James MacMillan: A Scots Song, A Life of Music

Amazon is clever and has got to know me over the last few years. She is so astute, in fact, that she suggested James MacMillan’s autobiography to me before it was even available. As a music student I was aware of MacMillan’s work and came across some of his liturgical music. Even before I became Catholic, I had excitedly shared his earth-shattering Tu Es Petrus with friends around the time of Pope Benedict’s visit in 2010. The first time I sang chant as at the Musica Sacra day in 2014, the year before I was received into the Church. In some ways, MacMillan has influenced me more than I had realised.

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Cardinal Burke to visit Glasgow, September 2019

I am delighted to be directing the music once again for a Pontifical High Mass offered by His Eminence Cardinal Burke on 14th September at Immaculate Heart Church, Balornock. I’m looking forward to working with an expanded Schola Una Voce which brings together singers from the Latin Mass communities of Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee. Music list TBA.

Top tools for TLM Music Directors

Life for church musicians and music directors is hectic. Often musicians are volunteers and balance work, family and church commitments while striving for the best quality of music for the liturgy. The demand of the liturgy is staggering. Secular choirs that I have worked with will take several months to prepare a concert, while we produce a whole hours worth of material every week!

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The Church Fathers on The Good Samaritan

In a climate of increasing secularism and religious pluralism, the necessity of Catholicism is unclear to many. The parable of the Good Samaritan is commonly used to illustrate the Golden rule which is held as common to most religions: that we should treat others as we want to be treated ourselves. While this ethical interpretation is valid and laudable, the Saints and Fathers of the Church remind us that to care only for the temporal needs of others is to expect them to ‘live by bread alone’ and that physical wellbeing is only part of the way to spiritual restoration. I will attempt to demonstrate that this redemption is only possible through the redeeming work of Jesus Christ and this extended to all people in all ages by His Catholic Church.

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Gregorian Chant: Music of Heaven on Earth

As a boy of 12, I remember our protestant minister commenting on the playing of my friend who was practicing the trumpet. ‘That is heavenly music’ he said with a wide grin. My friend’s satisfaction with the complement was shattered as the elderly man continued ‘it’s of no earthly use!’ What seemed like a remark made in jest, shattered my poor companion – once he had fully realised what it meant, that is.

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