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Music and the Middlebrow Conference

Author: Matt Haines

Chris Chowrimootoo (Assistant Professor of Musicology and Liberal Studies and Faculty Fellow in Sacred Music) will host a conference entitled "Music and the Middlebrow" at Notre Dame's London Global Gateway on 22-24 June 2017The event will feature over fifty speakers from all over the world, including Richard Taruskin (University of California, Berkeley) and Joan S. Rubin (University of Rochester) as the keynote speakers. For full registration details, program and abstracts, see: http://www.musicandthemiddlebrow.org/

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Music faculty member receives emerging artist award from Lincoln Center

Author: Carrie Gates

Kiera Duffy, associate professor of the practice in Notre Dame’s Department of Music, recently received the 2017 Hunt Family Award for Emerging Artists from New York’s Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. The award honors the soprano’s outstanding artistry and promising future. “Lincoln Center has such meaning in my life — as it does for every classical musician. It is the cultural hub of North America,” she said. “So for Lincoln Center to honor what I’m doing is very humbling and a lovely validation.”

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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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