On Saturday our annual public Gregorian Chant Training Day took place. The first of these was led by the late Dr Mary Berry; since then they have been led by Mr Philip Duffy.
Having a public event such as this is intended to stimulate interest in the Chant, especially among local Catholic singers, as well as providing an opportunity for Schola members to experience a nationally recognised Chant expert.
We rehearsed the hymns of Benediction (we attended the regular Benediction on Saturdays at 11am) and the Votive Mass of Our Lady, Salve sancta parens, with the variations for the Easter Season, with Mass IV. We had sung most of the chants before and Mr Duffy was able to focus on the interpretation.
A matter of particular interest in Tempore Paschale is where to stress the word 'alleluia'. Alleluia is added to many of the chants in the Easter Season, so we sang it again and again. The syllable marked as stressed is the third - allelUia - but Mr Duffy explained that there is a secondary stress on the first: ALlelUia. Or better, the second and the final syllable are de-emphasised. You can hear how we sang alleluia after a day of Mr Duffy's instructions!
The day concluded with Sung Mass at 3.30pm, accompanied by the participants, celebrated by Fr John Saward, who had very generously hosted the event in his church and hall.