I just got back from the NPM conference. quite different from the CMAA conference, although I suppose it's ridiculous to even compare them. While at CMAA, we mostly sang and heard a few talks, this was almost exclusively talks and addresses, with basically everyone who is anyone in the Catholic music world (because it was the bi-yearly national conference,) ranging from Marty Haugan to Fr. Anthony Ruff. (more on him later.) I went to the Detroit chapter's dinner (even though I'm not technically in the Detroit archdiocese-I just know a lot of people who are,) and I randomly met my priest's brother who is also a priest! That was funny. Apparently they're about as opposite in opinions on these issues as anyone could be. When I introduced myself as working for his brother, his first reaction was, "oh, I'm SO sorry!" haha. But he seemed nice. And was quite concerned that his brother is paying me enough (which he's not and I know it, but I will ask for a raise in a few months.) And the networking was AMAZING. I personally insulted Paul Ford to his face and didn't even realize it. ( the guy who wrote By Flowing Waters? yeah...)
here's the story:
I was with two of my college friends, who are both interested in chant also. So, we went to the chant section meeting at the beginning of the conference. Yeah, it was definitly us and about 10 old people. But it was a good meeting, Fr. Anthony Ruff as well as Fr. Columba Kelly were both there. (a-MAZ-ing! Even though I only talked to him once, I think Fr. Ruff is in the running for my favorite priest! I totally am going to go study chant under him at Collegeville at some point.) so before the meeting started, me and my youngish friends were sitting there, and this guy sits down and starts chatting with us, and he eventually asks us if we've heard of By Flowing Waters. yes, I replied, and I said I was annoyed because they had used a terrible translation (the NRSV. and I said that because I had JUST been talking to my priest about it, and he said that was why we couldn't use it!) so this guy is like, oh, and then he asks if me and my friends wanted a copy of it. I was like, no, I already have one. But the other guys did. so he pulls out his business card, and I look at it and yes, if you're smart than you will have figured out who it was. oops. I turned SO red. I was like, "oh! YOU wrote it!" and then he was like, "we'll talk..." so we did later, and we had quite a nice discussion about lots of stuff, and I regurgitated stuff my boss has explained to me like how we shouldn't use the acclamation "Christ has died..." and we did talk about the actual NRSV translation, and I said I thought the main problem with it was the inclusive language, like how references the Messiah as "he," become, "the one," which totally makes them lose their meaning. so anyhow, because I already had a copy of BFW, he is having LP send me a copy of some book about the development of the Eucharistic prayers (in response to our "Christ has died," discussion. so now I have to read this probably very intellectual book when it arrives.) So he liked me and my friends. As a matter of fact, someone told us later, that after we left the room with the tiny chant section meeting, all the old guys (I don't mean to refer to them derogatorily, I mean the great old guys, like the ones mentioned above,) they were sooo happy and even kind of emotional to see us young people there. like, here they are, they've given their lives to this thing, and I can only imagine what it must be like for them to see us, young people, interested in this and ready to carry it on!
I bought a book on semiology to read, and I'm having a Graduale Triplex shipped (I know there are people who read this blog who are in complete denial that such a way of interpreting chant even exists, but I don't know how you can ignore those little squiggles, and I guess after reading this book I'll even be able to explain them!)
and then to sum up the rest of the conference, I sat through lots of crappy plenum sections (there was only one really scary moment. the speaker, who I thought was doing fine up until then made some comment like, "we don't need a reform of the reform," and EVERYONE started clapping. my friends next to me and I felt about < > this big... but I went to lots of fabulous workshops and talks, I mostly went to the ones about choirs and getting better vocal sound and such. I wrote down lots of good ideas. plus I got TONS of choral music to go through, I think six packets total, from the big three as well as Hope and Concordia. and yes, I will throw out half of it, and my choir won't be able to sing a lot of it, but there will be some usable stuff in the whole thing. I had several friends from school there, and so it was really fun to go out with them every night and stuff.
wow, this is a long post. but I think it's interesting, and there's certainly nothing I want to delete. I just might have to go again next year. oh. except that I am SICK of so many gay guys in one place. I just can't take it sometimes. gay guys and gay PRIESTS! it's enough to make me want to weep. seriously. May God have mercy on us all...