This year the Irish Church Music Association’s 50th summer school is preceded by a two-day jubilee conference held in partnership with the National Centre for Liturgy.  This special conference, beginning today in Maynooth, is reflecting on how music in the liturgy has changed over the past fifty years, and how it has evolved in practice within parishes throughout the country since Vatican II.

Immediately following this conference the 50th Irish Church Music Association summer school will open on the theme ‘Rejoice and Sing’ and will run from 2 to 5 July.

The Archbishop of Armagh and Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Dromore, Archbishop Eamon Martin, will participate in the conference on 2 July as well as celebrating Mass that evening. This Mass will be the closing liturgy of the two day conference, as well as being the opening Mass for the 50th summer school.

Bishop Tom Deenihan, Bishop of Meath, will celebrate Mass on the evening of 4 July for the association’s Festive Eucharist Celebration to mark the 50th summer school.

During the programme, a book will be launched to commemorate fifty years of the ICMA, and to honour influential members of the association over this time-span. A number of key Irish composers will present workshops during this year’s summer school.

Speaking as the jubilee conference opened, chairperson of ICMA Father Turlough Baxter said, “2019 is a particularly exciting time for the Irish Church Music Association marking fifty years of our annual summer school.  Our success to date is drawn from the association being a family of people involved in music throughout the country – women and men who are deeply dedicated to the enrichment of parish liturgies. All of us in the association draw strength from coming together and by sharing our skills and faith.”

Father Baxter continued, “This year we celebrate fifty years of building this family. Our opening two-day conference will be an opportunity to revisit why we use music in our liturgies, how we can move forward in a changing Church in Ireland, and how music unites a community and keeps worship alive.  Following this, our summer school will showcase notable composers and highlight elements of the musical liturgy which have originated during our annual meeting. This year we can look forward to a great gathering of people, each of whom enthusiastically brings their music to churches and parishes across Ireland and beyond.”

The guest director of the summer school will be Father Michael Joncas.  More information is available on www.irishchurchmusicassociation.com.

ENDS