Canons Regular of St. John Cantius


The Canons Regular of Saint John Cantius held a music camp for youth from August 2 to 13, 2010 at their main parish in Chicago. The two weeks, open to young people ages 12 to 18, provided an opportunity to learn about the Church’s Sacred Music, both in theory and in practice.

From 1:00 to 7:30pm on Monday to Friday, students were able to take part in the following classes: Chant Theory, Music and the Liturgy, and Chant Sight-singing. The classes were taught by Br. Chad McCoy, SJC, director of the Holy Innocents Childrens’ Choir and by Br. Matthew Schuster, SJC.

The “Chant Theory” class featured a full explanation of the Gregorian modes, as well as a tutorial on the different “neumes” and rhythmic patterns of chant. Examples were taken from the Liber Usualis, while the main text used was Square Notes: A Workbook in Gregorian Chant.

The “Chant Sight-singing” class taught participants to both read and intone pieces in Gregorian chant notation using solfège.

In the “Music and the Liturgy” class, students learned the basics of Church-musicianship: the practical application of Sacred music in the liturgy. Students studied the Church’s instruction on Sacred Music using the following three documents: The Motu Proprio of Pius X on Sacred Music: Tra le Sollecitudini, The Chirograph for the Centenary of the Motu Proprio Tra le Sollecitudini, and the Postconciliar Document Musicam Sacram on Music in the Liturgy.

Each day the students had the privilege of participating in Choral Vespers with the Canons Regular. Participation included learning and singing the chants proper to the Liturgy of the Hours.

Afternoons featured a sports period where the youth could play soccer, basketball, or some other activity.

During the dinner period, students received private voice lessons by Mrs. Michelle Mitsui and Miss Kathryn Michalowski. In the evening the students gathered as a large ensemble to work on various choral pieces under the direction of Ms. Teri Sullivan, who has a long history of choral direction at Saint John Cantius Parish.

Music Camp in Photos

Br. Chad McCoy, SJC conducts a class in chant theory

Going through the chant workbook

Students eager to participate

Br. Chad McCoy giving and explanation of the modes in Gregorian chant

Some of the students sport their favorite chant “neumes.”

Br. Matthew Schuster, SJC teaches the chant sight-singing class.

Students practice the chant propers

Students hear feedback on their chanting

Br. Matthew Schuster provides direction for the chant propers

Participating in Choral Vespers with the Canons Regular

Students singing the chants proper to the Liturgy of the Hours

Students singing a four-part Magnificat during Vespers

A private voice lesson provides one-one-one time to work on vocal technique

Ms. Teri Sullivan leads the large ensemble in a choral piece

Students share a laugh while working on a choral piece