Forty-eight CRCCM members and friends from Cathedrals in the United States and Canada visited thirteen Roman Catholic and Anglican cathedrals, parish and collegiate churches, to witness a rich spectrum of liturgical music-making and to enjoy discussions with British colleagues. A busy schedule, lively discussions, fine weather, and a comfortable hotel combined to produce a super conference. CRCCM pilgrims visited London, Ely, Cambridge, Salisbury, Stonehenge, Winchester, and Canterbury; members participated in liturgies and enjoyed presentations by a number of distinguished colleagues. Attendees also enjoyed the usual information exchange and fellowship.
James O’Donnell, Master of Music at Westminster Cathedral, was gracious host, and several sessions were held in the Cathedral Great Hall. Presentations in London were given by James O’Donnell, by Andrew Carwood at Brompton Oratory, by Martin Parry and David Graham at Farm Street Jesuit Church, by Harry Bramma at All Saints Margaret Street (retiring head of RSCM), by John Scott at St. Paul’s Cathedral, and by Martin Neary at Westminster Abbey. Ely Cathedral presenters Rev. Peter Moger and Paul Trepte greeted us. Three venues in Cambridge kept us busy: Trinity College (Richard Marlow), St. John’s College (Christopher Robinson), King’s College (Scott Deitra). At Salisbury, we spent time with Simon Lole; David Hill met us at Winchester. An optional trip to Canterbury involved Evensong with two choirs: Canterbury and Rochester.
A special feature of the London Conference was the distribution of published copies of the commissioned work, Gloria, by Gerald Near: a through-composed setting for choir, congregation, organ and brass – "in honor of the Fifteenth Anniversary of CRCCM." The new work is available from Paraclete Press in Orleans, MA.
Conference business sessions produced several initiatives: CRCCM leadership was partially restructured. The three founding members form an Advisory Board (and are no longer members of the Steering Committee); they will participate in Steering Committee deliberations, but will not be eligible to vote. The Steering Committee consists of six elected members (joined by the treasurer, membership chair, and hosts of the conference in prospect), with staggered terms of office.
A Communications Committee was formed to facilitate contact between members and other organizations. A CRCCM web site is to be created. It was agreed that opportunities for educational outreach should be explored, with opportunity for input from the membership, so that the organization might broaden its sphere of influence. A temporary Finance Committee was instituted to explore such issues as tax-exempt status and outside sources of funding. Committee structures, job descriptions, and procedures, sufficiently well defined to endure personnel changes, will be codified in a newly-revised handbook to be submitted to the Washington 1999 conference for approval. It was agreed that Conference XVII in 2000 would be a joint meeting with Cathedral Rectors in San Antonio. Current projects will be helpful toward strengthening CRCCM for this critical convocation.