ssgcgs wrote:It was a rare treat
I definitely agree! I've enjoyed every meeting of the Composers' Group I've attended, but this was easily the best. James Macmillan surprised me by being so informed and sympathetic about the practical concerns of liturgical musicians. I was expecting knowledgeable musical commentary from a composer of international significance, and, I suppose, expecting the discussion to be more rarefied as a consequence. But much of the day's discussions had a very down to earth feel. It was clear that JM knew what we were there for, and he showed this especially in sensitive questioning of each composer, finding out their thinking behind each piece, the uses it might be put to, what it had been like to use it in liturgy, what it had been like teaching the piece to an assembly or a choir.
At JM's suggestion we attended, and sang at, a lunchtime Mass, and it was a rewarding addition to the normal pattern for a CG meeting.
A hard act to follow! It would be nice to think, even if we don't get another opportunity for a day with JM, that the spirit of sympathetic and prayerful reflection we caught on Saturday might be as strong in future meetings. Not that CG meetings usually lack these things; but this was a model of how our encounters should be.
Glad I went!