Some interesting and important meetings this week.
The Hymn Society of the United States and Canada is holding its annual conference in Birmingham, Alabama. There’s truly no group of people I’d rather be with and sing hymns with. (OK, except perhaps my monastery – I have to keep in mind that some monks read this blog.) Their conference has a hymn festival every night. They draw on a wide spectrum of Christian hymn-singing traditions, Protestant and Catholic. This is musical ecumenism at its best. The Catholic music publishers are well-represented at these conferences. And PrayTell is working on at least a bit of coverage of the conference. I wish I could be there – but see below.
The National Association of Pastoral Musicians is holding its annual convention in Detroit. I’m so glad I’ll be there. There’s no group I’d rather be with and sing with – and I don’t say that about just anybody. I’m leading an intensive chant institute before and throughout the convention. It’s all Latin chant – such a relief knowing that the texts are fixed and stable! Speaking of texts: several settings of the new Mass text, chosen by jury from the many entries in an NPM competition, will be sung by the participants, who will then be surveyed on their reactions. The music for the settings can’t leave the room – unless, I suppose, if a modern-day Mozart recalls them by heart and notates them for the public. I’ll let you know whether the music publishers also unveil a couple dozen, or couple hundred, new Mass settings. As possible, I’ll blog the NPM convention.