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SMND Releases Documentary Film about Coptic Liturgical Chant: Where the Hudson Meets the Nile: Coptic Liturgical Chant in Jersey City

Author: Matt Haines

Where the Hudson Meets the NileTeaching Coptic Liturgical Chant in Jersey City, a short documentary film by Christian Jara and Margot Fassler, explores theways chant has been taught at St. Mark's Coptic Orthodox Church in Jersey City by singers David Labib and Steve Soliman, with attention to the place of the music in the formation of communal identity. Filmed over several years of time, the film enters into teaching practices within a completely memorized oral tradition developed by the singers to encourage children and youth to learn a vast and highly complex repertory of melodies.Through this teaching children are prepared for roles in the church of the future as congregants, as deacons, and as future monks and priests.The Coptic Orthodox Church has grown exponentially since the 1960's when St. Mark's in Jersey City was founded. There are now nearly 200 Coptic churches in the USA and two monasteries, and the chant is central to the liturgical practices and institutional lives of these establishments. The teaching skills displayed by Labib and Soliman in their work include breaking down melismas to their simplest components, developing personalized systems of "notation" to trigger thememory, comparative study of master chanters, and mastery of the Coptic texts so the singer understands what is being sung and can pray while singing. The film concentrates upon several stages of learning, with an emphasis on the use of technology both within the service, and for personal and group study. Commentary on footage of music and the liturgy is provided through a filmed conversation between musicologist Margot Fassler, an outsider to thetradition, and Bishop Kyrillos (Formerly Fr. John Paul Abdelsayed), a theologian and auxiliary bishop in the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of Los Angeles.…

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Notre Dame Vocale Invited to be Part of Prestigious Commissioning Consortium

Author: Matt Haines

The Ann Stookey Fund for New Music has invited Professor Carmen Helena Téllez and Notre Dame Vocale to join a consortium of some of the most important professional choirs in the country, to co-commission a new work of choral music from composer Greg Spears. In 2015, the Ann Stookey Fund awarded Notre Dame Vocale a grant to assist in the commission and performance of Robert Kyr's oratorio Paradiso,

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JJ. Wright and Notre Dame Children's Choir Featured on NPR's Weekend Edition

Author: Mark Doerries

DMA student J.J. Wright was interviewed from Rome by Scott Simon on National Public Radio's Weekend Edition Saturday, December 3, 2017. The segment discussed Wright's composition O Emmanuel and collaboration with the Notre Dame Children's Choir, his internship with the Sistine Chapel Choir, and the current state of sacred music.…

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DMA Student, Justin Appel, Featured as Nanovic Institute's "Student Spotlight"

Author: Matt Haines

Appel

DMA Conducting student, Justin Appel, traveled to Latvia on a  Graduate Summer Travel and Research Grant to study Ēriks Ešenvalds as an upcoming star of 21st-century choral music. Justin wrote about his experience and travels to the Nanovic Institue for European Studies

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A New Movement for Sacred Music

Author: Matt Haines

Recently, Brendan O’Shaugnessy of the Office of Public Affairs and Communications was able to sit down with MSM alumni Jonathan Embry (organ) and Samantha Dotterweich (voice) to talk about their learning experience at Notre Dame and how it has impacted their current church musician job. Jonathan and Samantha each have their own approach to Sacred Music and how they pass on the experience unto others. Jonathan focuses the relationship of organ hymn playing to resonate with his church attendance while Samantha teaches the youth choirs at schools and future work with the Indianapolis Children's Choir.…

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American Bach Society Biennial Conference Hosted by Sacred Music at Notre Dame

Author: Matt Haines

AMERICAN BACH SOCIETY BIENNIAL CONFERENCE
HOSTED BY SACRED MUSIC AT NOTRE DAME

On 7-10 April 2016 Sacred Music at Notre Dame hosted the biennial meeting of the American Bach Society. The society, which began its life as the American Chapter of the International Bach Society before becoming its own independent entity, serves as the focus for Bach scholarship in the United States and Canada. Among its members are many of the leading Bach scholars in the world, including Christoph Wolff, former director of the Bach Archive in Leipzig. It was a great honor and privilege to host such an important organization.…

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Notre Dame Day A Success!

Author: Mark Doerries

Sacred Music at Notre Dame recently participated in the annual University-wide Notre Dame Day fundraising appeal on April 24-25, 2016. In addition to raising over $17,000 in funds, Sacred Music was the eighth highest recipient of contributions amongst over 850 organizations and the only academic unit in the top 10 fund recipients.…

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Notre Dame Vocale Receives Major Award from the Ann Stookey Fund for New Music

Author: Matt Haines

Notre Dame Vocale, the research and special project ensemble of Sacred Music at Notre Dame, and its artistic director Professor Carmen-Helena Téllez just received news of the prestigious award by the Ann Stookey Fund for New Music.  Notre Dame Vocale joins some of the most prestigious professional and academic ensembles of the country who have been previous recipients of the award, including The Crossing of Philadelphia, directed by Donald Nally, Cantus of Minnesota and Dr. Téllez's former ensemble, NOTUS: the IU Contemporary Vocal  Ensemble, now directed by Dominick DiOrio.  In this grant cycle, Vocale is joined by Volti, the San Francisco new music ensemble. Dr. Téllez and Vocale have commissioned a cantata on Dante's Paradiso

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Prof. Carmen-Helena Téllez Conducts Anniversary Performance in New York City

Author: Matt Haines

Last October 23,  Professor of Conducting Carmen-Helena Téllez led a portrait concert in honor of the 80th birthday of American composer John Eaton. The concert included Mass II, a work professor Téllez has recorded with Aguavá New Music Studio, and El Divino Narciso, a cantata based on the allegorical poem by Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz.  The concert was produced by the American Composers Alliance in Symphony Space, in 

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A Recording by Professor Carmen-Helena Téllez is Reissued in Mexico.

Author: Matt Haines

The Tempus Clasico label, specializing in masterpieces of the Latin American repertoire, has reissued a recording by Notre Dame's Professor of Conducting Carmen-Helena Téllez of Mario Lavista's Stabat Mater, alongside other sacred music works by the composer. The original recording was produced by Indiana University's Latin American Music Center in 2012. Tempus Clasico serves the large Mexican and Central America recordings market. This is the third time that it has reissued a recording by Professor Téllez, having published the 

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Seeing Voices: On composing "Voices of Light" with the film 'The Passion of Joan of Arc'

Author: Matt Haines

performance

Richard Einhorn will discuss how he conceptualized his oratorio with silent film, Voices of Light, his encounter with the great silent film, The Passion of Joan of Arc by C.T Dreyer, the decisions he made to choose texts from sacred and devotional poetry, how they were edited and sequenced into a libretto, and how he conceived and composed the music. Richard Einhorn will also describe the history of the project, from its premiere in the middle of a Massachusetts blizzard to best-selling Sony Classical album and 250 performances in major venues around the world. …

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Alexander Blachly Pomerium Ensemble Performs for Yale University Institute for Sacred Music

Author: Matt Haines

Alexander Blachly's professional ensemble Pomerium presented a concert of sacred polyphony for the Imperial diets in Augsburg of 1518, 1530, and 1548 at Vassar College on September 21 and in Marquand Chapel of Yale University's Institute for Sacred Music on September 27. Included in the program were large-scale Masses and motets by Henricus Isaac, Ludwig Senfl, Nicolas Gombert, and Thomas Crecquillon. This program will be presented again in New York on January 25, 2015, at Music Before 1800.…

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Notre Dame's Sacred Music Does Chicago!

Author: Matt Haines

Notre Dame Sacred Music does Chicago!  The piece we sang at Saint Clement on the afternoon of May 12 at 5:30 is a participatory Vespers service, one of the most ancient of Christian traditions.  The style is that of chanted psalms, but adapted into English, and for the idiom of jazz.  Thus we combine the traditional and the modern, and through this artistically well-informed blending, have created something truly new.  This service proudly highlighted many distinctive features of our Sacred Music program at Notre Dame.  It is the composition of choral conducting student J.J. Wright, who performed it here with his jazz trio including Chicago musicians Matt Ulery on bass and Jon Deitemyer on drums. Also featured in the service was the Notre Dame Children's Choir, Dr. Mark Doerries, Director.  Joining the children was cantor Benjamin Liupaogo, a master's degree voice student, and other members of our graduate program, singers, conductors, and organists, one of whom, Kevin Vaughn, offered  a short organ prelude before the singing began.  The joy of joining the children's voices with the practiced voices of the graduate musicians was very special, and something truly unique to our program.…

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Notre Dame Children's Choir and The J.J. Wright Trio To Perform Two Special Vesper Services

Author: Matt Haines

Notre Dame's Program in Sacred Music supports two graduate degrees: the Master of Sacred Music in organ, choral conducting, and voice; and the Doctorate of Musical Arts, in organ and in choral conducting.  Our program prides itself in the close personal attention from our masterful faculty given to each of our very talented students, as they prepare for careers in the church, the academy, and the public sector.  Through a generous grant from Lilly Endowment, we have been able to start the Notre Dame Children's Choir this year, a choir for the training of our graduate students and the teaching of music to local children, flourishing under the superb leadership of Dr. Mark Doerries.

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Stephen Lancaster Wins Regional NATSAA Award

Author: Matt Haines

Stephen Lancaster has won the NATSAA (National Association of Teachers of Singing Artist Awards) Central Region competition, which took place this past Saturday at Webster University in St. Louis. This means that Stephen will go on to represent the region and compete in the national semi-final competition in Boston during the the NATS convention in July.…

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Notre Dame Vocale and Third Coast Percussion perform Reich's "Proverb"

Author: Matt Haines

The simplest of ideas lead to extraordinary musical statements in a program featuring the world premiere of a new work by Timothy Andres entitled Austerity Measures. Andres describes his new work as a "string quartet for percussion." Notre Dame faculty member Carmen-Helena Téllez and the vocalists from the Sacred Music Program join Third Coast for a performance of Steve Reich's iconic 

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A conference on music 'that nurtures whole human persons'

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Choir rehearsal for Masters of Sacred Music students

More than 100 musicians gathered last week on the campus of the University of Notre Dame for its inaugural Sacred Music Conference.

The conference, titled “James MacMillan and the Musical Modes of Mary and the Cross,” was organized by Margot Fassler, Keough-Hesburgh Professor of Music History and Liturgy, and Carmen-Helena Téllez, professor of music at Notre Dame, to coincide with the celebration of the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, the patronal feast and 175th anniversary of the founding of the Congregation of Holy Cross. Composers, conductors and scholars of sacred music came together to discuss, share and perform their work. Among them were the Scottish composer and conductor MacMillan, the former conductor of the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra who had composed the music for Pope Benedict’s 2010 visit to England.

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