Parish music directors, teachers, priests, and religious sisters gathered near San Francisco last week for a workshop helping them learn how to teach children and teens how to sing Gregorian chant.
The Benedict XVI Institute for Sacred Music and Divine Worship held a Teaching Children’s Chant Camp Workshop in Menlo Park, about 30 miles south of San Francisco, Aug. 9-12.
Among those participating were three religious sisters of the Marian Sisters of Santa Rosa.
“Our mission at the Marian Sisters of Santa Rosa is to teach joyfully the truth, goodness and beauty of our faith; we work with a lot of children and teens in Catholic schools,” Mother Teresa Christe explained, “So we are very grateful for this Benedict XVI Institute workshop.”
Two Missionaries of Charity also attended the workshop. One of them, Sister Maximiliana, said they were participating because of their after school program “which prepares the children we work with from poor families for consecration to Mary. We want to learn how to teach children so they can sing beautifully for the Mass.”
Aaron Fidler teaches music at Kolbe Academy and Trinity Prep, a Catholic classical school in Napa. A violinist with extensive teaching experience, he expressed appreciation for help with his new task of preparing the school’s choir to chant at Mass.
And Mary Castaneda, a music director from Washington state, said she has long taught chant to adules, but is “now teaching chant to children and teens. It’s really useful to get a sense from Mary Ann what she does that young people respond to.”
The Benedict XVI Institute was founded by Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco in 2014.
It aims to form the Catholic imagination through beauty, and to promote the vision of the Second Vatican Council, whose constitution on the liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium, said that Gregorian chant is “specially suited to the Roman liturgy” and that “therefore, other things being equal, it should be given pride of place in liturgical services.”
Full story at Catholic News Agency.
July 31 CalCatholic story on chant camps: “Chant camps popping up in San Francisco archdiocese“