Arriving at Leonarda da Vinci Airport, conference participants enjoyed an orientation tour of Rome, lunch, and check-in at the Hotel Dover. Members attended the late afternoon Eucharist for the Feat of the Presentation at St. Peter’s Basilica. Beautiful printed booklets and stylistic organ improvisations (by James Goettsche, Vatican organist) were noted; regarding the singing it may be wisest to report that the ceremonies were very well done!
Session I began with the introduction of members, presentation of agenda, discussion, and a formal greeting from Msgr. Pablo Colino of St. Peter’s Basilica. A brief rehearsal and hospitality time concluded the evening. Wednesday began with Eucharist in the ancient chapel of the German College celebrated by Fr. Chrysogonus Waddell, OSCO. Facilitating singing was a small, clearly-voiced Klais organ. Session II was a discussion led by James Savage and James Frazier entitled "Choral Music in Sacred Liturgy: Realities in Cathedral Praxis." Session III was a celebration of vespers in a crypt chapel of St. Peter’s, since the Choir Chapel became unavailable. Session IV was held at the Basilica of St. John Lateran: Morning Prayer, small group discussions, a tour of the famous papal apartments, and the annual CRCCM business meeting. Members also heard the restored "Luca Blase" transept organ, which is known to have been played by both Handel and Mozart. Sessions VI-VII were located at the North American College, where Cardinal Pio Laghi spoke regarding musical/liturgical formation in seminaries. Attendees sang Compline in the Vatican Pauline Chapel, followed by a special late night visit to the Sistine Chapel, dinner, and a panoramic tour of Rome. Friday was devoted to small group tours of the "scavi" beneath St. Peter’s. Sessions VIII-IX comprised a lecture-tour of the Vatican Archives conducted by Rev. Leonard Boyle, OP, which special access to well-known music manuscripts, including Palestrina and Allegri. The CRCCM Tenth Anniversary Banquet was held at Ristorante Sabatini in Trastevere.
On Saturday, a pilgrimage was made to Assisi, with spiritual; meditations delivered along the way by Fr. Chrysogonus. After a short stop at Santa Maria della Protiuncula, on to the Basilica of St. Clare and the Basilica of St. Francis. Session X was held in the Sala Romanica of the Basilica: spirituality for church musicians – meditations given by Fr. Chrysogonus. With time to explore the famous frescos, the conference celebrated Eucharist at the tomb of St. Francis in the crypt church. The Assisi trip concluded with dinner at Ristorante Il Frantoio. The final day in Rome included Eucharist at St. Peter’s with choirs of the World Congress of Choirs, a brunch-reception sponsored by CRCCM for visiting choral conductors, and an evening concert at St. Ignatius Church by the Choir of Mexico City Cathedral.