33rd Annual Guitar and Ensemble Institute

July 22-26, 2019 • Milford, Ohio



Final Arrangements and Details!

Guitar and Institute Program (pdf)

Tips for Week! (pdf)

Transportation and Other Details (pdf)

Luthier Availability (pdf)

Yoga Class Information (pdf)

Optional Sunday Evening and Monday Morning Activities (pdf)

Invitation to pre-GEI Weekend Masses (pdf)

GEI Core Repertoire List (pdf)

One of the best-kept secrets at NPM is the annual Guitar and Ensemble Institute. This Institute is offered separately from the convention each year, and is very different in its focus and atmosphere. GEI is a very special event because it is smaller, allowing for more individual skill-building as well as deeper spiritual and personal connections. And, it is not for guitarists only.

Considering attending GEI this summer, and expanding your ensemble and collaboration skills.

Institute Highlights

The 2019 Guitar and Ensemble Institute (GEI) is an institute for adults (over 18 only) who serve in a wide range of ministerial roles:

  • For guitarists, who have the choice of three different approaches to enhancing their liturgical guitar skills
  • For all instrumentalists—keyboard, percussion, bass, and obbligato instruments—who serve as part of worship ensembles
  • For those who lead their ensembles as vocalists
  • For those who plan liturgies
  • And, a track for anyone who seeks time for retreat and prayerful time to reflect on their relationship with God

A five-day intensive program focused on the training and formation of adult music ministers who are leaders or participants in ensembles at their parish, GEI includes sessions on liturgy for both experienced and beginning leaders of liturgical song; techniques for guitar and bass, keyboard, percussion, obbligato, and voice; a sampling of new repertoire; and liturgical ensemble skill sessions.


Back by popular demand, Jaime Rickert will be joining GEI this year, and will be available to work with GEI participants on a one-on-one basis for spiritual direction. As ministers, there are heavy demands on our time and energy. Take time to pause, reflect, and refresh at GEI, and take the opportunity to also work with Jaime to enhance your spiritual experience.

:  All GEI attendees must be at least eighteen years old; this is an Institute for adults only.

Institute Location

Jesuit Spiritual Center, Milford, Ohio
July 22-26, 2019
The Jesuit Spiritual Center, on thirty-seven park-like acres overlooking the Little Miami River, is a thirty-minute drive east of Cincinnati. Individual rooms are private with air-conditioning; shared full bath facilities are located just a few doors away.


NPM’s Guitar and Ensemble Institute is open to all adult members of NPM – both individuals, and those that are part of a parish membership

More information...

New in 2019!

Most, if not all, details regarding GEI will be posted here as it becomes available.  We hope that this helps to avoid confusion, reduce the number of overall email communications, and provide a central location for all GEI information to assist in your planning and participation!

Institute Schedule

GEI begins promptly at 9:30 am on Monday, July 22 and ends at about 10:30 am on Friday, July 26th.

  • First-Time Attendee orientation is Sunday, July 21st at 7 pm
  • Placement evaluations for first-time guitar attendees begins at 8:30 am on Monday, July 22nd

Remember, all GEI attendees must be at least eighteen years old; this is an Institute for adults only.

Institute Class Selection

The class selections for the 2019 Guitar and Ensemble Institute (GEI) are as follows:

Guitarists (three options)

  • Level 1: Fundamental skills presented in a methodic process for beginners to intermediate guitarists.
  • Level 2: Develop good habits using basic exercises, understand how chords are formed, and unlock the secrets of improvisation. For intermediate to advanced guitarists.
  • Level 3: Explore improvisation more fully as an advanced guitarist with chord theory, tips, tricks and licks, and more.

Keyboard: Learn how to read a lead sheet, how to play in an ensemble setting versus as a solo accompanist, improvisation for liturgy, directing from the keyboard, and much more

Percussion: Every ensemble needs a rhythm section that communicates with each other and plays together. When the bass and the percussion play together it is often called being “In the Pocket” and when that happens, musical goodness ensues!

Bass: Every ensemble needs a rhythm section that communicates with each other and plays together. When the bass and the percussion play together it is often called being “In the Pocket” and when that happens, musical goodness ensues!

Obbligato instruments: Everything and the Kitchen Sink: The Many and Varied Roles of the Obbligato Instrument in the Liturgical Ensemble.

Voice: Learn effective vocal warm-ups, vocalization techniques, care and feeding of your instrument (your voice), preparing to cantor the Psalm, leading the assembly, and more

Liturgy/Retreat: Understand the liturgical documents, more about the shape of the liturgical year, rubrics within liturgical celebrations, and the elements of the Mass (Introductory Rite, Liturgy of the Word, Liturgy of the Eucharist, and Concluding Rite)

Housing and Meals

For those traveling from out-of-town and registering as a “Resident” attendee:

  • Housing is provided from Sunday through Thursday nights (five nights)
  • All meals are included from the Sunday evening meal through Friday breakfast (fourteen meals)

Commuter registration (for those staying at home and driving to the Retreat Center each day:

  • All meals are included from Monday lunch through Friday breakfast (twelve meals)

Housing assignments will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.  Two choices are available:

  • Arrupe: this building is where the meals are eaten, and is usually quieter in the evenings
  • Loyola: this building is where the liturgies and late-night jam sessions are held, and late-night jam sessions often occur

Please note your preference on your registration form, or where requested online.  If you have no preference, you may note that and you will be assigned to a building as space allows.

A more completed and detailed schedule will be available soon!

Travel Information

The Jesuit Spiritual Center is a thirty-minute drive east of Cincinnati, Ohio.  More detailed driving instructions will be provided soon.

If you prefer to fly, the Cincinnati airport is the most convenient to the Institute.  Be sure to note on your registration that you will need transportation from the airport to the retreat center – a volunteer from the GEI Program Staff will provide this transportation for you free of charge.

Note:  In the event that this program must be canceled due to low enrollment, that decision will be made at least three weeks prior to the scheduled starting date, and all registered participants will receive a full refund of fees paid to NPM.

  • Since NPM cannot offer reimbursement of travel fees, we suggest that you wait until mid-June to book any flight reservations that are nonrefundable

Repertoire List

All GEI interest sections study a common repertoire during the course of the Institute.  Here it is! (pdf)

Added Features

In addition to the planned GEI sessions, liturgies, there are often additional activities that are planned.  Watch here for additional activities as they become available!