New initiative to encourage young people to take part in church music

Summer school at Maynooth starts for 45th time this week

New initiative at St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth to encourage young people to get involved in church music. Photograph: Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference

New initiative at St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth to encourage young people to get involved in church music. Photograph: Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference

Mon, Jun 30, 2014, 14:08

The 45th Irish Church Music Association summer school takes place at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth from Thursday next July 3rd until Sunday.

Founded in November 1969 to support the work of those in the field of liturgical music in Ireland, the Association meets at this annual event to allow people from around the island sing and pray together.

This year a new initiative, the ‘New Generation Youth Choir’, will provide such an opportunity for young people.

From all over Ireland they will collaborate in music for a youth choir, which will take part in the liturgy next Saturday night.

It is hoped that this initiative will encourage young people to be more involved in Church music.

One such participant will be Ciarán Coll, a teacher of Religion and Music at St Mary’s Holy Faith, secondary school at Glasnevin in Dublin.

He directs a choir in Our Lady of Victories parish on the Ballymun Rd.

“When you’re a musician people are often fascinated to know ‘what kind of music are you into?’ When students ask me this question in music class in St Mary’s, where I teach, they always get a shock when I include in my top five, ‘Liturgical Music’. Once we get past the initial explanation of what liturgical means, I still see bemused faces. The next question is always ‘why?’, ” he said.

He continued “for me music is a powerful medium, it is the great evoker of emotion, it articulates how we feel when we sometimes can’t find the words. Add this into the liturgy, full of rituals, symbolism and an embodied Gospel message made tangible, and what you have then is a richness that touches our heart and speaks to our soul.”

The theme of this year’s summer school i s ‘The Joy of the Gospel’, after the apostolic exhortation published by Pope Francis last November.