NPM Convention is on . . .
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,692
    That is how it's set up. Most of the booths are by publishers, indy liturgical composers, organ companies, touring companies, etc...

    I agree that there should be someone "official" present... I mean, otherwise there's nothing stopping Crazy Steve from setting up a CMAA booth, handing out copies of Sacred Music and pamphlets he made about the annual Sheep Mutilating Gathering.

    I think it's great the CMAA is willing to let their members have freedom and volunteer, and there should be several volunteers working a CMAA booth... but without someone "official" you never know what's going to happen...
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,445
    Given my relative comfort in both the NPM -style music world, and the CMAA-style music world (and my sincere love for both) I might be a good face for a CMAA table at next year's NPM.
    (Or, I might be a bad choice, since I don't think I'm very representative of CMAA membership, and I also don't have a lot of direct experience with CMMA- I'm just an enthusiastic newbie).

    Anyway- Count me as a potential volunteer for next year. (Maybe if I'm lucky I'll have gotten to go to the Colloq right before hand.)

    We could give away some free music, free recordings, free bow ties.
    It'd be great.
  • Steve CollinsSteve Collins
    Posts: 1,021
    Have you priced bow (beau) ties recently? Give away? Music & CDs - fine. Ties should be sold. Great PR!
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,692
    I think Jeff Ostrowski would make an excellent "leader" of this booth... if he agrees to cut down to 7 cups of coffee a day....
  • Let's see if they would even allow the CMAA there...
  • janetgorbitzjanetgorbitz
    Posts: 961
    Anyone know where and when the NPM convention will be next year?
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,692
    Next year is in Louisville Kentucky.

    And NPM would allow CMAA to have a booth, but it would require the regular rate that people pay for booths.

    However, if we had 10 people from CMAA chip in (and I'd be more than happy to chip in), it would be cheap.
  • RagueneauRagueneau
    Posts: 2,592
    Matthew, I don't drink coffee . . . should I start?
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,692
    No. I fear that you'd go back to just ignoring the mora vocis and speeding through chant without rhythm.
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    This is probably a stupid question but I will ask anyway. Why pay for a booth when the website is a 24/7 booth that is free to one and all?
  • DougS
    Posts: 793
    For the same reason that some people insist on going to the bank or to Wal-Mart. People like to touch things and talk to people. The internet takes that away.

    Plus, as I said above, one can't assume that everyone who would be interested already comes to the website. Many people of a certain demographic do not use the web very often. The website essentially requires that someone seek out the CMAA, instead of the other way around. And what is wrong with making a concerted effort to reach out to others, even if it costs a few dollars?
  • marymezzomarymezzo
    Posts: 236
    Not a stupid question. I have no dog in this fight, but I can think of two reasons a booth is different and (in this instance) superior.

    1. People at the conference are almost guaranteed to stumble over the booth and learn of our existence. Finding us on the web is much more of a needle in a haystack unless people are actively searching.

    2. A booth is staffed by humans with smiling faces. Thus,CMAA becomes a collection of smart, nice people, not merely a faceless entity. This is the chief benefit of a booth--the opportunity to begin changing hearts and minds.

    Maybe someone with bucks--or a collection of people--would like to donate the cost of a booth.
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,692
    There are people at NPM in real positions to make change to liturgical music who have never even thought of going to Google and typing in "Gregorian chant," or "Renaissance Polyphony," or "Kevin Allen," or "Sing like a Catholic." As Doug and Mary said, it's the only way people like that will ever hear that there is sort of organization out there to help them.

    I remember suggesting last year during the "Chant Section Meeting" that NPM find someone (perhaps Fr. Ruff) to present on the "free chant/polyphony" resources that are out there, rather than just having one sing-along of commercial octavos after another. Obviously it didn't make the cut this year...
  • francis
    Posts: 10,639
    ... besides contributing to the liturgical stew it also puts money into the NPM coffer. Extremely bad idea. Instead, posters of the next colloquium should be posted by CMAA friendly vendors. EACH and every one! Also handbills that have witty phrases about true liturgical music with the URL to our website.

    What you DO speaks louder than what you SAY. NOT being there sends a very clear message that will spread like fire through the leaflets that would be distributed.

    Examples of witty handbills.

    "Gregorian Chant... the heart of liturgical music"

    "Musical Roots with Branches Ever New!"

    Sing to the Lord an AUTHENTIC song...

    Au-then-tic : true to one's own personality, spirit, or character

    To really light their fire do a targetted webpage for NPM goers.

    The handbill would go something like this:

    Find Burried Treasure ...NPM... Marks the spot.
  • G
    Posts: 1,397
    I am still opposed to the idea of presenting the aims of the CMAA, (not the organization itself, but our AIMS,) as just another flavor.

    But does someone know how swag is done at the convention? (I've never been to a big one)

    Something as simple as a well-made pamphlet-sized digest of the actual musical rubrics contained in the current GIRM would be useful to almost any musician, (and probably news to many,) could be part of the "goodie bag" and could include links to the remarkable free resources.

    (Save the Liturgy, Save the World)
  • I think I am warming to the idea of having a booth there. If we are to bring the treasury to the people, we have to go where the people are. I don't think we need be concerned that chant will seem to be another "flavor" in the stew. The booth can be setup in a manner to state as much. The literature we already have states our aims clearly and the folks at the booth can kindly and politely talk to people. Think of it as a "mission". If Benedict XVI can promote a mission to virtually Godless Europe, we can send missionaries to the NPM.
  • BTW count on me for a small donation. I have a trip to Rome to fund... BTW as each day passes, the program for the trip gets more exciting. This will be more than just an excursion to the Holy City. I'll have more for you soon, but it will be a rich experience.
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    I looked on the site and found nothing about $$$ for booth.
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,692
    It was up there several months ago... I have some friends in the choir tour business and I can ask them when they return home how much their booth rental was.
  • DougS
    Posts: 793
    According to the CMAA home page, "The Church Music Association of America is an in advancing Gregorian chant, Renaissance polyphony, and other forms of sacred music...for liturgical use."

    Leading workshops, publishing the journal, and having a good website clearly align with the goal, but doesn't having a booth at the NPM align with it, too? The issue of spreading resources too thin, as Jeffrey suggests, is important, but the booth at NPM just seems obvious to me.

    Thinking of the CMAA as anything other than one voice among many comes across as arrogance to me for two reasons: 1) A person doesn't need the CMAA to implement Church teachings and 2) the CMAA's members "interpret" Church teachings, like everyone else who has read them; it's the best anyone can do. Pointing to a phrase or a sentence and saying, "This is what it says, plain as day," just isn't enough.
  • marajoymarajoy
    Posts: 781
    a few random thoughts:

    (I would have posted this earlier but...)
    I was there.

    A booth this year cost $850, plus extra for electricity and/or tables/chairs.

    Someone mentioned something about the "1980s songs" that NPM promotes. I had the most interesting observation about the music that was used at this convention, both at the Mass, as well as some of the Mass settings that we previewed. I wouldn't call it "1980s music." I do think that NPM has grown beyond that. Many of them were very...Hispanic influenced. Trying to be "relevant." And, I would say, if I didn't think the idea of a "mariachi band-sounding" Alleluia was just about the worst thing ever, I would think, "Hey, that was kind of fun! I want to try that at my church!" My point being with THAT is, that they are doing something "right," if only in the promoting of this music. The people who don't care about reverence/solemnity, will actually LOVE some of that stuff. They ARE keeping up with the "times," and pop culture. (latinos? I think so. They know what the fastest growing Catholic population is!)

    Finally: They did NOT use the new translation of the Mass setting during Mass. (I have the convention booklet here in front of me if you want me to prove it...) Please get your information right before posting "facts." You may be confusing this with the fact that after each of the 4 plenum addresses, the attendees were given the opportunity to sing through a new Mass setting and vote on it.
  • "Thinking of the CMAA as anything other than one voice among many comes across as arrogance to me...."

    CMAA has been a voice for many years and has seen fads in church music come and go yet stayed the course without variance to what the Church wants. It may be arrogant of the Church to want this music, but this is the voice that has stood up for it time and again.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,136
    Does the CMAA's origin as the American affiliate of the Consociatio Internationalis Musicae Sacrae (established by Pope Paul VI) give it a distinctive status and distinctive commitment?
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    Why do the leaders of NPM don't invite a CMAA staff member as a speaker, if they really want to do the music that the Church desires?
    I'm sure those people at the headquarter know about CMAA. Don't they invite people like David Haas and such as a guest? The music director and musicians in the parish I work went there and were talking about meeting him in person as if he is a celebrity. (They know Gregorian chant and are not interested in it at all. I work with them.) Aren't those booths for publishers who want to do business there? Do CMAA and Gregorian chant have a place there, competing with those publishers? And the booth cost $850? (plus other expenses and trips, since they are not invited as their guest) I think it would be more evangelizing and spending money more wisely if CMAA uses that money to help a priest or seminarian to come to Colloquium. For people who want to really help them to learn about sacred music, there are other ways too. I went to their chapter meeting and managed to get 10 minutes after their long talks on contemporary music to speak about Gregorian chant and its resources. I would rather see the leaders of CMAA people focus on what they are doing now, working with people who really want to do sacred music and help them to spread it out, (and I know it's already a lot of sacrifice for them, but they have been doing it very wisely), instead of wasting their energy, time and money there. CMAA has grown a lot, and all the work they did and the influence they have on musicians all over the country and even outside US cannot even be estimated. Maybe their work is not as visible as NPM, but that's how many saints did their work.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • What miacoyne and chonak said.
  • Well said, Mia, and I concur. NPM is akin to a university of colleges, a marketplace of ideas. CMAA? Moreso a conservatory, a union of principles and ideals.
  • And what Charles in CenCa said, too. He's a statesman & a leader!
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,136
    Looking at the convention facility they chose this year, I imagine it was on the expensive side. The Terms and Conditions Statement for the place says that you can't even set up your own exhibits or equipment without using a union-approved contractor.

    If they had high costs to defray, charging exhibitors $850 was just a necessity.

    With attendance down to 1500 and the basic conference fee at $275, the finances of such a big event are probably challenging. No wonder they charged extra fees for various special add-ons (master classes, evening retreat sessions, an organ crawl).
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,445
    I think:

    When they publish the info for next year (with booth pricing), THEN we have a discussion and see if there are enough people interested in donating specifically to that project. To whatever extent CMAA has a "general fund," this shouldn't come out of it (better to give colloquium scholarships or format some music to avoid page turns). But if there is enough specific interest, enough specific people, and enough specific money- it would be great.
  • But if there is enough specific interest, enough specific people, and enough specific money- it would be great.

    I return to BUCKAROO BANZAI, when Dr. Emilio Lizardo exclaims, "Buckaroo, dunna you ree-ah-lice whaddayou saying?!?"

    Adam, you're sounding like a sales manager with your strategy. If CMAA is bequeathed with fortune that still yielded 12 baskets of leftovers from a start of 2 fish and 5 loaves, it would still feed the faithful. To quote Bob Hurd's song, "If you belong to me...."
    We would not trade our surplus to vendors outside the temple for sacrificial doves so that we could legitimize our presence before the "High Priests." Would we?
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,692
    I disagree and think there ARE people at NPM who want to learn more about chant. The popularity of Paul Ford's classes last year in Chicago opened my eyes to that. I saw lots of people looking at By Flowing Waters at the Lit Press booth. And if we brought "free" chant - people would take it. Whether or not they'd ever use it, they'd have it at their finger tips.

    I think we need to continue discussing this and finding out members who are interested in setting up such a booth.

    I would pledge $200 and two shifts helping at the booth.
  • G
    Posts: 1,397
    I spoke with a friend this morning who just returned from Detroit.
    I asked about the Masses.
    The first thing he said was that singing the texts made him realize what a big fuss over nothing the hand-wringers and just-say-wait crowd are making, and that some had been led to believe the change-over would be traumatic and that it just isn't so.
    I asked if he concurred in Fr Ruff's assessment of the new Mass settings.

    He said he was sick to death of triple meters and jigs.

    But he also said that an Ordinary by Proulx, probably one of the last things he wrote, and in a chant-style, he actually was looking forward to using.

    (Save the Liturgy, Save the World)
  • Matthewj,
    I presume your response was to Mia, and no one should theoretically disagree with your sentiments as well. But, I could only support "the booth" concept if NPM would also commit to a plenum address or major breakout panel seminar that invited the participation of Dr. Marht and/or Rvs. Pasley or Keyes. Who knows if Dr. McMahon and his crew could stomach that notion? But, such an invitation ought to reflect the clear intent of V2 that Gregorian chant be afforded either "primary" place or, at least "pride of place" at the table. We lament that we musicians were set adrift 40 years ago, and "we had no idea!" remains a convenient excuse for perpetuating that ignorance. But, until the gatekeepers at NPM keep Fr. Ruff, J. Michael Thompson et al from the main dais and in hotel cubicle breakouts, the principled truths CMAA advocates will remain a lone voice in the din of their malls. NPM, I believe would gain from offering that place of honor to proponents of chant, namely by thus distancing themselves from the apparent compact they have with "for profit" publishers and other commercial interests. Not to mention that 1500 or so folks would have a golden opportunity to re-evaluate their own contributions and musical legacies knowing "the whole truth." take it or leave it.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,445
    I think we shouldn't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
  • I think we shouldn't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

    That's exactly what I was going to say. I agree that being able to get up and make it clear that chant is the ideal, and everything else the exception, would be great indeed. However, right now NPM attendees (which represent the overwhelming makeup of music directors in our country) hear and know nothing about Gregorian Chant.

    Sure, having a booth might make it seem like we're just trying to compete in the marketplace of ideas, but right now you're not in the marketplace, the public square, and certainly not in the temple.
  • Andrew and Adam, you misjudge my assignation of CMAA; it posits an ideal, and only points us towards perfection.
    right now you're not in the marketplace, the public square, and certainly not in the temple.

    I don't know of any other way to respond other than "Chant, not unlike redemption, is not a commodity for sale."
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,136
    Here's a mischievous thought: what would it cost to stand on the sidewalk and give out CDs and leaflets to conventioneers as they pass between buildings?
  • francis
    Posts: 10,639
    my hat's off to the charleses!

    chant is not a product of the venue... it is the prayer of the people.

    it doesn't compete because there IS NO COMPETITION... therefore it should not be lowered to the marketplace.
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    "...the attendees were given the opportunity to sing through a new Mass setting and vote on it." Marajoy

    Does anyone know the purpose of this 'voting' business? (This sounds a bit strange to me. I hope they are not setting a stage for a competition. At the Colloquium, we had a new music session, but never did such thing as 'voting.' I just want to know how they actually value music, and how publishers make their selections for their popular hymnals. )
  • Paul F. Ford
    Posts: 855
    (Matthew, not only did people look at BFW but they bought copies!)

    (Charles, Father Anthony's rooms at the convention center could have accommodated 500 people so they weren't cubicles.)

    (I met Dr. William Mahrt as he was checking in and I was checking out.)

    I would be happy to stand at a CMAA booth for a few hours next year in Louisville and would contribute to the cost. I am trying to remember the correct titles for the trades/unions that govern the setting up of convention halls and transport goods from trucks to the floor of the halls. Whatever their name, they have quite a bit of power in some states but I don't know their power in Kentucky.

    Far from being muzzled, I was asked to be one of the keynote speakers, and I am doing a breakout on BFW, a showcase or two, a worship service, and at least two other breakouts.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • Here's a mischievous thought: what would it cost to stand on the sidewalk and give out CDs and leaflets to conventioneers as they pass between buildings?

    Interesting proposition, R. I'll up the ante: if we're there in Louisville (a city I love BTW), why give out CD's when we could be a living schola? In the entryways of their hall/malls, on the steps of the churches appropriated, in the hotel lobbies, in the lounges after their final events. WWJD?
  • Dear friend Paul,
    You know my verbiage is meant to be as inspirational as it appears reckless and revolutionary. And you know I've done more than my share of nat'l. and regional NPM's. I'm not saying the good fight is not allowed to be waged at NPM's. I am saying that a public, national dialogue has yet to be heard, ala Milwaukee or Snowbird, both of which seem dusty and antiquated to my ears/eyes. A plenum such as Pittsburgh '99 on the "future" with a panel that included my aforementioned champions, yourself, Frs. Ruff, Joncas, Manalo, and a couple of bishops of various stripes (Wuerl v. Vigneron would be a strong draw!) would compel me to spend $ in this economy to witness and regard. Other than that,
    NPM has all the attraction, to me, of the LAREC. YMMV.
    Pax. and welcome home to CA.
  • marymezzomarymezzo
    Posts: 236
    here's a fascinating chunk from a Catholic News Service article about the NPM meeting:

    Sister Kathleen Hughes, a member of the Society of the Sacred Heart, seemed to assume that most of the pastoral musicians at the convention shared her lack of enthusiasm for the coming changes.

    Sister Hughes, a former member of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy, the body that developed the current English translation of the Mass, nevertheless counseled attendees to "make a choice now not to be cranky about the new translations and focus on this word or this phrase."

    Besides not doing any good, she said, such crankiness could lead to depression.

    Instead, she recommended the musicians and liturgists "develop generous hearts about the tastes, practices and beliefs of those with whom we disagree."

    Rather than becoming fixated on the details of ritual prayer, Sister Hughes said it was more important to focus on the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the Trinitarian life of God.
  • Can someone explain to me, as if I was four-year-old child, why commentary here and elsewhere seems to focus on some extraneous minor semantics and avoids wholly the propostional thrust of the post's author(s)? This is a tactic honed to perfection by some former posters here whose sole purpose seems to me to gum up the gears of discourse so that a thread can have its agenda hijacked.
    Do we want to advance progress or not?
  • Charles, mon ami, how I hate the word "progress". I don't allow the word to be used in my music history classes since it always suggests a teleological mindset in which Gregorian chant is the most "primitive" of musical utterances. In political discourse, "progress" inevitably means progression towards a goal that a group believes is worthy. I always ask "Progressives" what will they call themselves after they have arrived.

    In reading comments on Pray Tell and other places, I can see a digging in of the mainstream against a perceived threat from us. We are smaller in number and I think we should follow Sun Tsu's advice about not taking on a larger force head on, but attacking the opponent's weak points. I think we might be missing a great opportunity to outflank the Sacropop industrial complex. ISTM that most Catholics don't really care one iota about music. If we could attract them to the "idea" (in ad parlance, the "sizzle") of beauty and Catholic identity of chant, we might cut off the support for the status quo. Just thinking out loud.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,903
    So it is about power after all?
  • Mike, thank you for addressing my frustration so reasonably. If this four year old "gets The Art of War" does that make me "The Karate Kid?" ;-) Perhaps I should have just stopped at "advance."
    Take another read of my fantasies. My strategy includes gueriila tactics aimed at the foot soldiers who deliver their ideas, notions and prejudices to "most Catholics" via marching orders provided them by generals and politicians (please, this is figurative opinion-speech here) who seem only to agree upon one objective-sustaining their industrial complex- after two generations of debate and contradiction that simultaneouly appropriates the will of conciliar legislation and selectively ignores its very content that would "end the war."
    I reiterate my other fantasy by pondering the active "advice" of another historical figure. Jesus of Nazareth dined with Pharisees in their homes, took on the marginalized and misfit as followers, faced the confused and apathetic crowds with exhortations that likely didn't edify their expectations of a messiah, fed them in the bargain, met them one by one when possible and offered forgivess and hope, and took on the larger forces of an empire, its lackey local king and clerical storm troopers, the mob held captive by their sway, and still never wavered from uttering unadulterated truth.

    Forgive the zeal and naivete of the sermonizing. I do not want ANYONE to mistake the above example as (mis)characterizations of our beloved siblings at NPM. I woulk like, simply, to live long enough to witness a profound meeting of the minds of our most gifted prophets, and to know movement towards real unity might result.
  • rollingrj
    Posts: 343
    Mia, NPM has a composition contest this year involving setting the new Mass text. Convention attendees were to vote and determine which setting was their favorite. IMVHO, this "popular vote" would give those in power an idea as to which would be marketable.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,499

    If someone is blocking my way and I want to get around them, my motivation is not power but freedom.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • francis
    Posts: 10,639

    Here's my outlook. We (CMAA) or any other liturgical guild of sorts, is not "at war" with the likes of NPM orgs. I never joined any of the usual guilds because most of them do not align themseves with Catholic theology or liturgical ideals that the Church upholds. There is far too much put forward in the name of the Church, the magesterium, etc., and it is not. So my tact has been to be absent. CMAA is by no means perfect, but it is the kind of guild I have always hoped to find and in which to participate. If you join the liturgy fair, and that is what most of those types of things tend to be, then you dumb down your position to that of the level of just another opinion. That is a false ecumenism. We need to draw people into our thinking without becoming swept up in the frenzy. That is why I propose media exposure and not lend credibility to the other orgs. If CMAA becomes a vendor, it does exactly that... It lends credibility. And while you may sway a few minds in your direction (maybe) it is not worth the trade off of lending credibility.