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Basic Cantor Certificate

The Basic Cantor Certificate (BCC) will be offered
to a limited number of participants on site at the Annual Convention.

The Basic Cantor Certificate identifies the cantor’s primary functions as leader of prayer, psalmist, and teacher, and assesses several fundamental skills necessary to serve in a Sunday liturgy.  The BCC is appropriate for any cantor serving in a Roman Catholic parish who wishes to enter the process toward certification. Requirements are based on cantor’s basic function as outlined in the liturgy documents. The certificate is designed to encourage cantors at all levels to assess and affirm existing skills and identify places to grow.

Assessment Team

The assessment team, made up of members of the Standing Committee for Cantors and leading cantors from across the country, will assist in this process by providing written feedback to each candidate.

Contact Us

We hope that many of you will accept the challenge of more effectively serving your worshipping communities by becoming more confident and competent leaders of prayer. If you are interested in applying for the BCC, please contact Kathy LeDuc, BCC Administrator – katherineleduc49829@gmail.com

Practical Considerations

Please choose repertoire with which you are very familiar. Your comfort level will allow you to make the best presentation. If the listed repertoire is not familiar to you, give yourself plenty of time to prepare before making application. Sing through a few options before making your choice.

It is especially important that you choose mass settings with which you're familiar for the teaching portion. You cannot teach something effectively that you don't know yourself.

Ask someone to play for your taping that you work with regularly so that you will be very comfortable. Be sure to discuss tempos, the game plan for teaching, and introductions. Make time for practice before the taping.

It is not necessary to hire a professional videographer to record the exam. Be sure that the camera is focused so that the adjudicators can see both face and gesture. All of the sung material must be recorded without stopping and no editing may occur. Don't forget to record the interval portion of section 3. You may record for either VHS or DVD.

The function of the proctor is to witness that the taping occurs without stopping and to administer the exam. The proctor will sign an affidavit stating this. The proctor has no function in the adjudication of the exam and must be a member of NPM.ideally a DMMD member. The accompanist and the proctor may be the same person.

Plan early
It takes a lot of time to practice and prepare for the exam. Additionally, it can be tricky to coordinate the schedules of your church, accompanist, congregation and proctor. Make sure you are realistic about how much time the whole process will take to avoid frustration.

After making application you will hear first from the National Office acknowledging receipt of the application. Next you will hear from an administrator from the Standing Committee giving you instructions on how to proceed. The administrator is your main contact from that point on and will coordinate all efforts on your part. Direct all questions and concerns to the administrator. Please note that the administrator may change between the time you make application and the time your tape is graded. You will be informed of all changes.

Parish /Diocesan Taping
If a group from a particular parish want to apply and make tapes for the Basic Cantor Certificate, it would be easy to plan one or two days for everyone to make the recording. This makes it easier to coordinate accompanists, video recorders and proctors and the cantors can serve as the congregation for each other. Diocesan directors could also encourage cantors by making taping days available.

Group for Taping
It is recommended that the candidate assemble a small quorom of people to act as a kind of congregation for the taping. This will add to comfort of the candidate and facilitate a truer show of communication skills.

Self Assessment Tips to Help You Prepare (pdf file)
These tips are designed to help you assess your skills as you prepare for the Basic Cantor Certificate. We encourage you to seek outside assistance to help you assess.

Sample Script for Teaching New Music (pdf file)

FAQs (pdf file)

You may click here to view and print the brochure and application form for the Basic Cantor Certificate, or you may send an e-mail or call 240-247-3000 to request a printed copy.


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