Saturday February 6, 2016 from 8:30 AM to 3:00 PM
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The Empress Room at Saint Helena Parish
1489 DeKalb Pike
Blue Bell, PA

Driving Directions


Ronald Chancler
The Association of Church Musicians in Philadelphia

Winter Workshop 2016: Ever Ancient - Ever New: Introducing Chant into Our Parish Repertoire 

2016 Winter Workshop

Music for Adult Scholas, Children’s Choirs, and Parish Congregations

Charles Thatcher, keynote presenter
Zach Hemenway, presenter

 Saturday, February 6, 2016
(Snow Date: February 20)
8:15 am — 3:00 pm

 The Empress Room at the Church of Saint Helena
1489 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell

A continental breakfast, all-day coffee service and a hot buffet lunch is included!

Why Chant?

 “Gregorian chant is uniquely the Church’s own music.”
(Sing to the Lord, number 72.)

[Gregorian chant] is a unique and universal spiritual heritage which
has been handed down to us as the clearest musical expression
of sacred music at the service of God’s word.”
(John Paul II, Address to the International Congress of Sacred Music, number 3.)


Are you looking to mix the old with the new? Would you like your choirs and congregations to sing some chant but don’t know how to teach them?
Would you like to use the music found in your parish hymnals?

EVER ANCIENT-EVER NEW, a workshop for all musicians, clergy, and anyone interested in the use of chant in worship, will be led by renown chant authority and church musician Charles Thatcher.

Charles Thatcher has served as Director of Music for the Diocese of Orlando and Saint James Cathedral since 2011. To this work he brings a background of education in organ performance, church music, Gregorian Chant and theology; the experience of life as a Benedictine monk of St. Meinrad Archabbey in Indiana; and decades of parish ministry in Germany, Virginia, and Orlando.

Charles has given presentations on the use of English and Latin chant in the liturgy at Orlando Liturgical Conferences and at several national conventions of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians.  In 2013, he was a clinician for chant conducting at the St. Basil School of Gregorian Chant (University of St. Thomas, Houston).  A composer of congregational and choral music, his works have been published by World Library Publications, Oregon Catholic Press, and MorningStar Music Publishers.

  Charlest Thatcher, keynote presenter

What’s on the agenda?

  • How do we build a parish repertoire that includes chant?
  • How do we teach chant to our choirs and congregations?
  • Is this music found in our parish hymnals? Yes, it is!
Come hear Charles Thatcher, with both expertise and passion, guide us through the selection of quality repertoire upon which the foundation of a church music program can be built.

Listen as he speaks of quality and excellence in rehearsals and music preparation.

Watch as he takes us through the selection and preparation of music and then rehearses it with a choir of local parish musicians.

The music will be a mix of traditional chant and modern composition based on chant.

Sessions One and Two will include the following:

  • History and overview of chant
  • Spirituality of chant
  • Resources for Latin and English
  • Specific Repertoire
  • Accompanying and directing chant
  • Teaching chant to the congregation
  • Using repertoire in our hymnals that is chant-based

 Session Three will consist of two breakouts:

  • An open rehearsal with parish musicians led by Charles Thatcher.
  • If you would like to be considered for participation in the schola, please indicate that on the registration screen.
  • Zach Hemenway, Director of Music at Saint Paul's Episcopal Church in Chestnut Hill, will conduct a rehearsal with the Saint Paul Children’s Choiristers utilizing chant and how to present it to children.

The Second Vatican Council directed that the faithful be able to sing parts of the
Ordinary of the Mass together in Latin. [Sacrosanctum Concilium, number 54.]
In many worshipping communities in the United States, fulfilling this directive
will mean introducing Latin chant to worshippers who perhaps have not sung it before.
With prudence, pastoral sensitivity, and reasonable time for progress and encouraged
to achieve this end, every effort in this regard is laudable and highly encouraged.
(Sing to the Lord, number 74.)

Zach Hemenway, presenter