About 60 members of the Conference of Roman Catholic Cathedral Musicians gathered in Los Angeles on January 12, 2004 for the 21st Gathering, which was held in conjunction with the Cathedral Ministries Conference. CRCCM members enjoyed a rare opportunity to meet with cathedral rectors and staff as well as their colleagues from across the continent.

Each day began with a continental breakfast at the Omni Hotel and morning prayer at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels (COLA). Next, keynote addresses were given on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday by Bishop Blaise Cupich (Diocese of Rapid City), Carol Schatz (Los Angeles Central City Assn.) and Edward James Olmos, respectively. After discussion of the keynote address and lunch at the Omni, conference attendees separated into smaller groups for presentations on various topics of interest to cathedral staff members. A culinary highlight of the conference was Tuesday night’s reception, hosted by COLA, which featured various California cuisines and selections from the Cathedral’s own wine label.

In addition to the workshop sessions provided as part of the Cathedral Ministry Conference, the CRCCM Steering Committee arranged several sessions especially for the benefit of CRCCM members. These included a presentation on “Televising the Liturgy” by Rev. Robert Bonnot of the Hallmark Television Network and Dr. Paul Ford’s address, “A ‘Gradual’ Approach to Singing THE Mass, not just Singing AT Mass”. Organ demonstrations for CRCCM members were hosted by Sal Soria at COLA, William Beck at St. Cyril of Jerusalem Church, and Manuel Rosales at the new Disney Concert Hall. Dr. Paul Salamunovich provided the week’s final musical offering, the choir of St. Charles Borromeo Church performing Morten Lauridsen’s “Lux Aeterna” and “O Magnum Mysterium”. The wonderful performance was enhanced by comments from the composer.

In keeping with tradition, the week included a reading of works by CRCCM composers and a closing banquet, provided this year by the Sportman’s Lodge in Studio City. The conference concluded Friday after Dr. Ford’s address with a blessing for travelers

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