YARMOUTH — Directors of music, cantors, and volunteer choir members from around New England will gather at Sacred Heart Church in Yarmouth on Oct. 12-14 for a three-day workshop that will offer an enriching and transformative experience including the fundamentals of singing, music theory and structure, cantor training, and even introduction to chant.

Participants at the Fall Maine Sacred Music Conference will have the opportunity to delve into the timeless beauty of chant in sung liturgy, transform their skills as cantors, master the art of music reading in the context of church choir rehearsal, and explore vocal pedagogy under the guidance of distinguished international teacher of voice Michael Rocchio and Angela Rocchio, founders of the International Chant Academy.

On Thursday, Oct. 12, the theme will be “Fundamentals of Singing” from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Participants will learn proper, healthy singing technique, vowel formation, intonation, diction techniques, vocal blending, and distinctions in vocal excellence.

On Friday, Oct. 13, the theme will be “Introduction to Chant” from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. as participants will learn the fundamentals of reading chant notation, focusing on the relationship of chant melody to text. The importance and unique musicality of the chant modes will be revealed. Participants will learn by singing to artfully apply these concepts and distinctions to the performance of chant.

The morning session on Saturday, Oct. 14, will focus on “Fundamentals of Music Theory and Structure from 8-10 a.m. It is a participatory tutorial for choral singers who have little to no knowledge of music theory or structure. Participants will learn about note and rest types and values, time signatures, conducting patterns and stress patterns, clefs, staffs and systems, key signatures, and expression markings. The later session on Saturday will run from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and feature “Transformative Cantoring,” a session meant for singers already serving as cantors who are committed to learning how to be more effective in their role. Participants will interactively learn the art and techniques of interpreting text and delivering their message with “intentionality.” 

Participants can also join the Sacred Heart Choir in singing the Votive Mass of the Sacred Heart on Friday at 6 p.m., the Novus Ordo Mass of Anticipation on Saturday at 4 p.m., and the Novus Ordo High Mass on Sunday at 11 a.m.

There are two registration options: a three-day immersive package ($225 for all three days) and a la carte ($75 per day). Students, seminarians, and religious can attend all three days for just $105. To register, visit www.pothe.org/sacredmusic, call 207-847-6884, or email sacredmusic@pothe.org.