Diocesan youth celebrations

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organist
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Parish / Diocese: Westminster cathedral
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Diocesan youth celebrations

Post by organist » Wed Jun 26, 2019 11:24 am

This is now the third year I have attended the annual KCSP Picnic and Praise at Aylesford for 1000 primary school children from Kent in a Catenian capacity. I may be wrong but I thought the Southwark committee had done good work on establishing a "diocesan" repertoire.
The Southwark Catholic Youth service team work really hard to animate these Masses, but I think it can be honestly said that they have a different agenda to what is being sung in many parishes and at diocesan events. The choir I think came from 2 schools. It is not my style of music at all but what concerns me is that we are teaching young children at these events. If we continue down this road our children will know NONE of the music older generations know even recent generations!
Here is the music list from today: Gather your people Bob Hurd
On the day I called Maltfriscans community
Praise to the Lord Alleluia Mike Stanley
You are Holy Imboden music/Martha Jo Music
Mass of Christ the Saviour Dan Schutte
Forever Amen The Briars
10,000 reasons Matt Redman
Be still for the presence of the Lord David Evans
This is Amazing Grace Phil Wickham Music Admin
All designed for participation with actions in many cases and some of the children and teachers were joining in. BUT it would be good to have something more familiar even traditional. Interestingly one of the children during the warm-up when asked to sing a solo sang Christ be our light! The booklet was also very confusing about what we were supposed to sing Bold type for some refrains but not all.
I would be interested to see comments and what one can do about this (if anything!)

JW
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Location: Kent

Re: Diocesan youth celebrations

Post by JW » Wed Jun 26, 2019 2:48 pm

Unlike Westminster, there is no core music repertoire for Southwark. Personally, I like it that each congregation has the freedom to choose music which suits its style of worship, from Latin at a small number of churches (e.g. St Augustine's Ramsgate) through English Hymnal used by the Ordinariate to the more relaxed repertoire found in Laudate, Celebration and Old & New.

Schools tend towards the 'happy clappy' because it's closer to children's culture. So, as organist says, they learn a very limited style of repertoire and they tend to look upon this dumbed-down fare as being music for small children: so they lose interest in it once they go to secondary school. No self respecting teenager is going to start waving their arms about...

The Bishops Conference would need to be very clear that schools must change their RE policies to have regard for the Catholic musical tradition if this situation is to be rectified. Otherwise it is left to a few private schools to maintain the tradition.

I'm not a member of the Southwark music committee, but what they have successfully done is to introduce parish musicians to good repertoire at music days and diocesan celebrations. This is then brought back to individual parishes and incorporated into their repertoire.
JW

justMary
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Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2010 9:53 pm
Parish / Diocese: Republic of Ireland

Re: Diocesan youth celebrations

Post by justMary » Thu Jun 27, 2019 8:37 pm

I'm not sure that a Picnic and Praise event is where I would expect to find traditional Catholic music!

There's a place for it, for sure, but it's something that most people grow into rather than experience from childhood.

Southern Comfort
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Re: Diocesan youth celebrations

Post by Southern Comfort » Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:14 pm

The key thing to take away from organist's comment is
organist wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 11:24 am
The Southwark Catholic Youth service team work really hard to animate these Masses, but I think it can be honestly said that they have a different agenda to what is being sung in many parishes and at diocesan events.
That is probably very true, and it deserves someone paying attention to the steady divergence of repertoire. But it is also true to say that a proportion of this music is fairly common (in some cases unfortunately) in parish and diocesan celebrations. Dan Schutte's "My Little Pony" Mass setting is used in a lot of churches now, despite the infelicities in its composition. Other pieces, such as the Redman and Wickham pieces, come from the praise and worship repertoire which is gradually encroaching on liturgical celebrations, despite its manifest unsuitedness to liturgical use (which is not to say that these pieces can't find a place in other contexts).

alan29
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Location: Wirral

Re: Diocesan youth celebrations

Post by alan29 » Fri Jun 28, 2019 3:34 pm

Schols have little curriculum time that they can set aside to liturgical music.
They learn what is appropriate for their age and what can be taught in limited time.
Lets face it, 95% of them will never go to church again when they get to secondary school, so it matters not that they arent learning what their great-grandma used to sing.

High Peak
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Parish / Diocese: Diocese of Nottingham
Location: Derbyshire

Re: Diocesan youth celebrations

Post by High Peak » Sun Jun 30, 2019 9:01 pm

JW wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 2:48 pm
Schools tend towards the 'happy clappy' because it's closer to children's culture. So, as organist says, they learn a very limited style of repertoire and they tend to look upon this dumbed-down fare as being music for small children: so they lose interest in it once they go to secondary school. No self respecting teenager is going to start waving their arms about...

The Bishops Conference would need to be very clear that schools must change their RE policies to have regard for the Catholic musical tradition if this situation is to be rectified. Otherwise it is left to a few private schools to maintain the tradition.
I wonder whether there is more to it than this. Sure, the children sing because it is more upbeat, but then staff convince themselves that this means that they are engaging with the liturgy and can tell inspectors, etc, how they are succeeding with this element of their school life. Yet it is ephemeral and, by itself, leaves nothing of substance.

One advantage of the more traditional hymns is that they have an element of catechesis that tends not to be found in praise and worship songs.

I wholeheartedly agree that guidance on these issues must come from above.
alan29 wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 3:34 pm
Schols have little curriculum time that they can set aside to liturgical music.
They learn what is appropriate for their age and what can be taught in limited time.
Lets face it, 95% of them will never go to church again when they get to secondary school, so it matters not that they arent learning what their great-grandma used to sing.
Actually, in my experience they sing what is appropriate to several years below their age. The children learn something, they sing it well, and so the school sticks with it beyond the age where it might be considered appropriate. Their is precious little appraisal and development of repertoire.

Time can be found if the will is there. Again, in my experience the will doesn't tend to be there.

Indeed, very few pupils will be going to church while at primary school, never mind secondary school. Which presents a challenge: should we be investing so much money in them? I was recently at meeting where one school's liturgical coordinator was a Muslim. At one of our local primary schools the only Catholic on the staff is the head teacher. I have felt for many years that we should more and more consider reducing the number of our schools and, where appropriate, join together with Christians of other mainstream denominations. I have experienced this once at a school where I was invited to deliver liturgical music workshops; I was very impressed with the school.

alan29
Posts: 1151
Joined: Fri May 27, 2005 8:04 pm
Location: Wirral

Re: Diocesan youth celebrations

Post by alan29 » Mon Jul 01, 2019 7:24 am

I wholeheartedly agree with your comments about schools.
I doubt we will ever see the day when an honest and realistic appraisal of their usefulness is undertaken. They have become some sort of a shibboleth.

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