Art. Sacred music. Medieval history. And the digital humanities. Margot Fassler, Keough-Hesburgh Professor of Music History and Liturgy at Notre Dame, brings them all together in her current research on Hildegard of Bingen — research for which she has been recently awarded fellowships from both the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.
Adding to these accolades, Fassler, a professor in the Department of Theology who co-directs the Master of Sacred Music program in the College of Arts and Letters, on May 11 (Friday) received the 2012 Otto Gründler Book Prize for “The Virgin of Chartres: Making History Through Liturgy and the Arts” (Yale University Press, 2010).
“It seems that 2012 is my year,” Fassler says.
Margot Fassler, Keough-Hesburgh Professor of Music History and Liturgy and co-director of the Master of Sacred Music program at the University of Notre Dame, has won the biennial ACE/Mercers’ International Book Award.
The award from Art and Christianity Enquiry (ACE) recognizes Fassler’s 2010 book “The Virgin of Chartres: Making History Through Liturgy and the Arts” as “an outstanding contribution to the dialogue between religious faith and the visual arts.”
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.
The University of Notre Dame’s inaugural Sacred Music Conference will be held Thursday through Saturday (Sept. 13 through 15).
The conference will feature sacred music from the Renaissance to the present day and will bring together composers, scholars and conductors of sacred music to discuss, share and perform their work.
Several concert events are open to the public and free of charge.
With a $400,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the University of Notre Dame has announced the launch of the Sacred Music Drama Project, a four-year, cross-disciplinary initiative designed to engage people more deeply with the power of shared creativity, performance and scholarship.
The project will draw on humanistic, artistic and sacred topics from a variety of musical traditions to develop new coursework and to stage the production of a major dramatic performance each year. The Mellon grant will also bring both eminent and emerging guest artists to campus and will fund the commission of a new work of sacred music drama at the end of the project.
Sacred music is foundational to many of the world’s artistic traditions, and this is especially so when it comes to Western music. It is also an artistic — and academic — area that continues to grow and develop.
To celebrate and promote this diverse art form, the University of Notre Dame is launching a Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) program with majors in organ and choral conducting, beginning in fall 2013.
“Given Notre Dame’s educational mission, its Catholic foundation and our recent investments in faculty who are recognized leaders in sacred music, the University is uniquely poised to develop young musicians to serve the Church and world,” says John T. McGreevy, I.A. O’Shaughnessy Dean of the College of Arts and Letters.
With the support of a Lilly Endowment grant of $1.9 million, Sacred Music at Notre Dame (SMND) is poised to help congregations across the region renew worship practices and enliven musical expression to engage people more deeply, across the generations.
The grant will enable SMND to begin building creative partnerships between academia and communities of worship and to sponsor activities designed to teach sacred music to young people. A central project will be sending graduate students from Notre Dame’s newly founded Doctor of Musical Arts and its successful Master of Sacred Music programs into local churches to strengthen existing children’s choirs or establish new ones. Applications will be available by March 15 for churches interested in hosting an organist or choral conductor from Notre Dame for a period of two or three years.