Comments on Steubenville's Sacred Music Program?
  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,114
    Does anyone know anything about FUS' sacred music program? I'll be going there in a few short years, and although I'm not majoring or minoring in sacred music, I'd love to take a few sacred music electives while I'm there, assuming the program is good.

    From everything I have read, it looks like a good program (can you say required schola cantorum for 6 semesters for the music majors? :), but I just don't have any first hand experience with it.

    So.... how is the sacred music program there? Is it worth jumping into and spending money on? As always, feel free to PM me your comments if you'd feel more comfortable commenting in private.

    In case it helps, here's a few names of people involved:

    Dr. Alanna Keenan
    --director of the program in voice

    Dr. Paul Weber
    --director of the program in organ

    Prof. Chris Warwick
    Prof. Ronald DuBois
    Prof. L. George Melhorn

    Many thanks!
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,606
    I think there was a representative who spoke at the Colloquium last year. I believe that speech is online.
    Thanked by 1Ben Yanke
  • It looks sooo good. I really wish it was less than ten hours away from me.
  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,114
    Oh yes, and here's the link for more information:

    http://www.franciscan.edu/SacredMusic/
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,728
    Unnhhhh....use discretion. FUS was (maybe still is) known for its 'charismatic' noises, too. If you can detour around that sort of thing, do so. If you can't, just smile and pass the course. You can take an emetic later.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,054
    I have a young friend who is going there in the fall. Being the wicked person that I am, I am giving her a stuffed animal snake so she can wave it in the air in charismatic frenzy and thus fit in. She has a good sense of humor and is ok with all that.

    I think there are people at Franciscan who are not charismatics. Charismatics make all the noise and thus get most of the attention.
    Thanked by 2Gavin Ben Yanke
  • WendiWendi
    Posts: 633
    My niece is a student there. Along with the charismatics there is a substantial group of very traditional minded Catholics as well. From what I've been told by a young man from our church who is also a student, the Chant classes are very good.
    Thanked by 2ryand EmilyMeixner
  • Cantate
    Posts: 33
    I don't think I'd go there to MAJOR in Sacred Music...but from what I have heard, as Wendi notes, there is a good core of people there now who value true sacred music and the musical patrimony of the Roman Church. If you're going there for another program and just want to take part in a program of sacred music for your own personal edification, I've heard that it is greatly improved from the heights of its happy-clappy charismatic days...but I'm speaking second hand only.
  • pmw22
    Posts: 8
    Founded in 2007, the Sacred Music Program at Franciscan University of Steubenville is designed to give students a solid foundation in chant, polyphony, music theory, music history, conducting etc. (all the normal conservatory courses). Students major in voice or organ and the program is strongly dedicated to the heritage of sacred music as defined by Magisterial teaching. Sacred music courses include: 6 semesters of Schola Cantorum Franciscana, which sings for Masses in both forms as well as concerts on and off campus; and 2 semesters of Gregorian Chant (students sing what they're working on in real liturgies right out of the Liber Usualis or Liber Brevior). For recordings and videos, see: http://www.youtube.com/user/pmw22?feature=mhee
    For more information about the program and its curriculum, see the program's website at: franciscan.edu/sacredmusic
    Recent graduates of the program have been accepted into masters programs at Westminster Choir College, Cleveland State University, Carnegie Mellon University, Catholic University, Duquesne University and the Cleveland Institute of Music. Other recent graduates are full-time musicians working in churches in New Jersey, Ohio, and Washington state.
    Thanked by 2marajoy jward
  • Why not take a look at the music faculty and curriculum of FUS and then line those two things up against the same at a state school or other recognized university music program?
    I have not seen highly skilled musicians coming out of Catholic programs in the same proportion as state schools, conservatories, etc. Their programs are usually too small and understaffed to provide the kind of rigor needed.

    However, I'm really happy if such authentic Catholic programs are picking up steam, and I pray they flourish! And I suppose that won't happen without students willing to attend schools with a smaller music program.

    Charles W, the snake gift is tooooooo funny!
    Thanked by 1R J Stove
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,054
    State schools can be very good, and certainly can cost less. I was able to study with some excellent musicians at two of our state's two-year schools. I went on to, believe it or not, a 150-year-old Baptist college with an excellent sacred music program. They were not the fundamentalist type, but tolerant, open people who were very well educated. My organ professor was a Methodist who had a genuine love for sacred music. He also did amazing interpretations of the works of French Catholic organists, which is my area of interest. Add to that some fine instruments and a really supportive music faculty. I think I went to the right place at the right time.
    Thanked by 1R J Stove
  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,114
    Looks like I'm bringing a snake too. :D

    Thanks for all the comments, everyone.
  • mberher
    Posts: 10
    As a recent graduate (2010) I would highly recommend this program. The professors are top notch. If you would like to email me so that I would be able to answer any specific questions please feel free to do so.
    matthewberher@gmail.com
  • Hello Ben! I see that this conversation happened several months ago, however, I felt compelled to share a few words on the topic. I am also a recent graduate of the Sacred Music Program at Franciscan University of Stuebenville. Graduated in the spring of 2012, I am currently studying for my Master of Music in organ performance under Todd Wilson at the Cleveland Institute of Music.

    The Sacred Music Program has no interaction with the charismatic activity on campus. Any such activity is entirely under the direction of the body of students who desire it and the majority of the Third Order Regular Franciscans who embrace it.

    Music majors (and minors) in the Sacred Music Program are fully immersed in a culture of sacred music, while also studying significant repertoire related to their field. Organ majors in the Sacred Music Program have lessons and studio once a week while voice majors have studio once a week and lessons twice a week. Students in the Schola Cantorum Franciscana meet three to four times a week for rehearsals in repertoire ranging from Gregorian chant to Palestrina to Faure. Studio recitals are given once a semester, along with additional concerts and programs, from opera scenes to organ recitals in Pittsburgh to performances of St. Hildegard von Bingen’s Ordo Virtutem. The professors give careful attention to the individual needs of the student, demanding the pursuit of excellence in their art while also emphasizing the importance of beautiful music as an integral part of evangelization.

    Thanks to Dr. Paul Weber's guidance and caliber, I was able to progress to a level of excellence in organ necessary for acceptance into the Master of Music program at the Cleveland Institute of Music, an internationally renowned conservatory.

    Here are two links to sacred music which the Schola Cantorum Franciscana has recently performed:

    1) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onk-TmfH318&list=FLLL80d09DTIJDQG2rWN90yg

    2) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AqEIdbhv-X4

    If you have any questions, Ben, I'd be more than happy to answer them as best I can!
    Thanked by 1Paul_Onnonhoaraton
  • JamJam
    Posts: 636
    I'm a graduate from Franciscan University (class of 2011) and was almost a sacred music minor: I was one class short of the qualification, but unfortunately couldn't stick around to take that final class since I already had my major and Latin minor sorted. also, there are no jobs out there unless you work in the schools or the hospitals, as far as I can figure.

    The music program is fantastic, insofar as the professors teaching them are fantastic. Dr. Weber is an organ genius and Dr. Keenan is a brilliant soprano. They're both charming, professional, and intense teachers. Any time spent under their tutelage is well worth it--no doubt about that. They, as far as I understand it, kind of saved the sinking ship that once was FUS music curricula and transformed it to something respectable and beautiful. They both work really hard and I think their passion is contagious.

    Please excuse the overenthusiastic hyperbole: I had a very good time there, and still have friends in the program. I'd recommend it to anyone.

    FUS as a whole, I'm leery of. I'm not sure how much is a matter of public record, and I hesitate to spread rumors or secrets, but members of the administration there have in the past attempted to fire excellent professors and generally get bogged down in politicking (as I understand it?) at times... causing me to distrust elements the upper echelons of the administration itself and hold actions taken by the school in suspicion until I've had a chance to think about them and what their impact will be. There is, also, an element of discord between the charismatics and traditionalists on campus (actually named in a student-published paper as "pre-" and "post-Vatican II types"), though on the whole they get along just fine in their shared faith. Non-Catholics can sometimes have a hard time of it there, if you can imagine, insular community as it is.

    But this thread was about the music program specifically, not the school as a whole. Which, don't get me wrong, I loved the school and am glad to have graduated from there. But the saving grace of the school is specific departments, I would say. And in my case, those departments were the english, classics, and music departments.

    If you wanted to talk about it any more with a non-music major and recent graduate, feel free to PM or email me about it.

    pax.
    Thanked by 2Mike R EmilyMeixner
  • JamJam
    Posts: 636
    so. Heard from a student in the program that it is officially shutting down next year. Current juniors will do their senior recitals, and that will be the end of the Sacred Music program at FUS.

    Thought you guys might like to know.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,802
    Thanks for the update. It has to be difficult for Catholic schools, other than the largest, to maintain music programs, what with the competition from state institutions and conservatories. Fund raising for such programs can't be easy.

  • ryandryand
    Posts: 1,569
    Bummer. Why shut it down?
  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,114
    That's too bad.
  • elaine60elaine60
    Posts: 85
    Agree ryand a reel bummer. I have heard of at least one other state university closing their music department. Just hope this is not a trend.
  • JamJam
    Posts: 636
    Honestly I think it's useless politicking on the part of the administration. I don't know what they're up to, but I have low hopes for the school as a whole. It's always sad when, as an alumna of a place, you look back and are like, "yeah I kinda wish I had a degree from somewhere else"
  • marajoymarajoy
    Posts: 781
    It's still on their website with (at a glance) seemingly no indication that anything will be changing-
    http://www.franciscan.edu/sacredmusic/
  • JamJam
    Posts: 636
    Considering how incompetent the various departments are, it's highly likely that whoever is shutting the program down hasn't informed the website people yet.

    Like I said, I heard it from a student in the program, so some profs might be taking measures to save the program but as it is I wouldn't suggest anyone go there for music, considering the jeopardy it's in.
  • JenniferGM
    Posts: 59
    I'm a non-traditional graduate from FUS from 1997, and how much has changed for good! I was there when Dr. Susan Treacy was starting the first schola. We struggled to have OF Latin masses once a month for wee early Sunday Mass. There was only a music minor, and it had mainly a guitar focus. So while I don't know anything about the current state, I can just tell it's a VAST improvement from the way it was!
  • FUSProf
    Posts: 1
    Well... both Weber and Keenan left the program at FUS this year, and the replacement professors were told they needed to be "open to contemporary liturgical expressions," so that pretty much tells you the status of the Sacred Music Program. Yeah, it's still being tolerated; no, it will never be allowed to thrive.
    Thanked by 1Ben Yanke
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,054
    One of Weber's former students has told me what a wonderful person and teacher he is. Sad that these folks left, but I have never had high expectations for the school, to begin with. Perhaps I didn't drink enough charismatic Kool-Aid to appreciate the place.
    Thanked by 1Ben Yanke
  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,114
    Sad. Glad I decided against the school.
  • Hello, everyone,

    As one of the professors hired to replace Drs. Weber and Keenan, please allow me to try and shed some light on this subject.

    Not one part of the curriculum of the Sacred Music Program at Franciscan University of Steubenville has been changed. There are no plans to change the curriculum at this time.

    FUSProf is correct in that the advertised position description stated a desire for a candidate "open to contemporary liturgical expressions" or something to that effect. Surely this comes as no surprise to anyone familiar with FUS and its heritage. Besides, those two words "open to" can mean any number of things.

    The achievements of the students and ensembles of Drs. Weber and Keenan speak for themselves. I certainly have no desire to see that change, but rather hope to build on their remarkable work. The Sacred Music Program at Franciscan University is alive, well, and open for business.

    I would be happy to answer any questions you might have. Please feel free to contact me at NWill(at)franciscan.edu.

    Nicholas Will
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    I would like to know what they mean by 'contemporary liturgical expressions' in this case.
    Thanked by 2Ben Yanke francis
  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,114
    Interesting: a forum member got hired there. Sounds like positive development, or the same, at the very least. Congratulations on your new post there, Nicholas. Maybe not what it seemed like at first.

    That being said, I would also like to know more specifics. As you say, "open to" can mean a great many things. A very great many.
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    As a parent, I expect that kids will get a higher education and academic discipline in all areas in college, especially on our faith. I also expect that a major Catholic college like Steubevilles will conform with the mind of the Church and her tradition that we inherited in formation of our faith on liturgy. I certainly hope that 'contemporary liturgical expressions' don't mean giving in to 'pop culture' and sub-culture of youths, instead of educating them to appreciate what is Holy and sacred in our worshipping God.
    In regard to inculturation in missionary lands, the Church mentions about using things that have 'sacred elements' from the local culture . We do need to heed on things that have 'sacred nature.' Even my little students mentioned how 'wrong' it is to sing the Word of God to Barney tunes (even if they like that kind of music.) I still remember the serious look of the 4th grader who said it is a 'mockery' to do so. 'How' we pray matters as much as 'what ' we pray. (Often times, a common sense from children exceeds intellectual minds of adults, like in a story, a little boy was the only who who was able to see the 'naked King.')
    Educating young minds is certainly a challenging job. I hope teachers, including myself, also continuously educate themselves to enlighten their minds and seek for truths instead of covering them just to please them, and brave enough to challenge the youths.
  • Ben Yanke: Thank you for your kind words.

    Miacoyne: I am confident that the majority of the faculty and administration at FUS would agree with you.

    Returning to the statement about "contemporary liturgical practices":

    It is my understanding that the administration desired candidates who would continue to foster a healthy relationship between the Sacred Music Program and other musical groups on campus, specifically those who regularly perform "contemporary" or "praise & worship" music. That's all. The Schola Cantorum Franciscana will not be programming "Awesome God" anytime soon.
    Thanked by 1marajoy
  • PaixGioiaAmorPaixGioiaAmor
    Posts: 1,473
    There is a great wisdom to this approach. If a degree in sacred music is to prepare students for work in parishes and other areas in the field of sacred music, they should be exposed to the reality of what is out there. It does no good to create an academic utopia, however noble, that will set them up for failure when they go out into their first real job and deal with the expectation that "Christ, Be our Light" and "We Are Called" be part of the music rotation.

    It's great that they learn what the Church says about sacred music. It's also good that they learn how to apply theory to reality in a way that helps the cause and doesn't simply find them becoming unemployed quickly.
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    I know some musicians from this forum leave the parishes and find better places where they are appreciated. To me most sacred music programs in colleges are far from being academic utopia. I really wish I worry about that. Music directors of average parishes know how to do Haas and etc, but not chants, even they have degrees in sacred music. I've been waiting for any kind of sacred music to be introduced in neighbour parishes since I started multi-parish schola for 7 years, because there was none, and still hardly none. (my schola is singing for occasional Traditional Masses more and more than in OF parishes.) Of course none of those music directors have been fired. It seems that they had enough job training on 'how not to lose your job' in colleges.
    Thanked by 1rich_enough
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,054
    I could never tolerate the charismatic elements of FUS because I agree with Archbishop Sheen who once said the charismatic movement is one of the greatest threats to the Church in our age. Granted, that was more than a few years ago, but I understand what he meant.

    There's more to this, however. I don't believe an academic program could survive in musical isolation. Granted, the people who post here know the difference between genuine sacred music and sacro-pop. But a program of chant-based music in isolation from all other music likely wouldn't attract many students.

    For my own music education, I graduated from a 150-year-old Baptist university with an excellent music program. One of my teachers had even studied with Richard Purvis. They taught chant and in essence, Catholic music as the foundation of western music. I probably studied more chant than Catholic school students. Granted, all the other music was there too. The praise and contemporary ensembles were offered for those who wanted them. It was interesting that this Catholic organist was often chosen to play for chapels. They said it was because guitars couldn't lead singing in the 1500 plus seat church like the large pipe organ. True, but I think that sacred music foundation had an effect on me stylistically and culturally. It does come through in your work when you have that foundation.

    So, I do understand the bridge building, or at least peaceful coexistence, with the P&W crowd. It's always good to know what is out there, even if you never use it.
    Thanked by 1miacoyne
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,307
    They said it was because guitars couldn't lead singing in the 1500 plus seat church like the large pipe organ.


    yup
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    I strongly disagree with PGA. A college degree should teach you how to play "We are Called"?? Maybe if the degree is in science, because that song is BS.

    Do you get a degree in internal medicine, learning the latest surgical techniques, and also get told how to wave bay leaves over the solar plexus whilst offering incantations, because that's the "reality that's out there" of what a lot of people want?

    If I go to get a degree in organ, I want to learn the organ, not the kazoo or whatever they use in Catholic churches these days. Even if I grant PGA's thesis that one has to prepare students for the reality of church work as opposed to the ideal, the truth is that the 80's crap-rock ballads used by the Catholics are outdated. The protestants are now using 90's elevator music, so if one wants to "get with the program", instead of teaching them how to be musicians, they should teach "Here I am to Worship" rather than "We are Called".

    Or maybe someone with a degree should be equipped to compete for and perform well at a good job. The REALITY is that there ARE churches out there that do good music and not bad. My first organ teacher worked at one. My last church was one. The church in which I had an internship is one. Yes, all those are protestant churches, but there are plenty of Catholic churches doing good music and not bad. If you chose to take MUS 403 Intro to Strumming, rather than MUS 406 Music of Charles Tournemire, don't be surprised if someone with a worthwhile degree takes a good opening rather than you. College is WAAAAAAY too expensive to waste your time learning to do trash pseudo-music.

    Why don't we equip musicians to get a good job?
    Thanked by 1KARU27
  • redsox1
    Posts: 192
    I had first-rate training in organ and choral music, (and some voice, too) for both undergraduate and graduate degrees. Good musical skills will allow you to adapt to almost any situation. Our parish is definitely trending in one direction, although we do some more "contemporary" music because that is the reality of the situation. I am very comfortable playing in a Gospel style, or "pop" style. Those skills come more from my high school days of wanting to be in a rock band, but they were refined by years of music theory and experience. It's amazing how helpful those skills have been to me. We shouldn't dumb down the training, but some sort of internship or practicum during the degree process is absolutely necessary. One gets to see the real world, good and bad. Interpersonal skills are also so important for success. I know too many church musicians who can't deal with people!
    Thanked by 2Gavin Andrew Motyka
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    Expressing one's taste with reasonable criticism and measured tones is to be commended. Name calling in a public forum is protected by the first amendment. But is it protected by the tenets of the gospel?
    If I don't like MESSIAH and particularly the performance of it by Sir Thomas Beecham, I'm free to expound at will about why and upon what grounds. But if I call the piece, rife with the words of Holy Writ no matter Georg's intent to compose it, "dreck," and Beecham's orchestration "BS," I have committed the sin of pride.
    I'm sick of it on these and all boards. And don't even think this fraternal correction is a reflection of a wimpy theology. Do you wanna be the mob holding the rocks, or the woman caught in adultery? Right answer: none of these. We wanna be like Christ.
    So enough with the high and mighty, nose in the air condemnations of our Christian fellows or their works via stigmatization. We're either seriously above that, or we are the younger son asking Dad to die and give us our money now.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,054
    Charles, on the following:
    The woman caught in adultery - does she have a phone number?
    The mob holding the rocks - who are we trying to hit? It matters.
    Dad die and leave money - How much money?

    Now you know I am kidding, before you throw those tent-like PWW clothes at me (PWW=pre-weight-watchers). Topics like this always provoke strong feelings, so I have come to expect them. On the other hand, if we were not so passionate about what we do, we might not do it very well.
    Thanked by 1Gavin
  • I can't tell whether or not some of the previous comments are directed toward the Sacred Music Program at FUS, but I would like to reiterate that the focus and curriculum of the program have not changed with the new faculty. The "openness to contemporary liturgical expressions" is a matter of collegiality and not necessarily one of academic discipline or musical praxis.

    With regard to musical and academic excellence and "real-world" training:
    As redsox1 so rightly points out, it *is* possible to have our cake and eat it, too. Musicians must first and foremost be trained at the highest possible level, but if they leave the university or conservatory with no idea of how to actually apply these skills in the current musico-liturgical landscape, it is a tragedy for both the musician and the Church. Some of us learn pretty quickly how to adapt; we all know of excellent musicians who, for whatever reason, have never been able to do so.

    Some suggest that good musicians ought only to seek employment where excellence is already expected. Blessed indeed are those who find these posts! The unfortunate reality is that only 5% or so of parishes currently seek excellence. Would not our energy be better spent at converting the other 95% rather than waiting for one of the plum jobs to come our way? To be sure, it takes a rare kind of musician to be successful at this: one who is not only an artist, but who is a true servant of the Church, possessing the charity of Bl. Mother Teresa and the patience of Job. We must work all the harder, therefore, to equip ourselves and our students with every skill necessary for the long road ahead of us.

    To be expected to prepare a different polyphonic Ordinary with a professional choir each week is admirable and difficult. To help the faithful conform their hearts, minds, and desires with those of the Church is the greater, nobler task.
  • marajoymarajoy
    Posts: 781
    Archbishop Sheen who once said the charismatic movement is one of the greatest threats to the Church in our age.

    Really? do you happen to have a source/exact quote for that? (A quick internet search brings up nothing, which makes me wonder if that is either a myth or else he used quite different wording.)
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,054
    It is on an old set of multiple cassettes of a retreat he gave to priests in Ireland. I came across the tapes with a priest friend, and we purchased them in the 1980s. I would be greatly surprised if you found any of it on the internet. To isolate that quote, I would have to spend time listening to the entire set, which I don't intend to do at this time.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,054
    Nicholas, I like what I read from you, and wish you well. However, it catches my attention when good people leave or are driven out of a program. Naturally, I will always ask why, and if they were treated in a Christ-like manner. I also know from teaching in Catholic schools for years, that no one has tenure or any protection at all from administrative whims. The Church is the worst example in the world for treating employees fairly - reference Leo XIII and his take on how labor should be treated. Too bad the Church doesn't practice that which it preaches.
    Thanked by 1Nicholas_Will
  • PaixGioiaAmorPaixGioiaAmor
    Posts: 1,473
    I don't think that anyone was saying that sacred music programs should include a seminar on the music of Marty Haugen and the inclusion of "We Are Called" into the applied music cirriculum.

    What I do think is good, though, is the inclusion of other styles into the program that students will be faced with, particularly since there IS a demand from some students for it. Let sacred music majors work with these types of situations.

    While studying organ during my undergrad, my organ teacher once talked to me a bit about accompanying things such as "Mass of Creation." She told me that as long as people and clergy would be demanding the inclusion of such things, we, as professional musicians, need to find ways to "clean them up," and at least accompany them in a way perhaps better than the written accompaniment. I think that such conversation is healthy and necessary. Perhaps conversation in the program could also include finding songs that are not theologically questionable while at the same time allowing a more contemporary sound in the mass.

    Really - these are situations they will have to deal with in real life. Let them learn to deal with them in college, so that, as I said before, their first "real job" out of college doesn't land them in the unemployment line within 6 months.
  • Yes, I agree. That is why I chose to attend FUS years ago. (At the time there wasn't a sacred music major, so they have come far.) There are various degrees that you want a Catholic perspective, such as nursing, education. And for music, I want the correct Church perspectives and help on dealing with real life parishes who don't have it yet. Same would be for the religious education programs. You learn the ideal, and then you get the realistic view and how to handle it.

    While we know and try to promote the Church's ideal for Sacred music, that isn't always going to work in most parishes to just refuse to play or ramrod the changes without cooperation. Musicians need to eat. Trying to move a parish to correct liturgical music is a slow work.

    Most Glory and Praise music was written for piano/keyboard and/or guitar. I think it would be so helpful to have hints to graduate the pieces to organ and making them more solemn and "sacred". I have tried to avoid playing the G&P, but that doesn't always work when you have funerals or weddings.
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  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    I would like to clarify that I was not addressing the Steubenville sacred music program or its faculty. I am happy where I am as a grad student in organ performance elsewhere, and have no interest to comment either way, except to say I'm glad that such a well-reputed Catholic school has a dedicated program in sacred music.
    Thanked by 1Nicholas_Will
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,802
    I basically agree with Gavin; I wouldn't expect lightweight modern songs to become part of a university music degree program any more than I'd expect the songs for the May Procession to be in it. Organists may need to learn both in order to work in a Catholic parish, but nobody's paying college tuition prices in order to be exposed to them.

    Now, it might make sense for a degree program to include a little one-credit course on the practicalities of parish work; that's another matter.

  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    Every school campus at all levels of education have curriculum that's on the books, and curriculum outside the books and lecture rooms and halls. The hidden curriculum I remember it's called. And the P&W culture in the devotional practices of FUS could serve as such for any wise student of music wanting a thorough resume to come through in an interview.
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    I'd like to see parish musicians are treated as professionals with respect, as much as doctors, lawyers...rather than being treated like a jukebox that plays their favorite songs, (whether we get paid as much as they do or not. The paycheck is another issue.) In order to be treated with such respect, musicians need to acquire confidence from the people and maintain it through their knowledge and professional mannerism. I don't know what kind of internship doctors and lawyer do after their long years of study, but when I did the internship to be a music teacher we had to apply the knowledge and skills in the classroom, not hide them. It is done under the supervision of the professor and the teacher on the site. In order to have the parish music candidates to do their internship more successfully, it might be a good idea to find a competent music director who has successfully accomplished (or at least on the way) in implementing sacred music program in the parish. (hopefully there's one nearby, or better on campus)

    Some might get a scholarship, others pay for the college internship. Either way, if the school provides an internship, students expect that they will work with someone who is worth of their time and money. Otherwise, they will just find their own as a sub and assistant as many students do anyways.