know about the Royal School of Church Music?
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    Does anyone know about the Royal School of Church Music? I'm just a bit confused about its offerings, e.g. liturgical orientation, programs, age suitability, summer program, etc.

    Can anyone enlighten me? You can write me off list if you want to. jatucker@mindspring.com
  • David AndrewDavid Andrew
    Posts: 1,191
    The RSCM was founded by Sir Sidney Nicholson, composer of the hymn tune CRUCIFER. It has an American foundation, called the RSCM-America. While they are primarily an Anglican/Episcopalian organization, their philosophies regarding the formation and training of singers can easily be imported into a Catholic program.

    "Voice for Life" is the current training program for teaching voice, which I highly recommend. GIA currently sells a pamphlet that came before "Voice for Life" that sets forth the basics of establishing an RSCM-styled program, and these philosophies are in my opinion invaluable to anyone who seeks to create a music program that establishes and builds upon a set of defined, progressive standards.

    The camps and programs in the US seem to be primarily designed for young singers, but there are adult programs as well.

    (I'm just a bit technology-challenged but if you "google' RSCM America you'll find the American website with lots of information).
  • I have worked with RSCM-affiliated choirs and (especially) RSCM choir training materials for almost 30 years. Their greatest value to the Catholic world is definitely their choral curriculum 'Voice for Life'. It's the newest distillation of what originated as a training method for English/Anglican boychoirs. While the 'Life' part refers to the curriculum's expansion to include adult singers, the organization and its continuing focus are centered almost entirely on young choristers and the cultivation of musical excellence. Unfortunately, the materials have to be edited to remove various forms of 'inclusive' and 'expansive' liturgical language.

    While there's a moderate amount of Catholic participation in the RSCM in Britain, including official Catholic representatives to the local chapters, it's an almost 100% Episcopal organization in the United States. As a result, the conferences, workshops, and festivals all assume that everyone involved is an Episcopalian and in full agreement with that body's current teachings. This makes these events inappropriate for young or otherwise impressionable Catholic singers--seeing ladies running around dressed as priests in beautiful gothic-revival church buildings, etc.

    Buy the materials (GIA stocks them), perhaps attend a conference as an adult observer, and think of how Pueri Cantores and the Ward Method can come together to serve Catholic choirs as the RSCM does Anglican choirs.