SALT LAKE CITY — From June 25 to July 1, the Cathedral of the Madeleine in Salt Lake City hosted the 22nd edition of the Sacred Music Colloquium presented by the Church Music Association of America.
The event provided the participants with opportunities to sing, learn and interact with the best musicians in the Catholic community from all over the world.
Priests, nuns, seminarians and laity enjoyed six full days of activities, which culminated with a Mass at the Cathedral of the Madeleine in which parishioners as well as colloquium participants had the opportunity to enjoy music from The Church Music Association of America, the oldest organization in the United States dedicated to Catholic sacred music.
"They sing like angels," said Mary Cohchran, a Cathedral parishioner who was attending the regular Mass with her family. "We are all stunned by all this magic."
"I didn’t know today we would hear this beautiful music. I am glad that we are here," said Michael Leal, another Cathedral parishioner.
During the week the colloquium participants gathered in rehearsals and classes to further their knowledge and enrich their parish music ministries.
"This colloquium has enriched me in all three senses: musically, spiritually and intellectually. Everything was perfect!" said Frank Merhart, who came from Virginia.
The colloquium’s primary focus was instruction in chant and the Catholic sacred music tradition. Activities included participation in chant choirs, daily and nightly lectures and performances, and daily celebrations of liturgies in both English and Latin.
More than 200 participants attended the seminar. Instructors included vocal pedagogist Cecilia Nam, who led a choir that was designed to introduce and improve on the critical vocal and musical techniques necessary for singing polyphonic music.
Horst Buchholz, a conductor with experience with both early choral music and the romantic repertoire, and his choir sang at the Vierne Mass within the context of a Mass in the Extraordinary Form on Friday, June 29, the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul.
For the fifth year, William Mahrt presented a rendering of polyphonic Vespers, focusing in the works of Orlando Di Lasso.
During the colloquium’s closing liturgy on July 1 at the Cathedral of the Madeleine, Wilko Brouwers conducted portions of Claudio Monteverdi’s Messa dacappella à 4 (1650), including the Gloria and the Sanctus.
"For me, these six days were like being in true heaven. I enjoyed every part of it [and] I learned a lot with all the rehearsals and organ performances," said Miko Thum of Oklahoma.