2018 Workshop in Askrigg, Upper Wensleydale

The seventh annual Gregorian Chant Workshop will be held on 15 September 2018 in St Oswald’s Church, Askrigg, North Yorkshire.

Askrigg is a small village in Upper Wensleydale still famous for being the location for the TV programme ‘All Creatures Great and Small’.

The day will last from 10.00am and finish with Vespers at 4.00pm. The director is Philip Duffy who is an Associate Director of the Schola Gregoriana and a former choir master of Liverpool RC Cathedral. No previous experience of Gregorian chant is necessary.

The fee for the day is £15 which includes tuition and music (to keep). The day will end with the service of Vespers to which members of the public are welcome. Further details will be available when people sign up. All are welcome including beginners who have never sung the chant but would like to try.

To book, please contact MaryRose Kearney by email at maryrosekearney@hotmail.com, or send a cheque for £15 to “The Gregorian Workshop” c/o Kearney, Summerdown, Silver St Askrigg, Leyburn, N. Yorks. DL8 3HS.


Iain Simcock and the Schola Gregoriana

Iain Simcock was organ scholar at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle and Christ Church, Oxford, before being appointed Sub-Organist at Westminster Abbey and, for seven years, Assistant Master of Music at Westminster Cathedral. He was the first British prize-winner in the Chartres International Organ Competition, as well as prizewinner in competitions in St. Omer and Odense in Denmark. He studied with David Sanger in London and Jean Langlais in Paris.

He recorded several CDs for Hyperion Records with the choir of Westminster Cathedral as well as several solo organ recordings, including two Symphonies by Louis Vierne and notably the world première recording of Christus A Passion Symphony for Organ by Francis Pott. During this period, recital tours took him all over Europe as well as to Australia. He also appeared regularly on BBC radio and television and played in two BBC Proms concerts at the Royal Albert Hall. He gave many duo concerts during this time with Jonathan Freeman-Attwood (trumpet), now Principal of the Royal Academy of Music.

In 1994, Iain was appointed professor of choral singing at the Conservatoire National in Angers, France and organist at the Abbey of Saint Pierre in Solesmes, whilst continuing his solo freelance career. He performed the complete organ works of Bach in Angers in 1996, recording a solo CD of highlights from the performances. He also performed all Bach’s major harpsichord works including the Goldberg Variations on the famous Taskin harpsichord in the Russell Collection at the Edinburgh Festival.

From 2001-2014 he was the musical director of the Académie Vocale de Paris, performing weekly concerts with the choir as well as concerts in many major festivals. He was instigator of two major radio France programmes featuring the monks of Solesmes and the Académie Vocale, focusing on the great Solesmes tradition of the restoration of Gregorian chant. He also worked with the opera houses in Nantes, Lyon and Bordeaux, preparing young singers for roles in Britten A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Turn of the Screw, Debussy Pelléas et Mélisande, Berlioz Damnation of Faust, Mozart Magic Flute and as assistant to Jane Glover and harpsichordist for Handel Jephtha. He continues to perform regularly as both organist and harpsichordist, recently returning from playing in the Royal Opera House in Muscat, Oman, which has the largest organ in the Middle-East.

He continues his connection with the Abbey of Solesmes and also with the Benedictines of S.Madeleine at Le Barroux, having been the advisor for the new organ currently under construction for the Abbey church.

One of Iain’s first assignments for the Schola Gregoriana will be to lead workshops and direct the chant in the liturgy for the Young Catholic Adults retreat at Douai Abbey: 7-9 September 2018.

First Vespers of St Kentigern, or Mungo, 12th Jan 2017

At Glasgow Cathedral, 5:30pm on Thursday 12th January. For further details, please see This PDF.

Solemn Requiem for Richard III – 13th June 2015

Mass will be celebrated in the usus antiquorior, and the celebrant will be Fr Guy Nicholls Cong.Orat. The music will include plainsong, English fifteenth-century polyphony and a new motet in honour of the king.

If you are able to display a printed poster, you can download a PDF to print from:


Young Catholic Adults and Schola Gregoriana Retreat

Douai Abbey Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd October 2017

For some years Associates of the Schola have been joining with the YCA on a weekend retreat, usually in the autumn at Douai Abbey. This year is no exception. The YCA is a group which promotes the spirit of orthodoxy with charity; it has a deliberately non-divisive outlook, and uses the Church’s devotional heritage in order to aid souls. At these retreats the Schola leads the singing at Mass and the daily Offices in the old rite, and encourages YCA members to join in rehearsals as part of our mission to pass the heritage of the Chant on to successive generations. The lecture programmes of the YCA and Schola rehearsals are linked and timed to allow members of either organisation to attend both. Each day ends with a social gathering at which old friendships are renewed and new ones made.

If you wish to join, and for all further details, please contact us at admin@scholagregoriana.org or by any of the methods on our contact page.

Workshop in Askrigg, Upper Wensleydale

The fifth Gregorian Chant Workshop will be held on September 9th 2017 in St Oswald’s Church, Askrigg, North Yorkshire. Askrigg is a small village in Upper Wensleydale still famous for being the location for the TV programme ‘All Creatures Great and Small’.

The day will last from 10.00am to 4.00pm. The director is Philip Duffy who is the Assoc. Director for the Schola Gregoriana of Cambridge and a former choir master of Liverpool RC Cathedral.

The fee for the day is £15 which includes tuition and music (to keep). The day will end with the service of Vespers to which members of the public are welcome. Further details will be available when people sign up. All are welcome including beginners who have never sung the chant but would like to try.

To book, please contact MaryRose Kearney by telephone on 01969 650 880, or by email at maryrosekearney@hotmail.com, or send a cheque for £15 to “The Gregorian Workshop” c/o Kearney, Summerdown, Silver St Askrigg, Leyburn, N. Yorks. DL8 3HS.

Sing Gregorian Chant in the Liturgy

Friday 11th – Sunday 13th August 2017

A weekend of enchanting melody and traditional liturgy in the beautiful surroundings of St.Stephen’s House, Oxford, to commemorate the centenary of the birth of the Founder of the Schola Gregoriana of Cambridge, Dr. Mary Berry (1917-2008), and to explore her legacy

Directors: Christopher Hodkinson, Philip Duffy and Fr. Guy Nicholls

The programme includes:

Study of the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary and celebration of all eight hours of the Office
Requiem Mass for Dr. Mary Berry and deceased Associates
Mass for 10th Sunday after Pentecost
Singing of chant transcriptions by Mary Berry
Panel discussion on the legacy of Mary Berry
Sunday visit to St. Birinus, Dorchester on Thames, the burial place of Mary Berry for Solemn Vespers, Benediction and Prayers at the grave

Accommodation, including full board, at St. Stephen’s House, Oxford. Cost: £240
Non-residential: £185 for weekend, or £90 for one day
All fees include Associate membership of the Schola Gregoriana, music and tuition
Reduction of £20 from all charges for Associates of the Schola Gregoriana

Students, clergy, religious or 3 or more members of chant choirs pay 50% of the above charges.Bursaries available on application.

Beginners and experienced singers of the chant are all welcome

See below for further details, or contact:

Mr. Grey Macartney,
Schola Gregoriana

26 The Grove, Ealing, London, W5 5LH.

Information and Booking Forms (printable PDF)

Chant Workshops 2017

Directed by John Rowlands-Pritchard

John Rowlands-Pritchard will be teaching several chant workshops in a variety of places over the next few months, and also one residential course in April. Here is a summary; for details and updates, please see the Opus Anglicanum web site.

  • 24th – 27th April, Benslow Music, Hitchin, Herts.
    Residential Gregorian Chant Course 01462 459446
  • 25th July, Worcester Three Choirs Festival
    Chant Workshop 10 am – 4.30 pm 01452 768 928
    Vespers for St Oswald of Worcester 5:30 pm in Worcester Cathedral
  • 30th September, Glastonbury Abbey
    Chant Workshop 10 am – 5 pm 01458 832267
  • 4th November, St Mary’s Church Monmouth
    RSCM South East Wales Chant workshop 01722 424848

Gregorian Chant Instruction, London

Directed by Dr. Peter Wilton, B.Ed (Hons.) M.Mus (Editor of chant for the Office of Vespers for Westminster Cathedral Choir)

Discover the profound beauty and infinite variety of this timeless music by learning to sing it.

From 6.30 (after end of Mass) to 8 pm. Alternate Mondays January 23, February 6 and 20, March 6 and 20, and April 3, at St. James’s Spanish Place, George Street, London, W1 (nearest tube station: Bond Street)

Study will include square notation, pre-stave neumes, interpretation, music for the Mass, daily offices, music for special occasions, psalmody and texts in different languages.

Anyone able to sing in tune is welcome, with or without chant experience.

Cost: £5 per evening. Enquiries to Mr. Grey Macartney, 26 The Grove, Ealing, W5 5LH, Tel: 020 8840 5832, E-mail: grey.macartney@gmail.com

Gregorian Chant Hymns Web Site

Julia Jones has recently become a trustee of the Schola, and suggested we should reproduce this article which she wrote a little while ago about the Gregorian Chant Hymns web site.

Gregorian Chant Hymns, (gregorian-chant-hymns.com) our website, grew out of a very practical need. Frequently, people decry the music that they hear week by week in ordinary Catholic parishes. Complaints are made about the choice of music, the quality of the choir and the level of audible participation from the congregation. The people involved in producing this music are usually very dedicated, following the lead of others, but so very often a feeling of dissatisfaction is experienced, that after great efforts expended, the desired result is not achieved. A music is needed that is apart from the world and which creates an atmosphere conducive to prayer. We have this music. It is chant.

Gregorian Chant Hymns sets out music that is an integral part of the tradition of the Church in a manner that makes it possible to sing it in an ordinary parish.

Countless articles have been written describing the grave need for chant in the liturgy and readers of this newsletter hardly need another apologetic, especially from a lay person. It remains a paradox however, that whilst recordings of chant from monasteries and abbeys are very popular in the secular world, it can be very hard for lay Catholics to have access to this music in a liturgical setting. Our website offers some practical assistance, so that where there is a will to sing chant, there is a way in. It sits alongside other very useful and free internet resources and will support those who having perhaps attended a chant workshop are wondering what they might usefully do next.

Gregorian Chant Hymns gathers together recordings that one may listen to online, the notation and the translations. The recordings use both male and female voices, so can be useful for a variety of adult and children groups. We have been generously assisted by St Cecilia’s Abbey, Ryde and Pluscarden Abbey, who have allowed their recordings to be used for non-commercial purposes. As Wikipedia reminds us,’ In 1974, Pope Paul VI issued Jubilate Deo, a selection of plainchant pieces, to every bishop in the Church to encourage the singing of Simple Gregorian melodies in parishes. The Community [of St Cecilia’s] recorded the chant to support this endeavour, in what was the first recording of nuns in the UK. ‘ This website merely provides the means for parishes to do this in the Internet age. Other groups have kindly allowed their editions to be used and Dr Candy Bartoldus has been meticulous both in citing all copyright holders and obtaining permission for their work to be used.

An example

If, at Communion, you wished to sing Adoro te devote from scratch, some of these steps may help you.

  • Click the Hymns tab at the top of the home page. The music available is displayed in alphabetical order.
  • Click on Display score and play Audio. The image left appears.
  • Click on the arrow, recording will begin. The arrow has now turned into a pause button.
  • Click pause to stop the recording at any point.

The notation for each verse is displayed separately, with a translation beneath. This allows you to listen and to practise singing.

You may want to distribute this recording to members of a church choir who do not have Internet access.

  • Under the hymns tab, you can also Click Download MP3.
  • You can then save the recording onto your computer.
  • The recording may be burned onto a CD.

If you are to sing the music in church, you need sheets.

  • Click Download Latin text and you have a sheet to sing from.
  • Click Download translation and there it is.

If you are going to produce a booklet, it may be necessary to alter the size of the notation and to edit the size of the text.

Go to Build-a-booklet. There you can download images (JPEGs) of the chant notation and translations in PDF format.

A simple example and you will see that there is much more on offer, particularly in the Build-a-booklet section. There may just be something there that will save someone a great deal of time.

To those who say the task is too great, I say, in five years of singing chant every Sunday, practising for 20 minutes a week after Mass, we learnt Masses I, IV, IX, XI, XVII and the Requiem Mass, plus about 30 devotional chants and office hymns and sang the propers every week to psalm tones. Most people can memorise a large number of chant and as we bring out chants particular to the liturgical season each year, so our appreciation grows of this beautiful music.

Our Catholic music.

Julia Jones sings in a chant schola in Kent each week.