The conference was held at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Erie, Pennsylvania. It was hosted by William Herring and attended by fifty members (from a total membership of eighty). Organized into fourteen sessions, the presentations and discussions covered several topics, among them: tensions between a cathedral’s dual roles as diocesan center and parish, and the challenge to CRCCM to continue development of cathedral liturgy/music as role model for the church at large. Conference members met with The Most Rev. Michael Murphy, Bishop of Eire. There was extensive discussion of a recent "advisory letter" to bishops concerning Concerts in Churches, issued by the Roman Congregation for Divine Worship. There was probing discussion of the background and intent of the letter, and practical solutions to the issues raised were offered. A working paper on this topic was drafted for the use of conference members as a guide to their rectors and bishops. Other topics concerned the use of synthesizers in worship and the growing use of instrumental sampling and substitution; the spread of pre-recorded music tracks for use in liturgy; suggestions for flexibility and variety in the use of options in the Sacramentary; and an exploration of financial grants available from various sources.
Sister Mary Jane Wagner reported on the CRCCM commission for new settings of music for the Chrism Mass. The commission, funded by thirty-five bishops, was awarded to Robert Twynham (Baltimore) and will be available to participating cathedrals for Holy Week, 1989. The new work would be heard for the first time as part of the 1989 conference.
Organbuilder Randall Wagner presented a history of organbuilding in Erie and led organ crawls to four local churches. In business matters, an annual membership fee for participating cathedrals was established to cover administrative costs as well as a conference newsletter. Projects referred to the Steering Committee for further study included an apprentice-intern program and various publication ideas. An Epiphany concert was presented by the choir of St. Peter’s Cathedral directed by William Herring, and was followed by a festive dinner hosted by Msgr. John Slater, cathedral rector.