Colloquium 2024: Champaign, IL (ask me anything!)
  • Heath
    Posts: 948
    Friends, greetings!

    I'm thrilled to be your host in summer 2024 for the annual CMAA Colloquium which will be located at my place of employment: St. John's Catholic Chapel on the campus of the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana.

    If I may brag about my hometown for a bit:

    -Champaign-Urbana (C-U) are twin cities, often found on "best places to live" lists.
    -The University of Illinois is a top 25 public university in the nation.
    -C-U was named the greatest food town in the Midwest in recent years.
    -We have some GREAT microbreweries.
    -The University's library system is the third largest in the nation, and the music library is incredible.
    -Champaign is home to the Buzard Organ Company.

    And the chapel itself:

    -We're completing a renovation to further beautify an already-beautiful church.
    -We're one of the largest Newman Centers in the country.
    -Our location is one block from the Quad, the center of campus.
    -We're connected to Newman Hall, a dormitory of approximately 600 beds.
    -The music program has been a home for Gregorian chant, polyphony, and the organ for its nearly 100 years in existence.

    Our one drawback is that we do NOT have a major airport nearby. The Willard airport (just south of C-U) has direct flights from Dallas and Chicago, but that's it. However, we're only 2-3 hours from St. Louis, Indianapolis, and Chicago, so nearly all our midwestern friends could probably drive while the rest of you could fly in with one layover.

    To counteract the difficulty for some of you to get here is the AFFORDABILITY of your time here. Having attended a number of Colloquia myself, I know that the big financial drawback isn't the CMAA registration but the lodging and food. Once the board heard that we could house AND feed everyone in our dorm for much less than you'd pay in a hotel, they were sold! Those figures will be made public at some point, but be assured that this will be one of the most affordable Colloquia you'll ever attend.

    I'm glad to answer any questions or concerns you may have either in this thread or via DM's. I hope you'll start bugging your priests now so they'll let you off the week of June 24-29, 2024!

    Blessings,
    Heath Morber
  • Love me some downstate Illinois, land not only of Lincoln but of my family. My mom lived for years on Green Street in Champaign, and my husband and I were married at Grace Lutheran. People are so kind and friendly there. One thing to be watch out for, folks, is that if I come to this event, my Midwestern corn-syrup accent, severely repressed here in Connecticut, will flow so freely with twangy diphthongs that it will make your ears diabetic.
    Thanked by 2Heath Carol
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 2,780
    Only 3h30 drive for me (very doable!) so I reallllly hope to make it next year.
  • TCJ
    Posts: 977
    It's about three hours from me. It'll be the closest it's ever been to me aside from Chicago, but a little more driving in order to avoid that city is well worth it.
  • janetgorbitzjanetgorbitz
    Posts: 966
    Please mark the date (June 24-29, 2024) in your calendar and make plans to join us! The Newman Center facility is really amazing... with their own cafeteria, plus dormitory housing and plenty of meeting spaces, we won't have any long walks between sessions next year. As Heath mentioned, the airport that is local doesn't have a huge number of flights each day currently (2 from Chicago/O'Hare and 2 from Dallas (DFW) each day -- all American Airlines). But, if you do fly directly in to the local airport, the cab/uber ride is very short to get to the Newman Center. I will likely have the details and online registration available shortly after the Fall Workshop in New England (October 12-14).

    I hope to see you there!
  • Never having been to one of these before, I am wondering whether participants get together to make music outside of the formal sessions.
  • GambaGamba
    Posts: 542
    Anna, I’ve not been since 2013, but I recall some music-making of diverse kinds around the piano at the hotel bar, and also later in the night out on the balconies.
    Thanked by 1Anna_Bendiksen
  • LauraKaz
    Posts: 75
    This past year there was a piano in the dormitory lounge. Some of the music played on it late in the evenings included Rachmaninov's Prelude in G Minor and Liszt's Campanella, as well as the ever-beloved compositions "Piano Man," "City of God," "Here I Am Lord," and "Eagle's Wings"...
    Thanked by 1Anna_Bendiksen
  • francis
    Posts: 10,709
    If I made it there, I would play bebop, jazz piano. I haven’t been since 2005.

    Could we at least have a meet up of everybody in the general area of Philadelphia and New York for a day long jam session, a mass, and everybody brings one piece to play on the pipe organ and then we have cocktails, and I will play Jazz piano? I need a jazz drummer and a standing bass. This would be a free BYOB event.

    How many live near or relatively near Bethlehem Pennsylvania? It only takes about five to make a consortium.
    Thanked by 1DavidOLGC
  • TCJ
    Posts: 977
    Since everything is going to be on campus that should leave extra free time that would otherwise be spent driving, waiting for buses, or walking. Maybe they'll have the follies again.
  • LauraKaz
    Posts: 75
    Maybe they'll have the follies again.

    I am intrigued. Would you care to elaborate?
  • TCJ
    Posts: 977
    A time for skits, musical jokes, performances, etc. Last time they had them it was in Pittsburgh 2015.

    To my memory, there were:

    -A stellar guitar performance of a piece of music by a Spanish composer. Albeniz? Can't remember.

    -A skit accompanied by the singing of El Paso

    -"The King of Glory" played in the style of composers given by the audience (Henry Mancini, Mozart, Debussy, and John Cage are four I remember being mentioned)

    -A performance involving a pitch pipe

    There may have been more, but I don't remember.

  • Heath
    Posts: 948
    Friends, happy new year!

    I'm bumping this thread because registration is OPEN. Hope you can join us!

    https://www.churchmusicassociation.org/colloquiumdetails/
    Thanked by 1Bri
  • In past years, I believe, there's been a track for helping clergy sing the Mass. (Hopefully I remember correctly.) Will there be one this year? I'd like to convince my pastor (who has an untrained voice) to go so he can be a more confident singer.
  • janetgorbitzjanetgorbitz
    Posts: 966
    Hello all, We have most things planned out, but are considering whether or not we can accommodate a "Follies" evening. All updates will be posted to the website.

    We did sell out last year, so don't delay making your registrations... Heath and the folks at the Newman Center are the most gracious hosts.
  • I have made the drive to Champaign-Urbana back and forth from Connecticut for years. Wheeling, West Virginia, with a huge park and resort called Oglebay, is a lovely overnight stop. You can do the drive to Illinois from the New York City area in one day, but I cannot recommend it.
  • TCJ
    Posts: 977
    I drove from northern Illinois to Philly in one day. Actually, I think I left at 10 PM and drove through the night and all morning. Wasn't too bad except for some truck dropping a bunch of objects on the road. I missed them, but someone in front of me hit one and sent it into my headlight.
  • janetgorbitzjanetgorbitz
    Posts: 966
    It's looking very positive for a "follies" this year... just sayin'
  • In case you would like a flyer to promote this to your choir or friends...
    Thanked by 2Heath Bri
  • Heath
    Posts: 948
    Happy Easter to all!

    So let me know if I'll see you in June in Champaign...still time to register! :)
  • LauraKaz
    Posts: 75
    I will be there!!
    Thanked by 2Heath janetgorbitz
  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 2,068
    I'll be there, God willing.
    Thanked by 2Heath Bri
  • TCJ
    Posts: 977
    I intend to be there.
  • janetgorbitzjanetgorbitz
    Posts: 966
    Are you preparing your "Follies" act? Please let us know if you have something you'd like to add to the lineup. gm@musicasacra.com
  • StimsonInRehabStimsonInRehab
    Posts: 1,923
    If I could find someone willing to accompany me, I’d love to add a couple pieces. Any takers?
    Thanked by 1LauraKaz
  • Heath
    Posts: 948
    Friends, thanks to all of you who came to the Colloquium last month! It was a joy and pleasure to host you, truly.

    If we met that week and I haven't connected you to your forum handle, please send me a DM and reveal your true identity! :)

    Also, I'd also love to see any of the videos from the follies if you wouldn't mind sharing privately. (best would be an email to heath.morber@gmail.com)

    A blessed rest of the summer to you all!
    Thanked by 1ServiamScores
  • TCJ
    Posts: 977
    I'd love to see videos of the follies, too if people want to share them.
    Thanked by 3Heath LauraKaz Bri
  • StimsonInRehabStimsonInRehab
    Posts: 1,923
    Heath, we met at the very end. I’m the “Bacon Dude”. Thank you and the Newman Center for all of your hospitality that week. It was an enjoyable experience. Also, love the English Motets website. Just joined.

    As for the Follies - if someone were to happen to post everything except the incriminating first act, I think that’d just be swell…
    Thanked by 2Heath ServiamScores
  • LauraKaz
    Posts: 75
    I had a lovely time as well! Would also love to see videos from the follies - that evening was absolutely fantastic.
    Thanked by 2Heath Bri