Upcoming – Spring 2017

Second Season of the Metropolitan Catholic Chorale

IMG_1690The Metropolitan Catholic Chorale (MCC) is dedicated to singing the Catholic Church’s treasury of sacred music—Gregorian chant and sacred polyphony—in the context of the sacred liturgy in the New York metropolitan region, and to helping others discover, understand, and love the Church’s sacred music. In keeping with the purpose of sacred music, our aim is to glorify God and sanctify and edify those who hear us.

Auditions for the 2017–2018 season will be held August 27–29 and September 5.

More information is available here.

Gregorian Chant for Children Ages 4.5 to 14 – Ward Method Classes at Colm Cille Homeschool Co-Op

IMG_9526Classes meet at St. Catharine’s Church in Pelham, New York. Classes schedule for 2017–2018 TBA. For more information on the classes or for tuition rates, please email

The Ward Method is a comprehensive music education method, developed by Catholic convert Justine Ward in the 1920s, and used extensively in Catholic schools until the 1970s. The method has as its goals the education of the child in the beauty of the Church’s sacred music, and helping children participate well in the sacred liturgy through the singing of Gregorian chant. The method incorporates ear training so that children are able to both intelligently hear and sing written music at sight, as well as a thorough grounding in musical notation which lends itself to other musical studies. Each student learns to match pitch and sing with good vocal technique. Games which develop composition and improvisation skills are incorporated into each lesson, and students are trained in rhythm and musical dictation. The method is designed so that each activity takes 2-5 minutes and keeps young children engaged.


Private Lessons in Chant Conducting (Chironomy)

d504f7df-ef69-4488-a5d9-fb6e7d0f75ebAre you interested in learning how to conduct Gregorian chant according to the classical Solesmes method? Have you learned some of the basics and are now looking to improve your developing conducting skills? Private lessons are available, either in-person or via Skype/FaceTime.

Learn more about tuition rates and scheduling availability by emailing Dr. Donelson at



Summer 2018

Principles of Sacred Music (Hybrid course – begins early June with online work and concludes with two days in-person on July 23 and 24, 2018 at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers)

stained-glass50Through a survey of the history of sacred music and reading of Church and papal legislation on sacred music, students gain an understanding of the principles which shape Western sacred music and the musical structure of the Roman rite. Special focus is placed on current documents which govern music in the Church. The course also features in-depth discussion of practical issues including the formation and management of sacred music programs in parishes, active participation, progressive solemnity, the use of instruments in the sacred liturgy, resources available for music directors and choristers, and other relevant topics.

3 credits


Introduction to Chant (July 25–28 at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers)

graduale-romanum2530xlServing as an introduction to Gregorian chant, this course will cover neumatic notation, Gregorian modes, ear training and sight reading, vocal technique appropriate for singing chant, and Latin pronunciation. Special focus will be placed on rhythmic interpretation of the chant according to the classical Solesmes (Mocquereau) method. By the end of the class, students will have confidence singing from the Graduale Romanum, solfège, and psalm tones, and some experience in conducting (chironomy). Additional topics introduced in the class include the history of Gregorian chant, rehearsal techniques for teaching chant to children and adult choirs, and an introduction to chant resources in English and Spanish.

3 credits


Offerings on a Rotating Basis

Teaching Gregorian Chant to Children (semester TBA)

Don_Silvestro_dei_Gherarducci_-_Nativity,_in_an_initial_P_-_Google_Art_ProjectThis 4-day intensive course will present pedagogical techniques for teaching Gregorian chant to children and is ideal for Catholic schoolteachers, directors and teachers of religious education, directors of children’s choirs, and parents. Special emphasis will be placed on the Ward Method, a comprehensive music education method designed to teach sacred music to children. Other topics addressed will include resources for teachers, other teaching approaches, and the logistics of developing a sacred music program for children.

3 credits