22 February 2012

GCN Biennial meeting: report on our activities

Dr Joseph Shaw
One of the things which happened at the meeting was a report by me (Joseph Shaw: photo courtesy of Henry de Villiers) on the activities of the GCN over the last couple of years. It's all been on this blog, for the most part, but here's a summary.

We have a new logo done for us - you can see it on the sidebar.

We've organised two weekend chant courses at the Oratory School; another will take place in April, led by Colin Mawby.

In collaboration with the Schola Gregoriana, there was a very successful series of chant training days in Portsmouth Cathedral, organised by our 'South' regional organiser, Neville MacMally.

Our London organiser, Matthew Schellhorn, has organised a chant day only a couple of weeks ago in Southwark Cathedral.

Training in Catholic cathedrals was one of the bright ideas we started the GCN with, and to be honest it has proved harder than I had hoped. Getting permissions together for such events requires more effort and coordination than in other venues, because more people are involved. However, we shall persevere, and I have recently met Bishop Davies of Shrewsbury who was enthusiastic about the idea for his own cathedral.

Something else I have done is the series of booklets of propers for diocesan feasts, which are now hosted on the LMS webstite, though the series is not yet complete.

Always eager to draw everyone with an interest in Chant together, I was delighted at the meeting to have representatives of the Ordinariate and the new Newman Institute, and even more pleased that they've agreed to be 'supporting organisations.'

I also drew attention to two important devopments: the establishment of the Ordinariate, and the publication of the new translation of the Missal. In both cases the forces of sanity in Church music are being given an extra opportunity. This isn't the end of the conflict, but it is certainly represents a more positive situation than before.

What we all need to continue to do, of course, is show the committment to excellence, and continual training of our singers, which alone will raise the standard of chant, attract more singers to it, and make it work as it should for the sanctification of souls.

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