"The Exceptional Cantor"
  • AngelaRAngelaR
    Posts: 309
    I forgot to post this here earlier (my apologies). Level I starts exactly one week from now, and we have two seats still available. Level II can be taken independently of Level I. Both are online courses hosted via Zoom by the International Chant Academy, and include access to an extensive Student Resources page for further study. The courses are suitable for cantors and music directors alike.

    The Exceptional Cantor - Level I
    TUESDAY EVENINGS April 18 - May 16, 2023
    6:00 - 7:30 pm, USA Central Time Zone (GMT - 5)

    Lesson 1: A greater purpose ~ the Liturgy​
    One cannot understand sacred music without looking to its purpose: the Sacred Liturgy. We will begin our study with a look at what the Roman Catholic Church says about the Liturgy, with an overview of key documents from Vatican II and the USCCB. Included in our agenda: the structure of the Mass, the call to (and meaning of) active participation, and the role of silence.​

    Lesson 2: Our "inestimable treasure" of sacred song
    Once we have an understanding of the Sacred Liturgy, we will delve into the role that sacred music plays within it. Vatican II calls our heritage of sacred music an "inestimable treasure." We will explore the purpose and qualities of sacred music, and the place of the antiphons, Gregorian chant and Latin, as well as new compositions and music in our native tongue. We will look back into history for ancient roots of the role of today's cantor, and last, touch upon some hot button issues about which every cantor should be aware.

    Lesson 3: Sung parts of the Mass
    This lesson will help you to conquer your fear of the unknown. We will make a detailed analysis of all the sung parts of the Mass, to whom each part properly belongs, and the cantor's role in facilitating many of these. In tandem, we will identify the specific liturgical cues which precede each piece, so you will be confident always in knowing exactly when to begin singing. We will also treat specific ways in which sacred music rubrics change for specific days and liturgical seasons, so you won't be caught off guard by unexpected alterations in the Liturgy.

    Lesson 4: Music every cantor should know​
    Sometimes it seems overwhelming, since there is so much music to learn for the Mass, and every week it's different. Believe it or not, however, there actually is a core of Catholic repertoire with which every cantor should be familiar. In this lesson we will look at specific musical pieces: dialogues of the Mass, key Mass settings, and other special liturgical songs which happen every year, but will catch you by surprise if you are not prepared for them. We will also explore some sacred solo works which are well worth learning.

    Lesson 5: Seven habits of the exceptional cantor
    In this final lesson, Angela is going to share with you personal habits that she has honed over twenty years of experience as a cantor in over 60 parishes and 3 cathedrals. These habits cover the gamut: musicianship, self care, use of the microphone, cultivating a working relationship with the organist, being sensitive to the Liturgy, leaving the "truth bat" at home, and spiritual preparation.

    The Exceptional Cantor - Level II
    TUESDAY EVENINGS May 30 - June 27, 2023
    6:00 - 7:30 pm, USA Central Time Zone (GMT - 5)

    Lesson 1: Musical considerations​
    In this lesson we will take a deep dive into subtle details that make a big difference. We will establish three core roles of the cantor: psalmist, song leader, and soloist. We will look to some critical aspects of a working relationship with your organist. There is also a lot to be said about microphones, acoustics, and the delicate balance of leading a congregation towards active participation through singing, so we'll spend a good bit of time on those subjects too. ​

    Lesson 2: When singing at a new parish for the first time
    Did you get a panicked call from a music director who is desperate to find a cantor for tomorrow's funeral? Or is your best friend is getting married, and wants you to sing for their wedding? Sooner or later you, an exceptional cantor, are going to find yourself singing at a different parish - one with very different customs than the ones with which you are familiar at your own parish. This lesson is devoted to basic etiquette, musical preparation, important communications, and technical considerations to help ease you into a new setting. ​

    Lesson 3: The primary liturgical instrument ~ the human voice
    Did you know that the primary liturgical instrument is not the organ, but the human voice? Yes, you read that right! This lesson is all about your voice, and your ability to deliver a sacred message through song. We are going to explore the relationship of speech to song, how to transform the first into the second, and explore the incredible musical form of chant. ​Angela will also share a special "hack" she has used with great success for helping the congregation to sing the Responsorial Psalm (hint: it's not hand gestures or head bobs).

    Lesson 4: Help! The organist is sick.​
    As an exceptional cantor, sooner or later you're also going to find yourself in charge of planning and executing the music for a Mass. Don't wait til you're under the gun to learn what it takes. We will explore critical factors which make an a cappella Mass come to life, and delve into some special online planning resources. On the agenda: finding the "theme" of the day, locating music for proper antiphons, and planning seasonally appropriate music. Plus, we'll revisit this organization's favorite subject of all time: chant!

    Lesson 5: Weddings and funerals
    A cantor who knows well the Sunday Mass, will still be thrown off by the different elements of a wedding or a funeral. So, let's delve in. On the liturgical side, we will explore key elements and nuances of each of these liturgies, as well as some fitting solos which are handy to have in your back pocket. On the "people" side, we will focus on how to set helpful boundaries and expectations with families, couples, and musicians that will keep everyone happy.​

    More info on www.chantacademy.com. Message me here or at info@chantacademy.com with questions.
    Thanked by 1ServiamScores