St. Cecilia Sing
Each year on November 22 the Church honors St. Cecilia, the patroness of music and musicians. It’s a splendid opportunity for pastoral musicians to invite parishioners and guests to an annual musical event on or around her feast day to celebrate God’s gift of music!
The St. Cecilia Sing may take the form of a concert, sung Vespers, Taizé prayer service, sing-along, choral festival, or whatever your imagination can come up with!
It can also be an opportunity to promote NPM throughout your parish, deanery, or diocese. We encourage you to download and use the NPM St. Cecilia Sing logo on your flyer and program, and you might consider a free-will offering to support NPM or a local charity, as well!
Finally, please consider sharing with NPM a pdf of your concert program. We’ll post it on the website so all NPMers can share ideas and results!
Choir Director Institute
The Choir Directors’ Institute (CDI) is sometimes in conjunction with the national NPM Convention, but in some years is offered as a separate, stand-alone event. This institute assists beginning, intermediate, and advanced choral conductors hone their musical, liturgical, and pastoral skills and build professional relationships.
When the CDI is part of the national convention, most or all of the breakout session times are spent in the Institute, but you still reap the benefits of all the regular convention liturgies, plenum addresses, publisher showcases, and fellowship. Learn techniques of planning, rehearsal, spirituality, musicianship, developing choral tone, and conducting mechanics from a faculty of master teachers. Each participant will work in small groups with conductors of similar skill level, from beginner (“Yikes! I’ve been playing guitar for years, but Father just asked me to direct the choir!”) to advanced (“I have a master’s in music, but I want to hone my conducting skills.”). And each participant will have the opportunity to conduct the entire group and receive valuable feedback. You’ll also come away with a fabulously useful packet of excellent, tried-and-true choral music for all types of choirs!
At the 2017 convention, the CDI was specifically for Children’s Choir Directors, with a parallel DMMD Choral Institute on rehearsal and choral techniques. Watch for upcoming Institutes in the “Convention” and “Events” section of the NPM website.
Choir Director Clinic
The 2017 NPM Convention featured a special Monday morning pre-convention opportunity for choir directors to focus on a particular topic for three hours. This year’s presenter was Rob Glover, master conductor and long-time pastoral musician and composer from Minnetonka, Minnesota.
2017 Topic: Discover the Musicianship Within!
The rehearsal goal of most church choir directors is note security. The more you sing through an anthem, supposedly, the better it gets, but the truth is that simply singing through anthems numerous times does not necessarily improve accuracy or quality. How could we take our volunteer choirs beyond this survival mentality into higher-level aesthetics? Church anthems could mean so much more to both choirs and congregations if we aimed higher with our expectations. Church choir members are intelligent, and they can delve much deeper into aesthetics than we typically ask of them. What procedures could directors take to help raise these expectations and results?
Choir Director Convention Breakouts
Each NPM Convention offers myriad opportunities for choir directors to grow in their ministry. At the 2017 Convention, here’s a sampling of some of the breakouts aimed at choir directors:
- Choir Tips and Tricks for New Choir Directors
- Spiritual Care for Your Choir
- Choral Classics Every Singer Should Know
- Children's Choir: The Singing Church
- Lectionary Anthem Project: Year B, Parts 1 & 2
- Palestrina and All That: Great Polyphony for your Choir