The American Federation of Pueri Cantores is thrilled to present this inaugural 2021 Virtual Choir Festival! On May 22, Pueri Cantores singers in grades 3-8 from across the country joined with their peers and guest conductors via Zoom to rehearse and perform several sacred music repertoire pieces. This Virtual Choir Festival presentation is the product of their hard work and dedication to choir, passion for spreading God's Word through music, and their love and joy for singing.
Choir directors and music teachers across the country have radically transformed their curricula in various combinations of face-to-face, hybrid, and distance learning. What are the opportunities for growth here, in the face of these challenges? Dr. Richard Robbins, Director of Choral Activities at the University of Minnesota Duluth and a consultant for choral programs across the country, discusses various modes of delivery and the renewed focus on assessment and rehearsal planning that directors are now navigating.
During these uncertain and difficult times, we hope the singers of the American Federation of Pueri Cantores will be a bright light for you and your loved ones. Please enjoy this virtual choir with 60 students from around the U.S. performing as one united ensemble "Jubilate!" (Be Joyful in the Lord) by Michael Bedford. For more information about American Federation Pueri Cantores, please visit www.pcchoirs.org.
Every rehearsal has the potential to feel like a festival, but it takes time to cultivate and grow a choir. Whether you start from scratch or already have a core group, growth must always be nurtured. Gaining enthusiasm and commitment from your community, your pastor, and the children is essential. Director Linda Opaleski will share her recipe for attracting singers (both male and female) into your choir and keeping them there with the support of your families, parish and pastor.
Integral to the mission of Catholic schools is formation in liturgy and liturgical music. The Church calls on schools "to cultivate the repertoire of sacred music inherited from the past, to engage the creative efforts of contemporary composers and the diverse repertoires of various cultures, and to celebrate the Sacred Liturgy worthily." (Sing to the Lord #54) Further, we are to "foster the joy of singing" and develop a liturgical repertoire that supports the parish Sunday liturgy.
AFPC members have access to thousands of curated anthems for children through the Church Music Institute online libraries and other resources. Entries all have PDF samples, and can be searched by 17 criteria, including lectionary and scripture reference. The Choral Library contains over 1,700 titles specifically for children, and thousands more for unison, two part, two equal voices, two and three part mixed, SA, SSA and SAB voicings. Over 200 anthems are included for children as an additional choir with adults.
Technology has quickly made it into the hands of teachers and students around the world. But where does it fit into education and sacred music? In this webinar, Theresa Ducassoux will introduce participants to various tech tools that can be utilized in music education to build community, share exemplars, support music reading, and connect with students inside and outside of the classroom. Participants will learn how to use tools such as Flipgrid and Google Apps for Education to enhance their music teaching to best impact student learning.
This webinar will outline a planning process for the School and Liturgical Year. Using the School Year as a guide, Ms. Fleming-Atwood will cover topics such as: repertoire selection for specific seasons of the Church Year, resources for Christmas and Pageant Passion Plays and inspiring traditions in the Catholic School and Parish. Grade level curriculum and lesson/rehearsal planning will be discussed. In addition, resources for teachers/conductors to help maintain healthy vocal technique/hygiene will be provided.
How can directors teach choirs to read and sing from chant notation with limited rehearsal time? Is it possible for someone who doesn't have much experience with chant to direct a choir to sing it with good phrasing and rhythm? This one-hour webinar with Dr. Jennifer Donelson will introduce directors to effective methods of preparing a choir to hear the music in their minds and sing the music from square notes, of singing chant with good vocal technique and an elegant sense of the line, and of employing artistic and expressive conducting.
Scott and Suzanne Atwood discuss strategies for success in the areas of choral recruitment, repertoire, and rehearsal techniques. The seminar will look at proven practices for attracting and retaining young singers, building a quality library, liturgical programming, team-building, choral best practices, and working with changing voices.
Suzanne Fleming-Atwood, Children's Choir Director, Christ Our King Catholic Church, MT. Pleasant, SC