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Sing a new song!

posted Jul 30, 2011, 7:46 AM by Steven Vaughan
This was the name of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians 34th annual convention Fr. Robert and I attended last week in Louisville, KY.  It brought together musicians, clergy, and pastoral leaders from almost every state and several countries.  Events were planned to help us grow both in our understanding of the liturgy and in our musical knowledge and skills.

I attended a great workshop on early childhood vocal development where we explored toys and techniques to help children “catch the tune” and reproduce it more musically.  As I begin to build and maintain a children’s music program both in our church and school, you can expect to hear the children sing more frequently, and hopefully, better.  You may even see a slide whistle, pipe cleaner or puppet being used…

I also studied organ repertoire for the church year, as well as practice techniques, pedaling tips and organ registration.  While our organ isn’t very big, (and still needs some repairs!) I hope to demonstrate how many rich and varied sounds it offers, and of course, learn to play it even better for you.

I met many professional colleagues and swapped a lot of ideas on developing a more successful music ministry.   I got to reconnect with a few old friends and college alumni, as well as make new friends and contacts.  And I got invited to conduct workshops on “making music more prayerful” in Baltimore and Houston!

The convention’s title, a frequently sung psalm text, carries new meaning as we prepare to implement the Third Roman Missal.  And both Fr. Robert and I immersed ourselves in events and conversations about it, particularly its chants and how to incorporate them into our parish.  We discovered resources for praying and singing the new translation, so we may inspire you to “sing a new song” with a “new heart, new voice and new hope.”  And yes, we settled on a new Mass setting, but more on that in the coming weeks…
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