From the grapevine: Jeffrey takes Atlanta by storm
  • kevinfkevinf
    Posts: 1,112
    From my friends who went to the Southeastern Liturgical Symposium: Jeffrey apparently got a lot of folks excited about chant today. Sadly, because of obligations long held, I could not be there. But my emissary who went was positively giddy about Jeffrey's talk.

    Pax et bonum Jeffrey.
  • don roy
    Posts: 306
    why am I not suprised?
  • good good! It was lots of fun. 2 two-hour talks! this I did not expect. It was interesting to talk to so many catholic musicians and start from square one: what is the ordinary of the Mass, what are propers, etc. People were great at singing and very excited and it was a blast. I must say that I was most pleased by the response from the African Americans in the group. I am pretty sure that everyone who was there left fired up about chant in the Mass, so this is the thing, right? Not enough time but it was a great start. I was so pleased to be invited, and I enjoyed meeting lots of people, including and even especially Rory Cooney, who is a real gentleman and a sincere servant of the faith.
  • don roy
    Posts: 306
    that is so cool. what could have been an ecclesiastical "town hall meeting" instead brought you and cooney closer together. that can only be a good thing. and while we are at it thanks for the reminder that most people on both sides of the liturgy wars are in fact good people committed to Christ and his church. I for one tend to forget that. hopefully this will mark a new period of mutual respect and love not only our traditions but each other.
    you are quite the example.
  • mjballoumjballou
    Posts: 986
    Jeffrey in the lions' den! And how could they resist his knowledge, wit, and passion?
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    This is precisely the dialog we need between those on "our side" and those on "the other side". No condemnation. No "I'm right and you're wrong" (even if they are wrong). No quoting documents until we're blue in the face and their fingers have been in their ears so long they won't come out. Just "this is what I do at my church, how I do it, and why."

    A certain blogger whose name is anathema here has done a bit of that, and I applaud him: he posted recordings of pieces he wrote. That we can interact with, and say where it's good.

    Not that it should be our entire goal, but I expect frank and open sharing like this, if done in true charity, will bring more people to "our side" than a thousand blog posts with pictures of clown Masses.
  • I don't regard said blogger as "anathema," Gavin. I while I agree totally with what you've said in your entire post, don't you recognize that statement self-contradicts your own points by decreeing that "here" regards him as such?
  • Yes, that certain blogger is very kind and thoughtful and smart in person but he has a problem online personality.

    Anyway, you know, I had completely forgotten about my old correspondence with Rory. He told me yesterday that he was touched from our correspondence, that I didn't dismiss his music but rather tried to engage him on that aspects of chant I thought he would like. I don't know if he is right about that but I had a profound sense of "whew, close call" when he told me that. Because I also know that I'm fully capable of having taken a different approach. Anyway, I was so glad that I apparently had no amends to make. It's good to remember that there is a strong possibility that we can all be held accountable in 5 or 10 years from now what we say or write today.

    In some ways, it is all about different stages of learning. In some ways, it is impossible for me to fully grasp the social and cultural context in which Rory became active in Catholic music -- ten years can make a big difference. I'm just grateful that I was born when I was and didn't have to deal with the strange upheaval of that period. In any case, as we stood next to each other in Mass, singing Salve Regina and English propers together, the moment was quite intense for both of us. We also a grand time improvising harmonies on the hymns. He would start on bass when I was on tenor, then he would shift to alto and I would move to soprano, and so on. All musicians know but this secret hymn fun but it sure was great to do this with him. I was struck too by how our voices are oddly the similar: clear but rough hewn with no vibrato. I can easily imagine he would be an excellent cantor for incipits for Gregorian propers.

    We also had fun talking about the communio this weekend, and imaging what the monks were thinking when they wrought the syllabic passage about bread but the wildly melismatic passage about wine!
  • Sounds like >•< stomped the sour grapes into sweet wine.
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    Jeffrey, any chance giving a summary of your 2-hour talk, maybe in the Sacred Music journal? I think people will be interested in reading it, learn to talk to people who don't have much interest and/or knowledge in chants.
  • oh you folks know all this stuff already.
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    Really? Not small talks, but a big talk like you did and make people get excited about chant?

    (Well it could be just me again.)
  • It's true that we ran out of time during each session. We could have sung from the PBC all day -- and then there is fun of comparing various editions of propers. Endless fun here.
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    "Jeffrey, any chance giving a summary of your 2-hour talk"

    I suspect we've heard it all before. Jeff has a wonderful gift for communicating chant in a way that is completely without prejudice or ideology. It's no surprise to me that Cooney would take to his presentation, any musician worth his salt would do the same.

    Charles: I meant, as usual, no disrespect to said blogger, but unfortunately his presence here was marked by hostility, most of which I would dare say was directed at him from established members (an episode none here wish to repeat). I only mean to say, I believe a frank statement of what can be done each Sunday will get us far in the "liturgy wars".
  • Any thoughts about this propose press release?

    Liberate Catholic Hymns

    A major contribution made by the Church Music Association of America has been to put a vast library of Gregorian chant online for free download. This action gave unprecedented momentum to the movement for chant in parish liturgy. It provided editions that were accessible to parishes on a budget and for the poor, and underscored a critical point: the chant is part of the common property of all the faithful.

    Part of the result is the Parish Book of Chant, which is being used at the North American College in Rome to train priests, as well as seminarians, parishes, and cathedrals all over the English-speaking world. Everyone is free to photocopy and distribute any page, use and distribute electronic editions, or otherwise put the chants in programs, with no licensing requirements at all.

    For many parishes this still leaves the problem of English hymnody, which is still in use in most all parishes. Most of the greatest hymns used in Catholic liturgy long ago entered into the public domain. But even now, there are no high-quality, in-print editions of hymnbooks that are part of the commons. They have been restricted by copyright protection and, most often, mixed with music that lacks decorum and attention to Catholic liturgical tradition. Sometimes changes in texts and harmonization are made solely for the purpose of applying copyright protection anew.

    For this reason, and to overcome this seemingly insurmountable problem, the CMAA is now preparing the Parish Book of English Hymns. It will collection hundreds of outstanding metrical hymn tunes and texts that are in the public domain, ready to serve as the basis of vernacular hymnody wherever this is needed in Catholic life today. It will first be distributed freely online, and then it will be put into print in a high-quality edition at a very low price. The typesetting will be of outstanding quality.

    The entire book is being published into the commons of the faith. Like the Parish Book of Chant, there will be no licensing, copyright restrictions, or enforcements of any kind. Any parish, rich or poor, will be free to make as many copies as they want to, put them in programs, and distribute however people wish, with no restrictions whatsoever – the same model under which the Gospels themselves were written and distributed.

    So far as we know, this is the first effort of its kind, and it could provide new momentum for quality hymns in parish life, which, as everyone knows, is desperately needed in Catholic life today.

    As part of this effort, the book will include a selection of newly composed hymns. The editors are now accepting submissions of hymns texts (English) with suggested familiar tunes or full hymns with texts and tunes together. You might also suggest a liturgical season or alternative tunes. If your hymn is chosen it will be printed in The Parish Book of English Hymns.

    You retain full rights to your hymn even as it becomes part of the commons of the faith through the Creative Commons attribution license. It can be distributed as widely as possible but you retain the right to use it in your own parish or however else you want to use it. Send your submission or any questions to

    If you would like to support this important project, and have your name printed in the front matter of the final product, write
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,331
    (deleted, as it responded to an entry which is no longer here)
  • No worries, Gavin. Jeffrey's account sums up the quandry.
  • G
    Posts: 1,389
    Noel, I love the bowtie emoticon, but what is the central character?

    (Save the Liturgy, Save the World)
  • eft94530eft94530
    Posts: 1,574
    So, Jeffrey, "trip report" ( ) please ...

    How many people attended the event?
    How many attended each of the chant presentations?
    What did the Abp say during the Keynote?
    Did anyone tape any of the eleven presentations?
    What was the music (e.g., chant) at Mass and Vespers?
    Any CMAA collateral/swag distributed?
  • well, I had 60 each in two sessions. good attendance. I couldn't stay for the Archbishop's talk but I was told that it was about the need for liberality in music, which obviously includes chant. The Mass was outstanding: they sang all the propers! I should have done more CMAA promotion than I did but the PBC was everywhere, and that's good. In general I was a bit shy about pushing stuff on people because I was rather taken aback by my first look at how the machine works. I had known in the abstract but to see it up close was rather disorienting, if you know what I mean. I don't think I want to elaborate more on that. Mostly I spent my sessions teaching and explaining the basic musical responsibilities that the parish musician has. I fear that you can hang around in Catholic music circles for decades and still manage to avoid learning about that. People in the CMAA world speak a completely different language from the average parish musician, so we have some distance to go before this problem is repaired.
  • kevinfkevinf
    Posts: 1,112
    As one who lives the Archd. of Atl, "liberality in music" could mean a number of things. I hope we'll get some clarification on that question. My emissary did not elaborate. The priests and the Bishop are gone on retreat this week.

    As to a different language, the chasm is frightening. Sometimes I am not even sure its the same church. Much of the chasm is just plain not knowing. Some of it is a certainty that no longer can be supported. Some of it will only go away with time and death. One might grow old chronologically, but not grow up.

  • "•", more commonly seen as part of ">•<" is option-shift-8 on a Mac.
  • Mostly, my sense is that folks just don't know. These are confusing times. The documents go on and on but never really explain. The structure was changed and all the words and phrases changed. The instructions are contradictory and shifting. That doc called Music in Catholic Worship was enough to lead anyone into a lifetime of befuddlement. Then it was repealed and replaced -- and no one really explained why. We just need clarity and education now, in a settled environment.
  • JDE
    Posts: 586
    The bullet character in the bowtie emoticon above is + <0149> on the PC. Even works in Vista.
  • JDE
    Posts: 586
    Sorry, that should be ALT plus 0149.
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    I agree Jeffrey about reading documents. Also when we read them, we should keep in mind that the situation and the need at that time on liturgy are different from our present time. The Church's teaching is the same, but the emphasis on 'actual participation' at the time of Vatican II maybe went to extreme and took a wrong turn to 'external' one in local parishes. and our Holy Father is now emphasizing the sacredness and the reverance of the litugy. Although they've been always taught, we often seemed to forget busying with other things, and the Church has to keep us back to the right track.
  • mjballoumjballou
    Posts: 986
    I'm glad that Jeffrey survived his journey "inside the machine." Some go in and never come out.

    A look at the recent GIA catalogue shows the rhetorical (and probably philosophical) differences among church musicians. So when we talk to people, we need to listen very hard and speak very unambiguously (and charitably, of course).
  • I would like to thank Jeffery Tucker for his presentation. I'm sorry I was not able to meet him personally. It is amazing how he lead us in genuine Gregorian Chant, the kind sung by our old pros at the monastery of the Holy Spirit. He did not use much voice, yet the group picked up the spirit of the chant in a living way without using all the chant words, he got us into the living flow, into the depth of the Spirit behind the chant! Many thanks!
  • Well, thank you so much! that was the goal.