14 June 2003

This article about William Mahrt of Stanford University is pretty cool. (Thanks to A.A.E. of Confessions of an Accidental Choir Director; see links to your left.) I can't let it pass without saying that his statements about Gonzaga University's chant program (about two-thirds down the page) need an update. I have gone this long without revealing that I'm a student at GU, but I can't let this pass without lending my voice to the defense of my school! I don't know what the situation was in 1997 when the article was written, but as of 2003, the Gonzaga University Schola performed (though it seemed almost like a side-show act) at the Music Educators Northwest Conference in Portland, OR, and has recorded a CD, which is in the editing process and due out soon. Next year, a joint trip with the University Choir is planned...to France!! *jumps for joy* The Schola sings at Mass every Sunday of the school year, and we end up attracting celebrants not only from our own Jesuit House, but from different parishes in the Spokane diocese, including Bishop Skylstad. Several priests seem to be interested in what we do. (I loved seeing Fr. S. walk into Jesuit House in cassock and biretta--quite a change from Jesuits who mostly don't even wear clerics.)

In addition to the Schola, there is also a class on the Music of the Catholic Church which is intended for musicians and non-musicians alike and is quite good. Every other year, there is a chant seminar offered which covers a lot of material, including reading, writing, and interpreting St. Gall and Loan notation, history, performance, the relationship of chant to the liturgy, and a little bit of conducting.

This may not seem like a lot, but consider that it's a small university and a very tiny music department. I guess that's all I have to say, as it's quite late and far past my bedtime. It was, perhaps, not prudent to reveal this much information about myself, but I guess I can take comfort in the fact that I can edit it out if I think the better of it later.

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