ISM Course Offerings
As in previous years, this June the Yale Institute of Sacred Music will offer weeklong, non-credit courses as part of Summer Term at SDQ. The ISM’s courses reflect its commitment to the study of worship, music, and all the arts as integral components of the spiritual life of faith communities. Courses meet Monday – Friday of each week. Check-in for all courses begins at 8 am on Monday morning at SDQ. More information and a listing of all the Summer Term courses being offered are online at www.yale.edu/sdqsummerterm.
June 7 - 11
Icon Writing Workshop
Vladislav Andrejev, Prosopon School of Iconology
The course offers a study of the ancient “floating” technique of icon painting in the Byzantine-Russian tradition, which reached its height in the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. Students are acquainted with the preparation of an icon board, learn gold leaf application by the bole method, study the horizontal “floating” technique of egg tempera, and are instructed how to finish the icon with boiled linseed oil. As in antiquity, natural materials are used, and the iconographic method is characterized by a multi-step process in which the succession of steps is concrete and definite, as in the liturgical services of the Church. Students are introduced to both the practical and theoretical parts of the ancient iconographic tradition: explanations of iconic symbolism, and the theological and philosophical basis of each step of the process, are presented in parallel with the technical instruction. The main goal of study is to uncover the world of one’s inner life and the principles of God’s Image and Action in it and in all of creation through the study of the symbolic, “reverse perspective” language. Thus, emphasis is placed on personal spiritual discipline and growth through a study of Christian Church teachings and principles.
Beginners and students with limited experience in icon-writing will write the icons of Archangels Michael and Gabriel. Those with more experience will write the icon of St. John the Baptist on a mountainous background. For advanced students the icon will contain more elaborate work, like decorated halo, for example.
Renewing Congregational Song
Patrick Evans, Yale Institute of Sacred Music/Yale Divinity School
How do we help the members of our congregations reclaim or cultivate their own musicianship? This is an important pastoral ministry, and an essential aspect of liturgy. Many, if not most, of the “people in the pews” in our churches have been vocally disenfranchised by some personal experience in which they were told their singing was not good enough; by the perfection of the recorded music which they listen to on a daily basis, as enabled by ever-advancing technology; and/or by a cultural message, both outside and inside the church, overt or covert, which says that only those who are “trained” singers really need to contribute to the sung portions of the liturgy. Overwhelming cultural forces create passivity and discourage inherent musicianship in all but the trained or highly skilled. This course will examine the theology in the embodied act of singing, as well as the spiritual loss that arises when members of the community are cut off from that act. We will address practical, musical, pastoral ways to help the members of the assembly reclaim their voices and their own musicianship. We will examine space, instrumentation, leadership of cantors and choirs, hymnody, service music, congregational repertoire, and will imagine new ways to be sure that “ALL the earth” is well-prepared and invited to “sing a new song.”
Musical Skills and Vocal Development for Parish Ministry
Patrick Evans, Yale Institute of Sacred Music/Yale Divinity School
This course is designed to help clergy and lay worship leaders develop their own musicianship and is intended primarily for folks with limited musical experience. Through vocal master classes, exploration of hymn tunes, meters, texts, and a wide range of congregational song, participants will increase their confidence levels in planning music for worship and learning to lead congregational song. There are three goals: 1. That participants improve whatever vocal and musical skills are appropriate to their own ways of worshiping (chanting, psalmody, call-and-response, etc.) 2. That they develop confidence with musical as well as textual insight in hymn selection. 3. That levels of understanding, collaboration, and communication between clergy, lay leaders, and church musicians be strengthened.
David: Love and Power
Peter Hawkins, Yale Institute of Sacred Music/Yale Divinity School, and Victoria Hoffer, Yale Divinity School
Our seminar will explore David as beloved of the Lord, as giant-slayer and warrior, as lover and loved, as king and dynasty founder through wives and sons, and as poet and singer. We will encounter him in various ways: first, in biblical narrative (1 and 2 Samuel and 1 Kings) then in the Psalter (especially in those psalms that have been understood as relating to his life), and finally as the progenitor of the messianic dream. Our primary goal will be to see how the Hebrew Bible presents David as a charismatic mass of contradiction. Subsequent tradition will mine this textual resource in many different ways. We will see David in the work of Robert South well, Rudyard Kipling, and Robert Frost, in contemporary Israeli poets, such as Moshe Door, Yehuda Amichai, and Natan Zach, and in selections from the fiction of Robert Pinsky's The Story of David and Joseph Heller's God Knows.
June 14 - 18
Now We Are One Body: Global Song in Local Worship
Patrick Evans, Yale Institute of Sacred Music/ Yale Divinity School
North American Christians are but a small part of the body of Christ in the twenty-first century. This course will examine hymnody and liturgical music from many parts of that body. We will examine the reasons for singing global song in local worship, the theology behind what happens when we do, and offer practical ways to teach and learn music from non-western traditions in ways that are respectful of the sending culture and that also engage the receiving culture in deeper musical and spiritual experiences. We will learn together ways to help our congregations truly “join our voices with the saints of every time and place.”
Gender and Worship, Past and Present
Teresa Berger, Yale Institute of Sacred Music/ Yale Divinity School
Has gender shaped worship? Is gender inscribed into liturgical practices? How did gendered identities mark worship, for example in seating arrangements, in participation in or exclusions from certain rituals, or in visual representations in sacred space? And why is gender so hotly contested in worship at the beginning of the 21st century? These are just some of the questions this summer course proposes for intellectual inquiry. The category “gender” will be understood to attend to all gendered identities and sexualities. Gender, in other words, goes beyond binary femininity and masculinity and includes all gendered particularities (e.g., eunuchs in Byzantium and intersexed people in contemporary America, as well as men and women). What relationship is there between gender, thus understood, and worship? Briefly, no liturgy ever was celebrated in a vacuum of cultural referents, and gender constructions were one such fundamental cultural referent. They continue to be a cultural referent, even (or especially?) at a moment in time when traditional gendering processes are breaking down. One could thus say that gender has always been and continues to be a fundamental marker of liturgical life. This summer course opens for scholarly inquiry this rich and complex terrain.
Composition for Church Musicians
Dan Locklair, Wake Forest University
This is a course for composers looking for an opportunity to workshop a sacred piece in progress in a master-class setting. Students will participate in individual and group sessions with Dan Locklair, composer-in-residence and professor of music at Wake Forest University. A recipient of numerous awards and one of the most prolific and widely performed US composers of music across all genres, he has a special affinity for sacred music. At the end of the week, students will share their work with each other (as facilities permit). Limited enrollment. Applicants should be trained musicians and at least amateur composers with a work of sacred music in progress. The piece(s) to be workshopped may be of any length and vocal/instrumental scoring; there are no facilities available for electronic works. The applicant must submit a score of a completed sample work, together with a recording on CD if available, in support of the application for this course. The sample work should be representative of the applicant’s compositional style, but does not necessarily have to be sacred in character. Those interested in this course should contact the Institute of Sacred Music at 203-432-9753 for application information.