45th Irish Church Music Association Summer School opens tomorrow in Maynooth

02 Jul 2014

  • Theme: ‘The Joy of the Gospel’
  • New Generation Youth Choir to encourage more young people to get involved in church music

Approximately two hundred people are expected to attend the 45th Irish Church Music Association (ICMA) summer school which will take place in Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth from tomorrow Thursday 3 until Sunday 6 July 2014 on the theme ‘The Joy of the Gospel’.  The summer school provides musicians from around the country with an opportunity to sing and pray together as well as tutorials on parish repertoire, linking school and parish, liturgical input, skills for leading liturgical music, psalms in the liturgy, choir skills and organ tutorials.

Commenting ahead of the summer school Ciaran Coll, a secondary school teacher in Saint Mary’s in Glasnevin said: “As a teenager I began going to the Irish Church Music Association summer school and my experience there really inspired me.  It showed me what can be achieved in your parish around choice of music repertoire, liturgical music that fits the season and ritual, music that connects with the readings of the day, psalms for different liturgical seasons and skills for leading liturgical music.  Tutorials at the summer school have helped me to develop my understanding of music ministry.  These tutorials along with accompaniment skills on organ, and daily celebrations of the liturgy is what people can expect to find when they attend the summer school this weekend in Maynooth.  These tutorials are one of the reasons why I keep going back every year.”

A new initiative at this year’s summer school is the New Generation Youth Choir which Ciaran will lead.  This initiative is designed to encourage more young people to take part in Church music.  The NGYC offers an opportunity for younger participants to take part in developing a special liturgy that they will lead on the Saturday evening.  The NGYC will also create a space for a new and younger voice to be found.  Over the last number of years up to half of participants at the summer school have been under thirty years of age.

Time will also be given at the summer school to Special Choir which is an opportunity for participants to join in a four-part harmony choir and learn some pieces of music that might be a bit more challenging, but preserving the rich heritage of music.  This will be directed by David Saint, the guest director of this year’s summer school.  David is Director of Music and organist at Saint Chad’s Cathedral, Birmingham, and a Professor in Birmingham City University.

Schedule summary

The opening Mass of the summer school will be celebrated in the College Chapel, Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth at 7.30pm on Thursday 3 July with Father Danny Murphy the new director of the National Centre for Liturgy presiding.  On Friday 4 July Bishop Denis Nulty, Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin will preside at evening Mass at 7.30pm also in the college chapel.  The Dublin Deaf Person’s Choir will perform a special version of Holy Ground by Father Liam Lawton at this Mass. On Saturday 5 July Bishop Patricia Storey, Church of Ireland Bishop of Meath and Kildare will speak at Solemn Vespers at 5.30pm in the college chapel.  The closing Mass of the summer school will take place at 1.00pm on Sunday 6 July in the college chapel, Maynooth with celebrant Father Paddy Jones. Members of the public are welcome to attend any of these liturgies.

For more information on the summer school, including a series of videos, please see www.catholicbishops.ie.

Notes to Editors

The Irish Church Music Association was founded in November 1969 to support the work of musicians working in the field of liturgical music in Ireland.  Through training, publication and dissemination of information, the ICMA strives to improve standards and encourage musicians in their service of God and the community.  The ICMA is supported by the Irish Bishops’ Conference and is based in the National Centre for Liturgy, St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth, Co. Kildare.  There is a membership of approximately 250 people which is made up of a variety of people from choirs around the country and those interested in Church Music. See www.irishchurchmusicassociation.com.

Biography of David Saint, guest director

Professor David Saint was born in Jarrow in the northeast of England in 1954, and read music at Hull and Liverpool Universities.  He studied the organ with Alan Spedding and Dame Gillian Weir. He gained his Fellowship of the Royal College of Organists (FRCO) at the age of 20, winning the Turpin Prize for Performance.  He is an active member of the Royal College of Organists (RCO) as Trustee. He is currently Acting Principle of Birmingham Conservatoire. He is a Professor of Birmingham City University. David is also Organist and Director of Music at Saint Chad’s Metropolitan Cathedral in Birmingham.

For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long 00353 (0) 86 172 7678 and Brenda Drumm 00353 (0) 87 310 4444