Musicians conference to foster joyful song and unity
By Josh Low
Unification as the ‘Body of Christ’ to worship the Lord with joy will be the focus of the third Australian Pastoral Musicians Network (APMN) Conference, which will be held in October this year.
Being held for three days from 5 to 7 October at the Rendezvous Hotel, Scarborough, the theme of this year’s Conference is ‘Sing with Joy! United in Diversity’.
The event will see keynote addresses by American pre-eminent contemporary composer of Liturgical Music David Haas and Director of the ACU Centre for Liturgy and Chair of the National Liturgical Music Board Professor Clare Johnson.
Workshops covering a vast range of topics regarding music and its vital role in the Catholic faith will be offered, with the conference conducted for all Parish Musicians, Cantors, Choir Members, Conductors, Clergy, Music and Religious Education Teachers, Catechists and all who love sung prayer.
President of the APMN, Michael Mangan, says that music is one of the ‘primary vehicles for fully conscious and active participation by the assembly in the liturgy’.
“Singing together unifies us as the “Body of Christ” and well-chosen songs draw us into the various rituals and parts of the liturgy.
“Outside of liturgy, religious music has much to offer in personal prayer, various devotional gatherings, in Religious Education and chaplaincy in schools and especially in Youth Ministry,” he said.
Mr Mangan said the aim of the APMN conference is to provide an opportunity for all involved in pastoral music and liturgy to access education from a range of highly qualified and experienced speakers and workshop presenters.
He added that the conference can enable networking and mutual support for musicians, teachers and liturgists who often minister in isolation in their own parishes and schools.
“The feedback from our previous two conferences has highlighted the sense of celebration, mutual support and camaraderie among participants,” he said.
With the keynote speakers David Haas and Professor Clare Johnson creating a lot of interest, Mr Mangan said the APMN is looking forward with anticipation to the event.
“We are very excited about bringing such an amazing opportunity to the Church in WA who are often unable to travel to the east coast where such events are often held.
“We look forward to joyfully celebrating our unity and our diversity when we gather in Perth in October,” he said.
Keynote speaker for the conference, David Haas, says music has power to take the words of our transformation and conversion and express these truths in ways that words alone cannot do.
He emphasised the need for others to surrender to the stirring of God’s song in our everyday lives and not solely during ritual moments of the liturgy and hopes to offer a call to joy at the upcoming conference.
“I hope that my sharing with the participants will deepen and engage our passion and commitment to the wonder of God’s presence, God’s creation, and the idea (and truth) that music, fundamentally does not belong to us, for it is God’s idea.
“Conferences and workshops should not only be an opportunity to learn more; they hopefully should serve as a ‘reset’ to go forth with new energy, as if we were serving as pastoral musicians for the very first time; discovering, singing, praying and leading our people in prayer, as if it were and is a new adventure,” Mr Haas concluded.
For further information contact the Conference Convenor, Angela Gorman (Bendotti) at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0407 389 751