SMND Releases Documentary Film about Coptic Liturgical Chant: Where the Hudson Meets the Nile: Coptic Liturgical Chant in Jersey City

Author: Matt Haines

Where the Hudson Meets the NileTeaching Coptic Liturgical Chant in Jersey City, a short documentary film by Christian Jara and Margot Fassler, explores theways chant has been taught at St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Church in Jersey City by singers David Labib and Steve Soliman, with attention to the place of the music in the formation of communal identity. Filmed over several years of time, the film enters into teaching practices within a completely memorized oral tradition developed by the singers to encourage children and youth to learn a vast and highly complex repertory of melodies.Through this teaching children are prepared for roles in the church of the future as congregants, as deacons, and as future monks and priests.The Coptic Orthodox Church has grown exponentially since the 1960’s when St. Mark’s in Jersey City was founded. There are now nearly 200 Coptic churches in the USA and two monasteries, and the chant is central to the liturgical practices and institutional lives of these establishments. The teaching skills displayed by Labib and Soliman in their work include breaking down melismas to their simplest components, developing personalized systems of “notation” to trigger thememory, comparative study of master chanters, and mastery of the Coptic texts so the singer understands what is being sung and can pray while singing. The film concentrates upon several stages of learning, with an emphasis on the use of technology both within the service, and for personal and group study. Commentary on footage of music and the liturgy is provided through a filmed conversation between musicologist Margot Fassler, an outsider to thetradition, and Bishop Kyrillos (Formerly Fr. John Paul Abdelsayed), a theologian and auxiliary bishop in the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of Los Angeles.…

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Margot Fassler Elected President of the Medieval Academy of America

Author: Matt Haines

The Medieval Academy of America is pleased to announce the election of Margot E. Fassler, Keough-Hesburgh Professor of Music History and Liturgy at the University of Notre Dame, as President of the Medieval Academy.

The Medieval Academy of America is the largest organization in the world promoting excellence in the field of medieval studies. It was founded in 1925 and is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The academy publishes the quarterly journal Speculum, and awards prizes, grants, and fellowships. Professor Fassler’s year-long term will culminate with her Presidential Address at the 93rd Annual Meeting of the Medieval Academy on 2 March 2018 at Emory University. Additional duties and responsibilities include presiding at meetings of the Academy’s Council, Executive Committee, and Corporation, and representing the Academy at home and abroad. She will also be responsible for appointing the Chair of the Nominating Committee and members of the selection committees for the Academy’s Haskins Medal and John Nicholas Brown Prize.…

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Margot Fassler Featured in Women Lead Article by Notre Dame

Author: Matt Haines

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Margot Fassler has been featured in the Women Lead article by Notre Dame on International Women Day this Tuesday, March 8th. In the article she talks about her professional accomplishments and personal triumphs that have lead her to her current position at Notre Dame, as well as the power of women in the liturgical world.…

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Pierpaolo Polzonetti Awarded the H.Colin Slim Award

Author: Matt Haines

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Pierpaolo Polzonetti has been awarded the H.Colin Slim Award for his essay “Tartini and the Tongue of Saint Anthony”.

“The H. Colin Slim Award honors each year a musicological article of exceptional merit, published during the previous year (2015) in any language and in any country by a scholar who is past the early stages of her or his career and who is a member of the AMS or a citizen or permanent resident of Canada or the United States.” (http://www.ams-net.org/awards/slim.php

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