CMAA choir to Rome
  • Greetings everyone. I want to start a new thread to discuss the possibility of taking a group of singers to Rome who are committed to the ideals of the CMAA. Arlene sent me a very nice message with some excellent suggestions and I would like to offer my services as a coordinator of the event. I have a couple of other folks to contact first, but please watch this thread for more news. My hope is to have the itinerary and costs organized for folks to decide sometime in January. I think a reasonable target date for this would be either January 2011 (after everyone has completed their Christmas obligations) or May 2011 (before Memorial Day when airfares skyrocket). Of course your suggestions are very welcome. Please use this thread for a forum for ideas (as always) or send private email to moconnor09ATgmailDoTcom. This is exciting!
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    Yes!!!!!! Thanks Michael for taking this big task.
    How long a choir usually stay in Rome? Maybe a week?
  • Brilliant plan.

    The possibility of studying while there might make it "educational" and possibly easier to fund for some participants.
  • frogman, good point.
  • Right now I am consulting with the CMAA Florida Chapter leadership to see if we can be a "home base" for the organizational effort. Everyone is invited, of course, to participate. In the end, we'll need to be sure of a couple of basic things:

    1. Balanced group for singing polyphony
    2. An excellent conductor to be on board
    3. Everyone already have experience with Gregorian notation as rehearsal time will likely be limited
    4. The resulting group sound excellent and truly represent the CMAA and its friends
  • This is just fantastic Michael that you are taking this on - one benefits from this decentralized organizational structure. I surely hope that many people participate.
  • Thank you Jeffrey. I still have fresh memories of my time in Rome last summer. I'm looking forward to seeing it again. I admit that I'm torn about which church to sing for! The Lateran? St Peter's? SS Trinita dei Pellegrino (EF)?

  • I would like to remind everyone it was MY IDEA at colloquium Chicago to take our act on the road to Regensburg or Rome. 'Twas the last night when no one was stirring on the first floor, and we feted AOZ and JT with Tiki Wine.
    Of course, I don't think the Carbinieri (I don't know how to spell "cop" in Italian) want me anywheres near Italy. I might end up in their parliament!
    But I'm big in Poland.
  • Charles, it almost wouldn't be worth going without you and I'm happy to give you full credit for the idea. Just don't spend it all in once place!

  • You have to sing for St. Peter's. They really really need guests choirs who know chant. they are in shorter supply than you can imagine. And it is now an absolute requirement that guest choirs now know chant.
  • I would LOVE to be part of this.
    And right now I vote for May '11

    Charles, I remember the night you mentioned the idea well. God was so good to me, arranging for me to stay next to fine lovebirds with the wine stash. :)

    Michael, thanks for spearheading this! Organization is half the battle!
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    Could Scott T. join as a chant director?

    St. Peter sounds good, and a better weather in May to travel?
  • Just remember May is the month of school graduations, First Communions, and higher rates.

  • I think if it were May, we'd have to go just before Memorial Day to beat the airfare rise. Worked well for me last summer. There will be of course conflicts no matter what time is chosen. I had suggested January as that is a cheap time to travel and most DM's take a week or so off after Christmas. We might choose to sing for Epiphany if that's possible. Just a thought. Rome is quite cold at that time of year though!

    Mia, thanks for the recommendation. Once I have a small group of folks to help me with this, we'll talk about names and especially fees and availability. There are certainly several excellent candidates. Keep the ideas coming folks!
  • Michael, please add me to your list. January would be better than May.
  • Just remember- too cold in Jan to sit inthe Piazza Navone and have a glass of vino. I liked October the best.

  • Of course we could go during the high season and enjoy the warm weather, but there will inevitably be trade-offs. Let's get a list and take a vote.
  • MaryAnn,
    Rome...the four of us.....two mega sopranos and two guitarists of note....we could retire in Tuscany.
    Think about it.
  • This sounds like a great idea. Our choir went to Rome in August-Sept 1999 with Peters Way handling the details. Peter arranged for us to sing a concert at St. Ignatius Church, Mass at St. Peters on the feast of St. Gregory, Masses in Assisi and Florence, and front row seats at a papal audience including pictures with Pope JPII afterwards. It was a wonderful pilgrimage, and I have wanted to go back ever since then. Thanks, Michael, for taking on this task
  • Deal, Charles!
    Tuscany sounds perfect. I say we go to Italy with the CMAA and scout it all out.

    [I've been having computer troubles, and tried to write you. Did you get an email from me last week?]
  • Nope.
  • IanWIanW
    Posts: 757
    January in Rome isn't too bad - at least not bad as in the Continental weather you get in much of the USA.

    If there are other members in the UK (students, expats, those of us who bought the journal and found ourselves members etc), my offer still stands to arrange a meeting at which voices could be tried out and music rehearsed (before the wine bottles are opened). Travel to Rome for such members would be quite inexpensive.
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    Embarrassed to ask this but,
    Today is the feast day of the dedication of St. John Lateran, and the priest reminded us that this is the official church of the Pope. Where does Holy Father celebrate Masses regularly on Sundays, St. Peter or St. John Lateran?
  • St Peter's now, but he does appear at the Lateran frequently. The Lateran was the fancy church before St Peter's was completed.
  • Pinched from "Catholic Saint of the Day"

    Most Catholics think of St. Peter’s as the pope’s main church, but they are wrong. St. John Lateran is the pope’s church, the cathedral of the Diocese of Rome where the Bishop of Rome presides.

    The first basilica on the site was built in the fourth century when Constantine donated land he had received from the wealthy Lateran family. That structure and its successors suffered fire, earthquake and the ravages of war, but the Lateran remained the church where popes were consecrated until the popes returned from Avignon in the 14th century to find the church and the adjoining palace in ruins.

    Pope Innocent X commissioned the present structure in 1646. One of Rome’s most imposing churches, the Lateran’s towering facade is crowned with 15 colossal statues of Christ, John the Baptist, John the Evangelist and 12 doctors of the Church. Beneath its high altar rest the remains of the small wooden table on which tradition holds St. Peter himself celebrated Mass.
  • Of course we must sing at St Peter's but there are so many wonderful churches in Rome that I'd love to sing in, especially the tourist-overlooked medieval churches. Donna, I'd love the idea of working Assisi into the trip like you did. My wife would be sure to go then!
  • Here is a link to the Peter's Way "Heart of Rome" itinerary for anyone interested. I like the comprehensiveness of their service and the price seems about the same as if one made all the arrangements individually.

  • In all seriousness, Mike, count Wendy and I in. (One soprano, one tenor) The January date would be preferred for us.
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    I would love to go. And if God let me, I don't really care when or where, as long as I get to sing for the Mass with Holy Father. That's the only wish I have.
  • I see there's another Donna on this thread:). Peter's Way offers a 7day tour and a ten day and a 12 day, I think. We went for ten days both times. Director's Tours are shorter. You land in Milan, spend the night, then go on to Florence, Assisi, possibly Siena, then down to Rome. The smaller choir I went with spent the night in Assisi, which was such a holy place, even for us Anglicans- we stood in the window of our Hotel Room and sang parts of the Missa de Angelis overlooking the hillside. As Anglicans we were not allowed to say mass in the Basilica, but we had a private Mass in a convent whose name I can't remember, and the blessed nuns provided us the bread and wine.
    The second time I went we went up and spent the night at Stresa, on Lake Maggiore, in a hotel overlooking the palace of St. Charles Borromeo. (Not sure that's the right appellation?)after landing in Milan.There is no place more beautiful in Italy, inc Rome,. Our group was too big to spend the night in Assisi. Hotels there are smallish. We sang Mass in the Church of the HOly Trinity in Florence before going on to Rome
    Of course, you can also just go to Rome for 7days. Peter's Way offers anything you want to do, really.
  • Thanks again Donna. They do seem like a good outfit and it's great that they are flexible in their tours. I'm not a big tour person myself, since I go Europe frequently for research, but their prices don't seem at all out of line and it's great to have someone experienced on the ground.
  • incantuincantu
    Posts: 989
    I'm into this idea. I just did a pilgrimage to Paris with my choir, and while it was a little extra work I highly recommend putting together such a trip yourself without going through a tour company.
  • If anyone knows someone in Rome that can help set up a series of appearances, I'd like to weigh that option. I don't speak Italian, so it would be tough for me.
  • Michael, if there is anything I can do to help if you decide on Peters Way, I'll be glad to do so. I know Peter, the president of the company, and my music director and he are very close friends. He and his staff have been extremely helpful to us in the past. I think he has an inside connection with the Vatican, and he seems to be able to arrange things for his groups that individuals often are not able to do. Actually, we did not spend the night in Assisi either; it was an all-day trip crammed with activities and some free time to browse the shops.
  • Donna, thank you. That is very good to know. I wonder if we could customize this trip so that we sing in some really historic places.
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    I also hope the choir gets a significant amount of time and rest set aside for practice while staying there?

    (I know this may be brought up in a second stage in the planning process, but I hope eventually once the choir gets a director (or directors), music will be selected and hopefully a 'music package' can be posted, so people can practice at home. (Also, music selection and director might be important factors for some prospectice participants.) And the actual practice together can be happen when everyone, at least most people, gets there, and I would think this is something that needs to be counted while customizing the trip?
    just my 2c.)
  • JennyJenny
    Posts: 147
    Put me on the list. Warmer weather would be nice but I go with what suits the majority.
  • Michael,

    This sounds great, I am not the most experienced chanter but if I could make the grade I would consider it either in January, May, October or December in other words anytime.

    David Deavy
  • Count me in! Now the small problem of funding.....
  • Thanks everyone. Mia, you can be sure that repertoire and locations will be selected well in advance. Everyone will get music well before they would actually start practicing it too. Having taken groups on tour before, I'm pretty good about balancing rehearsal, performance and down time.
  • Tactus
    Posts: 17
    Add me to the list! Personally, I would prefer the spring cause those churches can be mighty cold in the winter! Plus, walking a city allows you to see so many details that you would never see in a heated bus in the middle of winter. Just my 1.5 cents :-)
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    Thanks, Michael. And thank you for your patience. It's good to know we have a competent leader. This is going to be such a wonderful event.
  • Tactus, true and during May there will be more people to hear us, I think. We'll see what plays out best.
  • For all those who have expressed interest, please send me an email to moconnor09ATgmailDOTcom. Please include your full name, mailing address and voice part. Any other information would be welcome, such as experience level and information on range, since polyphony is not standard SATB. I'd like a few male altos to help that part have the proper bulk.
  • G
    Posts: 1,397
    I would be very interested if it weren't too, too expensive.
    I'll be unemployed by then, so the timing isn't crucial for me, but cost may be.

    (Save the Liturgy, Save the World)
  • G, hopefully you will be employed in our area by that time. I really need someone to work with and build the women's schola.
  • Mike,

    A two-part comment:

    Part One: So many wonderful ideas have been floated about different churches where we might sing, perhaps we might split up into smaller groups and visit more than one church at a time. Depending on how large the CMAA group is, I guess.

    Part Two: with my sincere apologies to the rest of you following this thread... Mike, I sent you an email stating my interest in participating...then I remembered that since we met in Ft. Lauderdale last spring, all of my emails to you seem to have evaporated - perhaps into your spam filter? Anyway, if you received (or did not receive) my email about the Rome trip, please let me know.

    Thanks! LK
  • Larry, I received your latest missive. I changed email address last year, though. If you sent anything to Comcast, it's gone.

    Let's see how many people we get, but I'm thinking from an organizational standpoint, having everyone on the same itinerary might be best. The shared experience will enhance the trip too. We certainly can't sing everywhere (but wouldn't it be great if a billionaire paid all our expenses for a year to tour Europe and sing liturgies?)

    Right now I'm thinking 8-12 days that will include 2 Sundays. We need rehearsal time over there and I need to find repertoire that we can sing for the 2 Sundays (first would likely be all chant) that would also be usable for a concert somewhere. Personally I really want to sing EF Vespers somewhere. I've done enough of them now that I can put one together in short order. I'll make sure that everyone gets music well ahead of time. We might even have a short reading session with any of us who make it to Colloquium this summer. Just thinking out loud here.
  • Hi everyone,

    Update. I believe that I want to open the organization of this trip to anyone who wants to help. We are already planning another chant workshop here in FLA so I don't want to impose this on my colleagues. So, if you are willing to help with some legwork on this or come up with some good fundraising ideas, please contact me at moconnor09@gmailDOTcom.
  • I would be very interested in this trip/event...please keep me posted! Thanks!
  • sadiefair, send me your contact info - see note above - and I'll add you to the list of "interested" folks. Your request will probably get lost just here in the forum.