Panels and Workshops

Lectures, Panels, Workshops and Choral Readings

Unless otherwise noted, all lectures and panels are held at the Notre Dame Conference Center at McKenna Hall.


Join renowned Scottish composer James MacMillan and distinguished faculty and guests of the Sacred Music at Notre Dame initiative in an exploration of modern and historical sacred music, its meaning and symbols, and the specific creative challenges of composing and conducting new sacred works for church choirs and for participatory singing.

The sesions will include panels, and workshops addressing specific topics in composition, analysis and conducting of sacred music, led by James MacMillan and the composer panelists, as well as choral readings and commentary of new works by selected conference participant/fellows led by the selected conducting participants/fellows.

Major issues surrounding sacred music today will be engaged, with ample opportunities for discussion and participation by all conference attendees. Composers will address the creation of new sacred music works and participatory compositions.Conductors and church music directors will exchange ideas on how repertoire can be a tool for  building successful sacred music programs and the formation of a artistically engaged congregation. A selected group of active participants/fellows will present case studies with their own compositions and choral readings.

Aguavá New Music Studio and Students of the Master of Sacred Music Program at Notre Dame will be in residence to read the works of the selected active participants.

A list of topics proposed by the panelists is included here and will continue to be updated.

(For an itemized schedule of times and locations check the link above or the menu tabs.)

Featured Guest Composer

James MacMillan

Guest Panelists


Libby Larsen, Daniel Kellogg, Cary Boyce, Robinson McClellan, Stephen Mager, and Tawnie Olson

Panelists on Congregational Participation in different Liturgical Traditions

Samuel Sommers, The shapenote tradition

Dr. Helen Phelan, Music for Immigrant Communities in Ireland

Dr. Mellonee Burnim, Spirituals and Gospel in the African-American Tradition

Steven C. Warner, Irish Sacred Music

Dr. Lorraine Brugh, Traditional Protestant Hymnody

with scholars

Margot Fassler, Emily Snow. Andre Redwood, and Michael Driscoll,

and Conductors

Carmen-Helena Téllez  and Nancy Menk.