Latest News

Kevin Vaughn wins 2015 Organ Scholar Auditions

Author: Matt Haines

On Saturday, February 7, five student organists from major universities around the Midwest competed in the annual Immanuel Lutheran Church Organ Scholar Auditions in Evanston, Illinois. Each contestant was personally nominated by their organ or church music professor and performed a major work of J. S. Bach, another contrasting piece, and a hymn. Kevin Vaughn, a second-year student in the DMA program at Notre Dame studying with Professor Craig Cramer, played Bach’s 

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Margot Fassler Delivered the Second Annual Plenary Lecture

Author: Matt Haines

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"After the success of the inaugural AMS President’s Endowed Plenary Lecture at the 2013 Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh, given by Richard Crawford, this annual series continues at the Milwaukee Annual Meeting. The lecture is free and open to the public. This year’s speaker is Margot Fassler, Keough-Hesburgh Professor of Music History and Liturgy at the University of Notre Dame." - American Musicological Society

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Stephen Lancaster Releases "Le Menu des Mélodies" CD

Author: Matt Haines

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Stephen Lancaster’s CD “Le Menu des Mélodies" has just been released. With Martin Katz, piano, this French art song Centaur release includes commissioned songs by Canadian composer J. Scott Brubacher. 

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

Author: Matt Haines

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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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Professor Carmen-Helena Tellez and students of the Sacred Music program welcome famous pedagogue José Antonio Abreu

Author: Matt Haines

Maestro José Antonio Abreu, founder of El Sistema of Youth Orchestras  in Venezuela and teacher of Los Angeles Philharmonic's conductor Gustavo Dudamel received the Notre Dame Prize for Distinguished Humanitarian Work in Latin America. Professor Carmen-Helena Téllez, a compatriot of Maestro Abreu,  coordinated the musical offering in collaboration with SMND students J.J. Wright (conducting), Mary Catherine Levri and Kevin Vaughn (organ)

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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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Sonic Hospitality: Music, Ritual and the New Irish - Guest Lecture Helen Phelan, PhD

Author: Matt Haines

Sonic Hospitality: Music, Ritual and the New Irish - Guest Lecture Helen Phelan, PhD

Thu Oct 2, 2014 5:30PM - 7:00PM Crowley 115

The ‘Celtic Tiger’ years in Ireland witnessed a dramatic shift in Irish migration patterns, including a significant growth in the numbers of asylum seekers from parts of the world not strongly represented in Ireland prior to this time. Among other manifestations of cultural expression, these groups formed new religious ritual communities based both within and outside of pre-existing church structures. This presentation is based on over a decade of ethnographic study from 2000 with new ritual communities in Limerick city, including the Russian Orthodox, the Nigerian Pentecostal and Congolese Catholic comunities. Using the musical repertoires of these communities as a point of departure, it explores the Derridean construct of ‘hospitality’, and interrogates the potential of music to act as an agent of sonic hospitality against the backdrop of the Irish citizen referendum of 2004. 

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Chris Dekker, D.M.A. Organ, Wins Prestigious Sacred Music Scholarship

Author: Matt Haines

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"Second year doctoral student Christopher Dekkerhas been awarded a scholarship from the Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts (FUMWA).  Open to all undergraduate and graduate students of any denomination intending to pursue a career in sacred music, the award was given to the candidate showing the greatest potential for outstanding promise of future impact in the field, as exemplified by their current work and schooling.  This news will be featured in an article

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FEATURED PERFORMER: CRAIG CRAMER at THE AGO

Author: Matt Haines

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In Boston on June 24 at Old South Church, members of the American Guild of Organists swarmed to hear a recital by a featured performer at the Guild's National Meeting: Notre Dame's Professor of Organ, Dr. Craig Cramer.  Cramer, known as a specialist in baroque repertory and a master of the mechanical-action organ, was about to play the 1921 Skinner organ, an instrument that has been much restored, and that once served for the Ordway Civic Theater in St. Paul, Minnesota.   It has 115 ranks and 7,625 pipes, and people were curious to see what Cramer would make of his assigned partner.

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J.J. Wright, D.M.A. in Conducting, to Release Debut Jazz Record "Inward Looking Outward" on Ropeadope Records

Author: Matt Haines

Pianist J.J. Wright's style cannot be easily categorized. Trained as a jazz improviser at the New School For Jazz in New York City, he's also passionate about sacred music. Palestrina and Bach vie with Monk and Cannonball Adderley as just some of his harmonic and melodic inspirations. While with the U.S. Naval Academy Band, Wright performed for the President as well as at several high-profile diplomatic gigs. He also performed and recorded with vibraphonist Dave Samuels and the Caribbean Jazz Project: Afro BopAlliance, whose album was nominated for a GRAMMY and won a Latin GRAMMY. Inward Looking Outward, Wright’s recording debut as a leader, features six original compositions and covers of music by Jon Brion, Sufjan Stevens and Phil Collins. Drummer Nate Wood and bassist Ike Sturm join the pianist on the album which is replete with music resonating with a modern jazz sensibility interpreted with his unique feeling of touch and timbre.

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Nick Mourlam Shows Off Temple Organ

Author: Matt Haines

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"Sunday, at the Community of Christ Temple, in Independence, MO, Nick Mourlam rattled the timbers and tested ears for the softest, highest, loudest and lowest sounds that the mighty Temple organ can produce. An organ performance graduate of the University of Kansas and pursuing a Master of Sacred Music degree at the University of Notre Dame; he is planning auditions to pursue a doctorate, directly after graduation..."…

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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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Carmen-Helena Téllez Directs "From Here to There"

Author: Matt Haines

Last April 24 through 26, at the Bridgeport Arts Center, Professor Carmen-Helena Téllez directed the music for "From Here to There," in the inaugural production of NON:op, an integrated arts collective in Chicago.  The interdisciplinary work encompassed installation art, video, photographs, dance, and both acoustic music by Chris Preissing and electroacoustic music by Greg O'Dobrinak.  As part of the event, Professor Tellez premiered her own suite for chamber vocal ensemble  on the poetry of Venezuelan writer Luisa Valeriano.…

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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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