Singing the praises of pastoral music

The Australian Pastoral Musicians National Conference in Melbourne (APMNC)

The Australian Pastoral Musicians Network held its national conference in Melbourne this month, with more than 330 participants from Australia and New Zealand meeting under the theme “Listen to the Spirit and Sing”. Source: Melbourne Catholic.

The conference is hosted biennially in a different Australian state and celebrates and supports the work of Catholic pastoral music ministries in liturgical, catechetical, youth ministry, school, hospital, prison, community, diocesan and parish settings.

Expert presenters at the October 1-3 conference offered keynotes, workshops, showcases, and more than 45 dynamic breakout sessions to over 330 participants covering a wide range of topics and musical genres. Melbourne Archbishop Peter A. Comensoli celebrated the conference Mass.

Keynote presenters, Dr Tony Alonso and Diana Macalintal from the United States, covered topics such as

  • Becoming what we sing: liturgical reflections from the heart of Pope Francis;
  • Liturgical participation: how we learn the true Christian Spirit; and
  • Becoming leaders of sung prayer. Both presenters are accomplished musicians, composers and liturgists.

Sr Deirdre Browne IBVM and Roger Heagney OAM were honoured at the conference dinner for their outstanding service to liturgical music in Australia and four scholarships were awarded for young pastoral musicians to further enhance their skills and training in Music Ministry. The scholarships are named after Rev Dr Russell Hardiman and Rev Dr Bill Jordan, who were both dedicated to the renewal of the Church and liturgical music, as envisioned by Vatican ll. Recipients of the scholarships this year were Emma Fradd (Queensland), Cecilia Jackson (New South Wales), Patrick Shannon (Victoria) and Dominique Laban (NSW).

The “Listening to Youth” panel discussion was a conference highlight. The APMN has a special focus on supporting young people to take their place in the Church, and to enhance their love of the liturgy and pastoral music through excellent training.

The next APMN conference will be held in 2021 where the keynote speaker will be internationally acclaimed pastoral musician Bernadette Farrell, known for her hymn, Christ, Be Our Light.


Australian Pastoral Musicians Network National Conference (Melbourne Catholic)

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