CRCCM was welcomed to Seattle and St. James Cathedral by James Savage, Joseph Adam, Loren and Lisa Pontén. The agenda was presented and the opening session continued with a discussion of the future of American church music and of our profession. Session II began with sung morning prayer in the newly-renovated Cathedral, with its classical inspiration, dramatic liturgical spaces, commissioned art, and clean, reverberant acoustic. Cathedral Rector Fr. Michael Ryan provided a fascinating tour. In Session III, Roger Sherman of Microsoft provided helpful tips and techniques for producing CD recordings. Session IV was a forum in professional concerns led by Felip Holbrook: competence, just treatment, documents/publications, communication, associations. John Romeri’s DMMD article ("Be Professional… Before it’s too late") facilitated discussion. Session V concerned computer-generated worship aids, led by Loren Pontén. In Session VI, John Gibbs from the University of Washington Music Library discussed the cataloging of music collections using various computer programs. Session VII was moderated by Gregory Glenn: planning and preparation of new and renovated worship spaces – the opportunities and pitfalls. Session VIII was a discussion on theatrical lighting for liturgical spaces presented by Patty Mathieu from Pacific Northwest Theater Services. The discussion was in reference to the St. James production of Sponsus – the 13th-century mystery play which we attended. In Session IX, Margriet Tindemans from the Center for Early Music Studies gave a presentation on the realization of the Sponsus score, and also the use of medieval music in modern liturgy, for which she provided useful handouts.
Session X was a lively discussion led by Frank Brownstead: "A Vision of the Cathedral in the Third Millenium." Explored were issues of personnel, music, liturgy, and shared vision. Several perspectives emerged: the Church is in crisis and a significant clerical reform may be required; many colleagues suffer in situations where there is little or no acknowledgment of their human worth, let alone their value as musicians; many must operate in dysfunctional staff situations – who would wish to enter such a profession? Interventions may be useful under proper circumstances, but flexibility and sensitivity regarding differing points of view must be tempered by integrity in maintaining standards of appropriateness and excellence. Long-range views require us to affirm official documents to counter the disturbing influence of commercialism which fuels the suburban worship style.
Session XI moved into unfinished business: the Treasurer’s report, discussion of CRCCM liaison with BCL, NPM, DMMD. Singers from St. James Cathedral assisted in the annual composers’ reading session. Social events included a reception at the Archbishop’s Residence and a banquet held on a historic Lake Union schooner, where our special guest was Peter Hallock.