapel just before the scaffolding came down. You are quite right that it is in the wrong position, and we are considering how to put scaffolding back up (which is hideously expensive!) to rescue it and return it to its correct position.

Ivo said...

"I'm trying to get rid of the wretched balloon, which has been in the chapel for two weeks now. Unfortunately, it is difficult to position steps underneath it."

You may try to retrieve it with a long fiberglass pole (e.g. a fishing rod) with some dubble sided sticky tape attached to the top. :)

John the organist said...

This is a splendid initiative and long may it continue. There are good links with the Society of St Gregory and Panel of Monastic musicians which is how it should be! The boys sang Vespers superbly!

Anonymous said...

it is wonderful to see a former chorister from our archdiocesan Cathedral now working in Church music elsewhere in the country.
the future is indeed bright.

Ian H. Power said...

"I'm trying to get rid of the wretched balloon, which has been in the chapel for two weeks now."

I'm not even from England, but I laughed out loud when I read this! In any event, I am enjoying your blog immensely, having had the pleasure of visiting your marvelous beacon of Catholocity in 2003.