Lincoln, Neb., Sep 1, 2016 / 15:11 pm
The Diocese of Lincoln held its first “Sacred Music Clinic” Aug. 27 at St. Thomas Aquinas Church on the campus of the University of Nebraska in Lincoln.
The event was sponsored by the diocesan liturgical commission at the suggestion of Bishop James Conley.
The turnout of diocesan musicians – cantors, adult or youth choir directors, singers, organists and other instrumentalists – far exceeded organizers’ expectations. A total of 230 people attended from 59 parishes in the Diocese of Lincoln and two parishes from the Archdiocese of Omaha.
“We were overjoyed with the turnout,” said Father Daniel Rayer, chancellor and chairman of the diocesan liturgical commission. “It far exceeded our expectations. We maxed out the facility so we are thankful to the participants for bearing with cramped spaces.”
He said that several members of the diocesan commission who have attended the annual Catholic Music Association of America colloquium – as Bishop Conley did this summer – wanted to start a smaller version for musicians in the diocese. The goal of the commission is to make this clinic an annual event.
“I think the response of the people indicates that there is a hunger for formation in the sacred liturgy,” Father Rayer said. “The Church offers us direction for beautiful liturgy in her liturgical documents. Our aim is to offer assistance to our musicians to help them implement the Church’s vision for sacred music in the liturgy. As Bishop Conley reminded us in his homily at Morning Prayer, this implementation will need to take place in ‘small steps’ and in a way that takes into consideration the talents, abilities, and needs of each parish all while aiming for the beauty called for by the Church.
“We want to strive for excellence in the liturgy since this is where we come to worship God and we should give our best to God,” he continued. “This was our first event, so there is much room for us to grow and learn on how we can better help our musicians.”
The clinic, which was open to beginning, intermediate and advanced musicians, included presentations by several experienced educators, including organist Matthew Meloche, director of sacred music at Sts. Simon and Jude Cathedral in Phoenix, and Adam Bartlett, a composer, conductor and teacher of sacred music. Local instructors and directors included Nicholas Lemme, the Latin chant director at Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary in Denton, and Amy Flamminio, who was recently named choir director at the Cathedral of the Risen Christ in Lincoln, and Jessica Ligon, music teacher at Cathedral School. Father Michael Zimmer, diocesan master of ceremonies, led a breakout session on Church documents pertaining to music and liturgy.