Latest News

SMND Student Emorja Roberson Announced as One of Twenty Contestants of "Sunday Best" on BET

Author: SMND

SMND student Emorja Roberson was announced as one of twenty contestants of the singing competition “Sunday Best” on BET.
Contestants have in-person auditions in front of a panel of judges, with no audience. The selected twenty finalists will perform acapella with no band support in order to determine the top ten who will then proceed to the next round. “Sunday Best” will air on BET on Sunday, June 30th

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SMND Study Tour to Northern Germany

Author: SMND

This late May Study Tour was organized by Craig Cramer, and a great deal of the work on travel and arrangements was done by Program Manager Janet Rudasics. All of SMND is deeply thankful to both of them! Paul Walker was greatly involved as well, and led our visit to JS Bach’s birthplace, Eisenach.

Organ students, of whom there are a great number in our program, got to play a large number of historic instruments in the region around Leipzig, where we were based. It was transformational for all of them!…

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Margot Fassler Named a Fellow at Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University

Author: Noelle Elliott

Margot Fassler

Cambridge, Mass.— Margot Fassler, Keough Hesburgh Professor of Music History and Liturgy, and Director of Sacred Music at Notre Dame, has been named a 2019–2020 fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, joining more than 50 women and men in the incoming fellowship class as they pursue work across the sciences, social sciences, humanities, and arts. Fassler will pursue an individual project in a community dedicated to exploration and inquiry at Harvard’s institute for advanced study. She is among just 3.7 percent of applicants accepted.…

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Study Tour to Georgia on Alice A. Martin MSM Travel Fellowships

Author: SMND

Seven SMND students were privileged to travel to the country of Georgia in May for study at the University of Ecclesiastical Chant in the capital city of Tbilisi. In addition to their studies in the musical practices of the region, the students also continued to learn more about the culture of this strikingly beautiful country and were able to renew their friendships with musicians who visited Notre Dame on a residency in January of this year.…

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Caleb Wenzel Wins the Respighi Prize in Orchestral Conducting

Author: SMND

Last Sunday, June 2, SMND alum Caleb Wenzel (DMA Choral Conducting '17) was declared the Winner of The Respighi Prize in Orchestra Conducting organized by the Chamber Orchestra of New York City, after an intensive workshop along with 16 other invited participants. The workshop was led by conductors John Farrer, Dirk Brossé and Toshiyuki Shimada at Adelphi University Performing Arts Center in New York. Caleb will share the podium at the CONY's concert on Thursday, June 6 at Carnegie Hall's Weill Hall, conducting Holst's St. Paul Suite.…

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Professor Carmen-Helena Téllez Issues a New Commercial Recording

Author: SMND

Dr. Carmen-Helena Téllez, Professor of Conducting in Sacred Music, has announced the issue of a new 2-CD album of works by the pioneering American microtonal composer and MacArthur Award winner John Eaton (1937-2015). The work is dedicated to all his vocal compositions on texts by the Baroque Mexican nun, poet and polymath Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (1648-1695), and includes a distinguished roster of the best-reviewed contemporary music performers of our time. The collection represents the first professional recording of these works.…

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Video: Sacred music alumnus on the ‘king of instruments’ and reviving church music in rural communities

Author: Todd Boruff

“If you can be a strong organist and lead hymns from the keyboard, you can do it all as a church musician,” said Michael Emmerich, ’12 M.S.M. Emmerich is the associate music director for the Archdiocese of Omaha with a particular focus and mission for rural music ministry. He travels the archdiocese to bolster musical and liturgical literacy among the parishes in rural communities. 

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SMND alumnus Emerson Eads composed an orchestral piece honoring Saint Therese, to be performed by the Juneau Symphony.

Author: SMND

SMND alumnus Emerson Eads composed an orchestral piece honoring Saint Therese, to be performed by the Juneau Symphony. Guest conductor for the Juneau Symphony, William Todd Hunt commissioned compositions inspired by landmarks in Juneau. Ead’s inspiration came from the National Shrine of Saint Therese. Ead’s piece, titled “I Love Him”, will be performed by the Juneau Symphony, led by Hunt. The piece is part of program titled “Psalms and Fanfares” being performed at Juneau-Douglas High School on April 6 and 7, 2019 in Juneau, Alaska.…

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Black History Month event explores the sounds of African-American jazz, classical and gospel music

Author: Erin Blasko

“Unsung: The Exploration of the Sounds of Black Folk” featured performances by vocalist Calesta “Callie” Day and pianist and composer Isaac Cates, in collaboration with Emorja Roberson, doctoral student in Sacred Music; Alex Mansour, senior in the Music Department; the Notre Dame Folk Choir and director J.J Wright; the Notre Dame Children’s Choir; and a community choir composed of area church members.The Sacred Music Program, in collaboration with Campus Ministry, the Graduate School, the Department of Africana Studies, the Office of Community Relations and the Program of Liberal Arts, hosted an evening of African-American jazz, classical and gospel music Feb. 8 (Friday) as part of Black History Month celebrations at the University of Notre Dame.

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For musicologist studying the ‘middlebrow,’ interdisciplinary opportunities make PLS the perfect home

Author: Emily McConville

For Christopher Chowrimootoo, there’s nothing unusual about a musicologist teaching in the Great Books program. That’s because, like his research, the Program of Liberal Studies is fundamentally interdisciplinary. He primarily tries to bring music into wider conversations about the “middlebrow” in literature, film studies, and cultural history. This originally pejorative term implied cultural aspiration, using “highbrow” art to achieve a higher social and aesthetic status. 

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Professor Carmen-Helena Téllez conducts two operas in October

Author: SMND

Dr. Carmen-Helena Téllez, Professor of Choral Conducting, conducted two operas in October. She returned to the National Theatre of Ecuador for the third time this year to conduct Mozart's The Magic Flute as the main event of the international conference of Opera Latinoamérica. She then returned to South Bend to conduct Musica Speculativa, a interdisciplinary work with digital media by Ryan Olivier, with Ensemble Concept/21.

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Bower Doctor of Musical Arts program empowers students to re-energize sacred music in church and academy

Author: Carrie Gates

Music has the power to inspire, to sustain, and to build community. And students and alumni of Sacred Music at Notre Dame’s Calvin M. Bower Doctor of Musical Arts program are playing a vital role in re-energizing the church and the academy through sacred music. With tracks in choral conducting and organ, the program offers an academically rigorous curriculum with a wide range of opportunities for performance, academic, and community engagement. The latest step forward for the DMA program is a generous gift from James and Molly Perry to endow and rename it in honor of Calvin M. Bower, professor emeritus of musicology.

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