Fall 2022 Sacred Music Workshop

September 14-17, 2022
Menlo Park, California


As the first evening of the workshop began, about 35 participants were meeting at the Vallombrosa retreat center in Menlo Park, a few blocks from St. Patrick Seminary, where the Masses for the workshop were to be celebrated.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022: Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Starting with a brief practice session and dinner, we met in the retreat center’s chapel to sing Vespers for the feast, the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, with our chaplain Fr. Robert Pasley, presiding, and with David Hughes and Jennifer Donelson-Nowicka as cantors for the two halves of the choir. Most of the participants are not frequent singers of chant, but have some exposure to it; together with the more experienced voices, they are making a good start.

In this Vespers service, the hymn Vexilla Regis prodeunt, last heard on Good Friday, makes a return with verses for this feast: O Crux, ave, spes unica — Hail, O Cross, our only hope!

If you’d like to follow the Vespers from our music book, that portion is available here. Thanks to Matthew Fong for typesetting the chant so nicely, complete with indications for when the two choirs (Gospel side and Epistle side) take their turns.

After Compline that evening, we sang the Salve Regina according to the solemn tone:

Thursday, September 15, 2022: Our Lady of Sorrows

On Thursday morning, these breakout talks were presented:

  • Prof. William Mahrt, president of CMAA, on The distinctions of the Ordinary of the Mass
  • Dr. Jennifer Donelson-Nowicka, professor of sacred music at St. Patrick Seminary, on Modes and their pedagogical utility

(audio to be added here)

The first Mass of the workshop was offered at the chapel of St. Patrick Seminary. The English adaptations of proper antiphons were set to music by Fr. Samuel Weber, OSB, a member of the seminary faculty. Dr. Horst Buchholz, vice-president of CMAA, was organist for the Mass.