Thursday, 24 November 2016

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Course for Church Cantors, UPDATED: this is the in-depth course

A second course is also being offered - a 1.5-hour workshop on 11th February for all abilities
In February 2017, a unique course will be offered in Cork city for the first time offering training for church cantors in liturgical theory and practice.
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Making it Simple!

Assisting musicians & vocalists to work well in the liturgy

Who is the course for?
This course is ideal for those who are already good musicians or vocalists and who wish to prepare to be leaders in singing the liturgy – particularly Sunday Mass, weekday Mass, funerals and weddings – at a time when there are fewer people available to sing the Mass as members of church choirs.

The course would also be very helpful to choir directors and organists in being more attuned to the liturgy and in learning how to better sing the liturgy.

The course format
The first course in February 2017 will have six 2½-hour lecture/workshop classes for musicians and vocalists in the theology, practice and repertoire of liturgical music. The principal focus throughout the course will be on gently leading parish congregations in singing the liturgy.

The sessions will be held in a location including use of a church or chapel. This will offer participants many opportunities to become increasingly comfortable with singing in a church or chapel space.  

What kind of music?
The existing parish repertoire of liturgical music in Ireland will be emphasised while presenting new material which is congregation-friendly. Hymns and psalms from the books published in Ireland since the 1960s and which are widely known in our country will form the bulk of the music that participants will encounter. The books in question will include The Veritas Hymnal and Sing the Mass.

What are the entry requirements?
For entry into the programme, leading to the first grade certification, a good standard of musical performance is necessary in any instrument or voice, equivalent to Grade 5 of the RIAM or ABRSM.

The ability to sing (unaccompanied) accurately, pleasantly and within a comfortable range for a typical congregation will also be required.

It is anticipated that this basic First Grade Certificate course will lead to subsequent courses at higher levels in the future. A course for those who have limited musical knowledge and experience but who wish to develop their musical skills in the liturgy is also being considered.

Who is teaching and directing?
The course will be directed and taught by Father Fergus Ryan, OP, a Dominican friar originally from Cork. He is a graduate (in liturgy and liturgical music) of the Pontifical Liturgical Institute in Rome, Italy, where he has also gained experience in teaching. He has practical experience of liturgical music in parish settings in Ireland, in a variety of European countries and in the United States of America. Others with expertise in liturgy and music will also contribute to the course as presenters and examiners.  

Cost & Materials
Cost: €95, payable after being accepted onto the course and before the course begins. €45 for students and the unwaged.

The fee will cover the cost of a number of handouts given to participants during the course. 

However, participants will need to bring with them to each class the Veritas Hymnal, Sing the Mass, the Roman Missal for Ireland (study edition, 2011). Further details on enquiry.

Where & When?
In Saint Martin’s chapel at Saint Mary’s Church, Pope’s Quay, Cork city.

Some classes will be held in the Dominican Pastoral Centre, also on Pope’s Quay.  

The classes will take place in February 2017:

3rd & 4th; 10th & 11th; 17th & 18th

Friday evenings from 7.00pm to 9.30pm.
Saturday mornings from 10.00am to 12.30pm.

Attendance on all days for the full period of each class is obligatory in order to be admitted to the final examination.

The final examination at the conclusion of the course will be offered on Saturday 25th February 2017. It will consist in two parts: an interview on the matters studied during the course and a performance test.

For further information before applying for a place you may email the course director, Father Fergus Ryan OP: fergusryanop AT To apply for a place on the course, also email the course director. 

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