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A New Year of Sacred Music

“Fun, challenging, exciting, rewarding, and fruitful”: Such was Scott Turkington’s summary of his first year as Director of Sacred Music at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe. That year included much expansion and many new developments in the Shrine’s sacred music program, all blessed to a degree that encourages him to hope for more in the year ahead.

The Apostolate

Expansions include more opportunities to hear the sacred music and more people to provide it. Music is now included in all three Masses offered on Sundays and in others held on special occasions. The choir has increased, as has the Sacred Music Department; two part-time assistants, Andrew McDonald and Hannah Falter, now share the management of the growing program. Sacred music not only enhances the Masses but takes on events of its own; a series of eight Sunday afternoon concerts, five organ recitals and three performances of choir and instruments, took place over the past year.

In addition, musical education for all ages is now being offered. This past summer, the Choir Camp for children and the Chant Camp for high schoolers were both well attended, as was the Ward course for Catholic music teachers. A course in Gregorian chant for adults will begin at the end of October. Enroll today!

“Everything went really well,” Turkington recalls. “We got good attendance, good turnout, people were happy; it was great.” He expects to continue developing the music program according to what proves best for pilgrims. “The two children’s camps will be permanent fixtures, because they’ve been very successful … [for] other things, the sky’s the limit.”

Glorify God and Edify the People

This passion is not only that of a dedicated professional, but of one joyfully embracing a part in God’s service. “The Shrine is an absolutely wonderful place to work,” Turkington says. “The Shrine is very much mission-oriented, and … one is naturally inspired to sign on to that mission.” This sense of mission has inspired the proliferation of programs, as means of promoting the good, the true, and the beautiful. “That is why the educational components in the music department are important, to remind everyone of the last thousand years of music,” Turkington adds. “That’s what church music is all about, to glorify God, to edify the people, and to provide the proper texts.”

“To glorify God and edify the people”: Our Lady’s Shrine was established for that purpose, and continually pursues new means to that end. Under Scott Turkington’s leadership, the Shrine’s Sacred Music Department has grown in scope while remaining unchanged in its mission, and seeks further ways to be of the most service to the most people.

You are invited!

All are invited to await further announcements in the year ahead, and to consider attending this year’s eighth and final concert, Turkington’s own organ recital, which will include pieces by Bach, Olivier Messiaen, Jean Langlais, Jeanne Demessieux, and Henri Mulet. The recital will take place Sunday, October 15, 3pm–4pm CST, in the Shrine Church. As always, admission is free and open to all!

Check out the Events Page for more details...